By C.J. Asher
Porn. It’s an industry that’s both envied and vilified by many. What most people never consider, however, is what goes on behind the scenes… not only behind the camera, but the movers and shakers that keep the billion-dollar adult film industry constantly churning out a new product for an increasingly growing and diverse audience. In Turning Blue, adult film director, writer and producer Stuart Canterbury takes us inside this world – a world filled with conniving producers and executives, stars with overinflated egos along with agents, production crews and journalists, all of whom have their own agendas and are looking to get their own piece of the action, whether it be money or industry prestige.
It’s up to veteran adult film producer Travis Lazar to carefully navigate this game and its players while keeping production on-time and within budget; no easy task in a world where deadlines mean money, money is tight and whatever can go wrong often does go wrong. Only complicating matters is working with Tiffany West, adult film’s hottest new star with a temper bigger than the Hollywood sign. As life often imitates art, in Turning Blue art imitates life, as we’re introduced to outrageous characters and unbelievable plot twists that are truly “straight from the headlines.” From overzealous police raids to a dangerous game of corporate brinksmanship between rival studios to setting up a child porn-peddler to rat himself out to the police,
The most intriguing aspect of the novel is clearly the expertise of the author in explaining, in fascinatingly technical detail, what goes into the production of an adult film: corporate funding (or the lack thereof), issues with the crew and talent and set location, all while providing an insight into the rules, laws and regulations that everyone must adhere to in an exceedingly scrutinized industry. While it is a novel based around producing adult film, the actual references to sex are few and far between, focused more on the characters before and after their erotic filmmaking than the actual sexual acts themselves. Furthermore, having covered and written about the adult entertainment industry myself, I can say that many of the characters, settings and events are clearly drawn from real life, such as the adult film awards which mimic the real-life AVN and XBIZ awards, along with The Caterpillar, a clean-living yet cheap and gluttonous character who bears a striking literary resemblance to porn legend “The Hedgehog” Ron Jeremy.
My only major issue with Turning Blue is that, while the book would make for an exciting television show, it didn’t work as well for me as a book where you’d expect a clearly defined setup, plot and conclusion. Characters are introduced then disappear for several chapters. Subplots and scenes, such as an unexpected suicide and a police raid, that should make for a very dramatic storytelling (for those outside of the adult film industry, at least) are often downplayed or disregarded after just a few pages.
Despite these few criticisms, I did enjoy the erratic and complex nature of this book and would recommend it to my readers. Turning Blue is a novel that blends the technical with the outrageous in an exciting yet, at times, disjointed story that nonetheless keeps you intrigued and hooked to the end.
To purchase Turning Blue, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Turning-Blue-Stuart-Canterbury/dp/1593938098