Friday, January 16, 2009

SWANK Magazine Book Review Excerpts - 02/09

Image from W-Pink TV 1985 - Courtesy of Paradise Visuals

The latest issue of SWANK magazine is now available and on the newstands until March 28/09. Included in the February '09 issue is a full two page article and review about our book, John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches - text by Ron Jeremy, in the column "XXX Reality Check - Ron and the King!" The article is appropriately titled, "John Holmes versus Ron Jeremy" and can be found on pages 42/43, including four images. Below are some selected excerpts:

"What brings about this column about the famous porn stud that died over 20 years ago? It's because of the release of a fascinating new book about Holmes, a biography titled John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches by Jennifer Sugar and Jill C. Nelson ( and released by Bear Manor Media (

Holmes and I had a very, very friendly rivalry back in the late 1970s when I was starting to do a lot of the X-stuff, and he had become a big draw at the box-office. Back then of course, there was no internet, no DVDs, no VCRs, and porn-lovers who wanted to see an X-rater had to go to an actual movie theater, and in those days they went to see Holmes do his thing.

We co-starred in several features together and various loops as well... There were lots of them back then, I can hardly remember, but luckily in addition the book contains reviews of hundreds of Holmes' feature films and shorter clips as well as a very comprehensive filmography, to get you up to speed.

John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches is written in a very interesting and provocative style that I found very compelling. A chronology of Holmes' life as told through interview excerpts by the people who were with him at the time, and from things he had written himself, and recorded himself, as part of Holmes' own personal archives of documents and tapes. And then the authors intersperse their own observations and musings as the chapters lead the reader from Holmes' early life, up to his tragic death -- he turned out to be the first-ever real X-industry superstar, but the first known porn star to contract HIV and die from AIDS. Talk about irony?

As I told the book's authors through hours of interviews I gave them over a period of months, I'd always liked Holmes, he was a very nice personable guy, and always nice to me. But obviously, his drug problems led him to do a lot of things that can't be condoned. But, in general, I think you have to look at a person's entire life and and examine both the positives and the negatives if you want to be fair. And while John had a big downside later in life, and he paid the price for it, we can never forget the upside as well.

It is hard to know what to say in talking about John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches because so much of it is personal narrative, of the persons closest to Holmes telling their personal stories involving him. The tales and insights in the book are so human and intimate -- on all levels -- the only way to truly appreciate how the Holmes story is told is by reading it yourself. Just be prepared for a very long and touching, and disturbing journey.

And in the final analysis [Sugar and Nelson] present a fair, balanced and complete look at "The King", John Curtis Holmes, without anti-porn hysteria on one hand, and without sugar-coating on the other -- just the good, the bad and the ugly of one man's life. May "The King" rest in peace."

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