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Shattered Direction Paperback – May 1, 2016
Edward A. Dreyfus
Shattered Direction opens by presenting a practicing clinical psychologist, Dr. Albertson, who is reading up on the pornography business and its effect on those on both sides of the camera. As the article he's reading talks of the victimization of women in the industry, he recalls a client, Harry Moreland, whom he treated in the 1980s and who fell into the world of porn fully cognizant of his choices, reasons, and the dangers involved.
Shattered Direction follows Harry Moreland's downfall and struggles and offers an unusual focus as it reveals the life of a talented young photographer with a dream of making socially relevant documentary films who escapes his dysfunctional family, travels to California, falls into counterculture groups along the way, and finds his passion for "making a difference" waylaid by his move from boudoir studio work to all-out pornography production.
Very powerful ideas are presented early on as Harry moves away from home, crosses the country, falls in with different social groups, and hones his ideas. His evolution and growth is fully explained in a series of events that harkens back to his family influences and the psychological motivations for his entry into this world, and Edward A. Dreyfus uses his own psychology background to provide exceptionally clear rationales for this progression. Especially notable is the attention given to different kinds of alternative living situations without accompanying judgment about their structure or meaning.
All this lends a personal perspective to the story of how even an aware, sensitive individual fully cognizant of his actions and choices can take a wrong turn - and the attention to understanding the processes of such a choice makes Shattered Directions a vivid, compelling read that proves hard to put down.
Under Dreyfus's hand, Harry's motivations are impeccably logical and Harry's conflicts and conundrums as he attempts to follow his career and ethical dreams, only to find both on a different path, are wonderfully presented. The psychology infused throughout the story line is exquisite, and lend power and grace to a wonderfully thought-provoking read.
The psychological detail succeeds in creating a vibrant portrait of how principles become warped even when self-knowledge of actions and their consequences is strong: "I have my own struggles with being in this business. Some days I think I will just quit and go back to Samy's Camera and just sell cameras. On other days I think perhaps I can make a difference by doing better films, not smut. I can save some money and then do what I want to do."
How do one's ideals, in general, become thwarted and changed; and how does one young man struggle with his growing involvement in the porn industry? Where other coverages might lack psychological depth, Shattered Direction offers a vividly precise story line that is firmly based on family and social psychology, creating a finely-tuned and revealing read which will attract any reader who enjoys powerful depth in their stories.
What amazing work; cannot set it down. I can feel myself walking step in step as the story unfolds, connecting with Harry's experiences and feeling the power of their transformative dynamics. I absolutely love your book. It puts me right into the scene to share in understanding of Harry and his life as well as the greater sociopolitical developments that shape humanity. Your elegance and compassion cut through the dark depth of prejudices and stereotypes. -- Yulia Brockdorf, RD, LD, CDE, CPT, CS, NCC, LPC
From the Back Cover
After directing an award-winning documentary in college, Harry Moreland, an idealistic, sensitive, promising filmmaker with a social conscience, goes on a two-year odyssey ending in Hollywood with hopes of becoming a film director. He is seduced by money, fame, and the glitz of the porn industry. Like many of the wanna-be actresses in front of the lens, Harry finds his hopes and dreams shattered as he gradually becomes embedded in the high life of drugs, alcohol, and living in the fast lane. When his girlfriend overdoses and his brother is arrested for dealing drugs, he hits bottom and has to go through the slow and painful process of redemption, reclaiming his soul, his integrity, and his identity. He is confronted with the age-old choice between money and glitz or integrity and relationships.
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I think the author has found a unique way to write about different people and their terrible mistakes they made with their life by going to a clinical psychologist to get their lives back on track and to help them face what they need to do to make it right. This book can start a whole new series for Edward Dreyfus, who by the way was a practicing psychologist. I bet he has a slew of stories from his practice he can tell all his readers that we all can relate to in our own life.
Harry’s father, William, was an extremely strict man who did not leave his military beliefs and habits at the base. He brought them home and treated his family as if they were under his command. The years of strict rules and regulations led to Bobby leaving when he graduated high school. No longer could he tolerate his father’s cruel behavior and his mother’s willingness to stand by and not stop the abuse William inflicted on his kids.
With Bobby gone, Harry to fend for himself, no longer did he have his older brother there to protect him from the bullies. Harry did his best to continue to focus on school, his passion for photography, and flying low under the radar.
When Harry is in high school, he meets a young woman, Rachel, who becomes not only his friend, but also his girlfriend. The two are inseparable. She sticks by Harry and supports him in his educational pursuits and his dream of becoming professional film director. After college, Harry decides it is time for a break, a break that includes visiting his brother in Bobby, the brother he has not seen in years.
It is with this one decision to leave home on his own that Harry’s story truly begins. He hitchhikes his way across the U.S. meeting a variety of people along the way. He lives in a commune, with hippies, and experiences drugs. He eventually makes his way to Los Angeles where he makes contact with his brother Bobby after many years. Harry immediately sets about getting work and finds himself working in a photography store. Fate takes a turn when Harry gets convinced to move from photographing parties, weddings, and boudoir photos into porn.
Being in the porn industry changes Harry drastically. He gets into drinking and doing drugs heavily. He loses his passion and his zest for life. It is not until tragedy strikes someone dear to him and his brother gets into trouble that Harry realizes things need to change in his life.
This is an incredible book about how one day we can wake up and realize our life went a completely different direction than we planned. It is a book about addiction, internal struggles, and realizing what matters most in your life. This is an exceptional book and I would highly recommend it to anyone.