My Undoing: Love in the Thick of Sex, Drugs, Pornography, and Prostitution

Aiden Shaw, Author
Aiden Shaw, Author Carroll & Graf Publishers $15.95 (308p) ISBN 978-0-7867-1743-9
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If Shaw's intention was to dash fans' assumption that porn performers live the erotic, carefree life that they portray on film, he has succeeded with this dull, aimless memoir. In his preface, Shaw is brutally honest about the book's shortcomings, admitting that while he wanted to ""dissect my experiences objectively and be philosophical, all I was finally able to do was testify."" Unfortunately, there's no immediacy to his writing to make up for the lack of introspection. His detached cataloging of drug use and sex is passionless. The fact that he's HIV-positive and much of this sex is unsafe isn't dealt with at all. Particularly telling is his experience being struck by a car when he's too high to do anything but lie in the road; he's left with a brain lesion, broken bones and paralysis on his left side. Not every life story has to have an epiphany, but readers who suffer through his recovery are bound to feel cheated when he emerges from treatment completely unchanged. When the book ends abruptly-as if he'd run out of space in his journal and couldn't be bothered to buy a new one-he's back with Mr. Wrong.
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