The Road Through Wonderland
Dawn Schiller
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Buy *The Road Through Wonderland: Surviving John Holmes* by Dawn Schiller online

The Road Through Wonderland: Surviving John Holmes
Dawn Schiller
Medallion Press
300 pages
August 2010
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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The John Holmes saga has been revisited several times in various books and on film - Wonderland. This time it is being written about by the porn star's underage lover. Dawn Schiller, the underage acolyte who accompanied Johnny 'Wadd' through his sordid fall into hardcore pornography and drug use, has lived to tell the tale of her abuse. The cover of the book describes her as "A young girl, caught up in a lifestyle of drugs and insanity, who overcame her past and ultimately became a powerful example of the courage and resiliency of the human spirit."

Well, that's part of the truth, maybe. Schiller did survive, but the reality as spelled out in her own words here is that she was a bit more blind and empty-headed than resilient. In her tale, she moves from Florida with her father and sister and ends up in an apartment complex managed by Holmes. She meets him, tries to resist his apparent charms - Holmes was twice her age - and eventually becomes his steadfast running partner and lover. Everything is sweet and good for a while, but then John shows his real personality by beating her, raping her, and pimping her out.

What did Dawn do after experiencing these horrible acts? She came back. She'd run away and then come back. Time after time. Even with the law after her because of Holmes's involvement in the Wonderland murders - a sordid mess of drugs and white slavery - she stayed by her side. Is this resiliency or simple stupidity?

After reading this, it's truly hard to imagine that Dawn Schiller represents the "resiliency of the human spirit" when every problem in her life she could have avoided by simply saying no or just walking away. But it is an engaging story, and if you're interested in the John Holmes sage, you'll want to read this.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2010

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