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4.4 out of 5 stars35
4.4 out of 5 stars
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2011
I first read this book, aged 14, both my older brother and father bought me it. It's everything I like in a book- disturbing, thrilling, exciting, heart breaking and certainly educational. A must read for people that like books that are equally gut wrenching and heart warming. Anyone that gives it one star, must be extremely dull!
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on 7 March 2015
I came across this book by chance and gave it a shot. First of all I'd say if you do pick it up, ensure you have a bookmark firmly placed by that Glossary section because you will be going back and forth to it often enough. If you can abide by the rampant ego, outrageous misogyny and the violence and bullying you can begin to appreciate and enjoy this biography.

It paints a grim but compelling view of racist, crime ridden inner city America from the 30s onwards. The pages are soaked with bleak but always fascinating insights, accidents and incidents. Looking around, particularly at African, American culture today you can see how depressingly influential Iceberg Slim is and it merely makes his countless imitators and obsessives all the more ridiculous and pathetic by comparison.

He does eventually learn the error of his horrendous ways and becomes an autodidact of sorts through his repeated spells in prison with access to books and more time than you can shake a stick at. In conclusion I found him to be not very pleasant but I still respected elements of what he overcame and how he did it. An enjoyable read from a dubious man.
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on 27 May 2015
This book should have an 18 rating - some very disturbing violence and abuse is portrayed in this book. While the language is pretty raw as well in places, it is one of these books that once you get over the initial shock of criminal life, you can identify with the characters and the humanity that lies beneath their hardened exterior. While there is a lot of slang used, there are flashes of dark humour as well.

If you are after a moral tale about the dangers and the human price paid for living on the wrong side of the tracks, this is an excellent book. Well written, it is difficult to put down once you make the effort to engage. It is not comfortable reading by any manner of means, but saying that is a testament to the gritty reality portrayed. There are more graphic fictional novels, but the fact this is a true story makes it even more shocking than fiction.
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on 3 February 2000
I read a review of this book about three years ago and thought I must try that. I had forgotten about it until a few months ago when I came across it by chance. I'm so glad I did. 'Pimp' is the harrowing true story of Iceberg Slim's life. It is not nice. But it is an absolutely riveting read. From his childhood and sexual abuse (by an older woman), through his hard-won success and affluence to the brink of self destruction and poverty, this book will take you through a battlefield of emotions. The most unexpected being pity and sympathy, because this man has been evil. But he knows it and regrets it with an intensity that solicits a response other than outrage and revulsion. If you enjoy films from Scorsese and Tarantino you should enjoy this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2000
One of the best books you will ever read. It conjours up images that will not leave you quickly and attachs the reader to Slim's triumphs and troubles in a most intense way. Top class.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 11 July 2002
Pimp enthrawls the reader right from the start as you are drawn into the world of Bobby Lancaster. As a reader you will go through the whole book with conflicting emotions; supporting him in his uncompromising effort to succeed and then disgusted at the horribles beatings he gives out to women. Even though we see his eventual redemption in old age and deep regret of his previous life, at no time does the book ever come across as preaching the immoralities of any way of life. It simply is the very frank account of one man's life and the reader is deeply rewarded when coming to their own conclusions about the man known as Iceberg Slim.
A must read, regardless of genre preferences.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 26 September 2000
This book is a masterpiece. No one can come close to telling a story about pimps than the ice himself. Donald Goines' "Whoreson" was good, but this tops that by a long shot. However I advise anyone with the propensity to pimp not read this book because it may put ideas in your head. Robert Beck says he wrote this in order to show the pugnacious nature of pimping, but in his efforts to do so, he glamorizes the pimp, which is himself. While the book did spend a little time talking about his days in prison, I dont think a clear description of how hard prison life is was expressed enough. I especially like the ending of the book when Iceberg Slim sees his error in the way he neglected time spent with his mother and tries to make up for lost time by staying at the hospital with his mother for days without ever leaving. It makes the reader conscious of the fleetness of time and how precious a mother's life is to a son even the coldest hearted of sons the Pimp Iceberg Slim
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on 26 September 2015
couldn't put this book down.
Still a powerful message after all these years. Insider's guide to part of the Black Experience in the USa and why we are where we are in places like Ferguson. Also,I now have a better idea why in the modern world why there is a disproportionate consumption of black porn compared to white porn.If you have no idea of what I am talking about,get this book or any of his others.
Already read his short stories.ready to move on to trick baby.
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on 14 January 2014
Enjoyed this book although the phrases used sometimes used left me bemused at times the pimp to ordinary English dictionary that was at the end of the book would have been better used at the beginning . Apart from this it was enjoyable,couldn't out it down and now look forward to reading more of the authors work . For someone who spent time behind bars and was quite a brute he was quite the author . Recommend it to anyone .
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 4 August 2000
Ever since I read this book I have tried, in vain, to find another book to match it's emotional depth (yes, it's there under the surface-if you look for it), intelligence (irrelivent of your own opinions),street smartness and theory's about the pimp game, which I'm a part of and dark humor and unparalleled talent for creating atmosphere.
Look in it for what you want. Like any work of art, the book may be translated and percived in many ways by the reader. It provides food for thought. The book delivers on so many levels that maybe only someone square & with an oversion to graphic language describing the cold realities of someone's life would dislike it.
Lastly, although it is intended to create the aura of fantastic,fascinating reality, ledgendary persona and I do not take from the solid authenticity of the knowledge used to write the book, the work is fictional.
It is set in the 30-40's in Chicago. There are no concise, contemporary works on this subject that I know of...
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