Lynne Martin – Ready, Set, Action!

Some time ago, indie author Lynne Martin requested me to read and review her new novel Ready Set, Action!, an expose of the porn industry, but not a book of pornography in itself. Not my everyday subject (thank God!), but after reading and reviewing The Origins of Sex, this novel is an example of the double moral standard in effect in the USA and other western countries as well. Human trafficking, drug addiction, sexual offenders and child molestation are forbidden. And yet, there’s a huge market for drugs and sex related services and products. Some 30% of all internet traffic is porn content.

Martin portrays the life of working porn stars in the Adult Film Industry, based on researched sources and interviews, but packaged as fiction. The storyline is about ex-porn star and cutthroat businesswoman Julia Giovanni and her husband Boyd. While Julia wants to build her their Giovanni Films into a beyond-average, on-demand adult movie company, with strict rules on acting for competitors and hygiene. Boyd enjoys the luxury, and is tired of looking after his brother Peter who’s a drug addict trying to rehab.

Lillian Cardinal tries to leave her job as stripper and become a star in Giovanni Films productions. She’s also children to take care of. Her entry into a first porn production becomes a tragedy with some hilarious moments. These main characters are developed throughout the book, with several other storylines and characters woven into it. Meet Wanda and her brother Warren that eventually rapes her sister and steals her virginity. Meet Brandy and little Tito that’s lost her real mother. Peter Giovanni ultimate solution: a Glock 9mm. Young drug addicts Ronnie and Jerome, even younger actor Justin and has-been actor Malcolm. The tragic end of the company illustrates the fine line between on-demand business and the long arm of the DA.
Though a lot of dialogues in the book have a vocabulary like : “By a fucking monkey. Who cares? Bottom line, you’re out of a goddamn job and back on the street, running a couple hoes for cash.” nothing attractive remains about the porn industry or drug addiction. Family life and marriage are destroyed, distinction between love and mere lust is gone, real life and fake or acting blurred. And yes, everyone is entitled to formulate his/her opinion. Lynne Martin lets her character conclude: “Because sometimes our personal lives are much too painful when they’re exposed to the light of day. What seems normal, or maybe even acceptable to us, may appear seedy or possibly evil in the eyes of many others. People don’t always understand the choices we’ve made, or the secrets we’ve been forced to keep. They’re too… critical. They’re too…” she searched for another word, ‘judgmental.'” (p.222)
Not every desire should be captured on film. In my opinion a better quote than several others serving a chapter’s introduction. Lynne Martin is an advocate of women’s rights and a staunch supporter of sexual education. She currently resides in Alberta, Canada, with her husband and their large extended family.