[Book Review] Ordeal by Linda Lovelace



Title: Ordeal
Authors: Linda Lovelace with Mike McGrady
Publisher: Citadel Press
Published: March 1989, Fourth Printing
ISBN: 0-8065-0687-3
Format: Hardcover
No. of Pages: 252
Category: Non-Fiction
Genre: Sex memoir, biography, true crime
Bought at: Betterworldbooks for $6.25
Opening sentences: My name is not Linda Lovelace. Not these days.


Linda Lovelace became a household name in 1972, when Deep Throat–a film made for only $25.000–became the first pornographic movie ever to cross over to mainstream audiences, to the tune of $600 million and counting. Despite being the face that launched the film’s phenomenal success, behind the scenes Linda was suffering unspeakable torture and abuse at the hands of her husband, Chuck Traynor, and she never earned a dollar from the film’s huge success. A harrowing tale of the pursuit of happiness and the will to survive amid years of horrific abuse, Ordeal reveals the dark reality behind Deep Throat, and its star’s tragic, yet ultimately triumphant, life.


ATTENTION! If you’re under 21 y-o, please do not read this review. It contains explicit and graphic sexual descriptions that might be offensive.

I’ve read many porn stars and ex-porn stars memoirs, but nothing can beat Ordeal. It’s the most sadistic and disturbing book I’ve ever read.

The story begins when Linda Boreman had a car accident. She met Chuck Traynor who seemed so sweet. Later, Linda found that Chuck is a monster who physically, verbally, and sexually abused her. From then on, her nightmares came to life.

Linda wanted to flee from home. She couldn’t stand her abusive mother. Chuck took her home and began pimping her. Linda was a virgin, but then Chuck took her virginity. Chuck had debts and he sold Linda for money. He was always violent, even pointed a gun to Linda, his wife.

Chuck was a perv, a sadomasochist who was aroused everytime Linda was in pain. Then one thing led to another. Linda and Chuck met a pornographer and the rest is history. Linda Boreman became ‘Linda Lovelace’, a porn icon who got (so-called) respect from people in Hollywood. She’s famous of her ability to swallow penis (even the larbe one), just like a performer who can swallow a sword. Apparently, Chuck trained her to relax her throat muscle to do this.

I had to hold my breath while reading this book. There’s too many graphic details. Linda was forced to do a scene with a dog, can you imagine? She was beaten and threatened. Chuck always used his weapon, that he would kill whoever got in the way, including Linda’s parents. Later on, Linda was forced to perform BDSM, paraphilia, zoophilia, whatever sickness and degrading that you can imagine (my stomach was churning when I read that part. It’s beyond sick).

So many times, Linda tried to escape, but she failed and went back to Chuck. This always happens to domestic violence victims. They’re brainwashed and afraid to meet another monster if they have guts to leave the abuser. They’re torn to pieces. Their self esteem was peeled off until they’ve got nothing and become numb. That’s what happened to Linda. She said she’s not herself while having sex with strangers.

Hugh Hefner and Sammy Davis Jr were two of many prominent Hollywood celebrities who put interests on Linda Lovelace. Chuck and Linda were regulars at Hefner’s lavish parties. They’re allowed to crash at the mansion. Somehow I can relate Hefner to Jay Gatsby.

In the end, Linda could free herself from Chuck. She met one or two men before settling down to be a housewife. She was against pornography until the car accident took her life in 2002.

As far as I know, pornography is degrading for women. Many porn stars confessed that they were drugged, abused, and forced to get involve in freaky sexual acts, mostly against their will. Watching porn, to me, is like watching rape in action. I have no desire to see “Deep Throat” even though media claimed it’s a cult movie. Linda was raped during filming. I think it’s wise to ban the film. Just like what they did to Traci Lords. At 15, she began posing for adult magazines, and quickly ventured into porn. She appeared in more than 100 movies before she turned 18. All of her movies were banned by the authorities. Sadly, a lot of people are still glamoring porn. Young celebrities like Miley, Lilo, and the likes think taking topless selca is cool. Remember Miley’s scandal with Vanity Fair? That happened long before VMA scandal. Nowadays, female celebrities like Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Nicki Minaj are not ashamed to show some skin for free through instagram or tweetpic. It’s porn goes mainstream. Watch out, parents.

Back to Ordeal, I read this book before I see “Lovelace”, Linda’s biopic starring Amanda Seyfried. I’ll review the movie asap.

Ordeal is an eye-opener. To learn about the danger of porn, you should read books like this.


He could tell me the sky was green and I’d believe him, even though I was looking right up into a blue sky. (p. 28)

It wasn’t the fact of the sex that upset me; it was the nature of the sex. I couldn’t imagine anyone-even prostitutes-doing something so incredibly personal with other people around.

Melody was a strange kind of a hooker. She was very intellogent and always carried a book to read with her, even on jobs.

As soon as Chuck saw how much pain in this experience caused me, he made sure that it became a key part of my repertoire.

I know a dozen Chucks, a hundred Chucks and they’re all monsters.

“How come you never got away?”
“Because it’s kind of hard to get away when there’s a gun pointed at your head.”

Recently when several Playboy bunnies in Great Gorge, New Jersey, were drugged, photographed and forced to work as whores, I could understand the process.

The first time I met Rob, I wondered how this could be. Here’s this real doll-he was adorable!-tall and blond and cute. How could a guy who looked like that do what he did for a living? What problems did he have to get into something like this? I will never undetstand that. (p. 104)

What kind of world do we live in? Would you believe that a doctor, a professional man, would accept sexual favors as payment for the bill?

I learned that it was illegal to have silicone injected into your breasts. It seems to me when something is illegal, there’s usually a danger connected with it.

Chuck and I had been given to run of the (Playboy) Mansion. We were practically living there. We had joined the rest of the freeloaders for the movies, the food, the parties and the regular Wednesday night orgies.

Living in Hollywood, yoi begin to forget that outside there is still a normal world with normal people. California is the land of the super-freaks and they all seem to come to Hollywood sooner or later.

I guess they figure that half a truth is better than no truth at all. To me, it’s still a lie.

Any beating, no matter how severe, would be better than being raped by a dog. (p. 109)
I think I’d rather be dead than not really be living. (p. 221)




More reviews on Ordeal

We Love This Book here

Articles on Porn

The Truth about the Porn Industry here
Porn and the End of Masculinity here
Pornography is Bad for Your Health here

Submitted for:
Books in English Challenge here
Baca Bareng BBI biografi here
Year Long Memoir Challenge here

Until next time:)


I give this book for Brigidda ๐Ÿ™‚

About lustandcoffee

A housewife, a mother, a passionate literati, a writer, a tea addict & occasional traveler. I also translate some articles for a business magazine. I'm a contributor for Writer's Magz Indonesia.

Posted on September 27, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. ahhh gilak yus, ngilu bacanya. kayanya gak bakal tahan deh baca buku beginian ๐Ÿ˜€ tapi very very inspiring ya sebenernya…

  2. Waduhh ada ya buku beginian? Mengerikan ya dunia pornografi …bener-bener WATCH OUT for parents and every one who still has common senses. Keep fighting for GOOD

  3. Merinding baca reviewnya. gimana kalo baca bukunya beneran..

  4. Eh sering dengar deh nama Linda Lovelace, Hollywood star kan ?
    Duh baca model begini kudu kuat mental sama perut … biasanya baca novel Jepang banyak yg aneh-aneh, tp blm pernah coba model kategori *porn* apalagi yg hardcore (grossing banget ya mbak – bayangin sambil miris)
    [ http://alice-secret-garden.blogspot.com ]

  5. Hmm… cuku baca reviewnya ajah. Nggak tega kalo baca langsung bukunya >.<

  6. “Watching porn, to me, is like watching rape in action.”

    Setelah baca review ini aku juga menganggapnya seperti itu. Amit2 deh, semoga semakin banyak yg mendengar kisah seperti ini dan terbuka pikiran dan hatinya

  7. where i can download this book? i want to read it for free , please help

  8. hai boleh tau gak ya dapet bukunya dari mana? aku lagi bikin skripsi tentang film nya lovelace nih mungkin aja bukunya bisa membantu.. makasih ^^

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