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Pimp: The Story of My Life [Kindle Edition]

Iceberg Slim
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (256 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Book Description

Before Hip Hop, there was the pimp. The book that brought black literature to the streets is back to show the Hip Hop generation what it’s all about, where they came from. By telling the story of one man’s struggles and triumphs in an underground world, this book shows the game doesn’t change - it just has a different swagger. Iceberg Slim's story is now depicted in a major motion picture distributed worldwide. Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp shows Slim's transformation from pimp to the author of 7 classic books.

As real as you can get without jumping in, this is the story of Slim’s life as he saw, felt, tasted, and smelled it. Only he could tell this story and make the reader feel it. If you thought Hustle & Flow was the true pimp story, this book is where it all began. This is the heyday of the pimp, the hard-won pride and glory, small though it may be; the beginnings of pimp before it was dragged in front of the camera, before pimp juice and pimp style. A trip through hell by one man who lived to tell the tale. The dangers of jail, addiction and death that are still all too familiar for today’s black community. Though it is a tale of his times, it will remain current and true for as long as there is a race bias, as long as there is a street life, as long as there is exploitation.

Editorial Reviews


''Iceberg Slim was the godfather of a genre.'' -- K'wan, #1 Essence bestselling author

''One of the greatest black writers in American history.'' --Ice-T

''Pimp is an eye-boggling netherworld documentary, a (--) tale of ferocious emotion, expressed through action.'' -- Q

''The best-known pimp of our time.'' --Washington Post

About the Author

ICEBERG SLIM (1918-1992), a.k.a. Robert Beck, was born in Chicago and initiated into the life of the pimp at age eighteen. He briefly attended the Tuskegee Institute but dropped out to return to the streets of the South Side, where he remained, pimping, until he was forty-two. After several stints in jail, culminating in a ten-month stay in Cook County, he decided to give up the life and turned to writing. With a family to feed, he folded his life into the pages of Pimp, which emerged as a definitive chronicle of street life. Slim was catapulted into the public eye as a new American hero, known for speaking the truth whether that truth was ugly, sexy, rude, or blunt. He published six more books based on his life and different aspects of the ghetto black, pimp community. Slim died at age seventy-three in 1992, one day before the Los Angeles riots.

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
329 of 352 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be fools, brothers... November 23, 1998
By A Customer
I think this Iceberg Slim's writing debut alongside with his "Naked Soul of Iceberg Slim" are monument classics to the extreme. Iceberg Slim, all BS aside tells the bitter truth about the pimp life during the 40's and 50's in the Black concrete reservation called Harlem. It shows the candid realities of the ghetto life and about the struggles of a man, frustrated with the setbacks and oppressions of a prodominately white society and despairingly turns to pimping and drug pushing as a way out. Now, I must further comment to some of the youngbloods out there that read Iceberg is dead in his grave, but if he were alive today, and read some of the entries here, he would not be flattered but pissed, to put it bluntly. When 'Berg meant for people (particularly young African-American males to read "Pimp", he intended to give you insight on the pimp game in order for you to see just what a hellish life he really lead as a pimp. It was not meant as a rule book, but a discouragement from the game.Oh, sure, there was the easy money, the power over women, and the false sense of respect as you ride down the street in that Cadillac. But what about the other dangers, like having to look over your shoulders for the police, f--king up your mind with that powder (although today we have crack, even worse). And the women, when they get older and more resentful, they'll cross you and set you up one day, so you have to constantly make sure that they stay mostly ignorant of your weaknesses as not just a player, but a man. If Ice were alive, he would tell you that the pimp life ain't so f--king glamourous, but it's hell, that's why he later settled down with his wife and kid and turned straight. Read more ›
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vivid cautionary tale March 24, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If Mark Twain were a Black street pimp, he would have been Iceberg Slim. Pimp is one of the most captivating books I have ever read. Slim effectively uses his eye for detail and dry humor to bring the hard streets of the Chicago's South Side to life. The characters are well constructed, and the author's protrayal of himself is colorful and honest. Slim does not look for the reader to forgive him for his actions, nor does he try to justify his past deeds with rationalizing rhetoric. Instead, he just tells it like it was, using street slang that can be hard to follow at times, documenting his rise and fall, and how the latter brought him around to "square" life. This book is a true masterpiece of American literature.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disgusting, scary, but such an interesting voice. April 11, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've got two completely different opinions about _Pimp_ and Robert Beck himself. One is glowing, the other terrible. Maybe that's what makes Beck and his books so interesting. First, the glowing opinion. Beck's style is like nothing I've ever read before. He claims to have a 175 I.Q. I don't doubt it. No one less brilliant could conjure up the metaphors and images he casually slings as if they were off the top of his head. The book is written in a loose, story-telling style, as if it was never revised, typos and all. Beck makes you feel as if you were standing on a street corner listening to a "fast track pimp" weave his life's yarn. Many times, I would read a sentence several times simply to admire the unique vision Beck gave to an action as simple as getting in or out of a car (a "hog") or thinking about his mother. The terminology is another, brilliantly colorful language (complete with glossary in the back!).Although the story dotes on his early years and then cruises through a couple of decades in a matter of pages, Beck's tale was never slow or anything less than gleaming. That is the glowing opinion. Now the terrible one. I'll try not to seem sanctimonious. To me, Robert Beck is (was) an alarmingly vicious hypocrite and psychopathic criminal. The book begins and ends with his tepid claims that he has seen the error of his ways and regrets his former life. These meager claims are ridiculous when you read the pride, nostalgia, and admiration with which Beck recounts his former life. In one passage in particular, his role model and mentor teaches him an unbelievable method to keep his whores in line. Whip them bloody with a wire coathanger. Beck eagerly tests the method. Read more ›
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the autobiography of a pimp. There's nothing apologetic in it. The author regrets the line of work he chose, but you never get the impression that he's overplaying or underplaying any story in this book. It doesn't judge. It doesn't glamorize. It is nothing but honest. You get the impression that he's is telling this to you, or wrote it as it came to him and never went back to edit. Even the typos and misspellings added to the authenticity.

As a look into an unknown world, this book is fascinating. As a piece of writing, it certainly expanded my vocabulary. There's a glossary in the back for all the slang, but I found that I didn't even know a lot of the words that weren't included in the glossary, presumably because their meaning is well-known. And for all the sex and brutality in the book, the writing is well-crafted-you know enough, but it's never graphic for the sake of it.

The story itself is basically the life of this pimp, nicknamed Iceberg Slim. He tells you upfront that he was very lucky he didn't end up dead or in jail, as most people of his profession do. The story follows him from a young naïve kid to a wise old pimp at the top of his game. The book was written in the late 60s, but the story runs mostly from the '30s-'50s. From different cities to different jails, from whore to whore, the entire book oozes seediness and grit. It makes very clear that there is nothing glamorous in the life of a pimp.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars It's ok
I don't know what I was expecting? I guess I was looking into more insight as to why a women would fall into the trappings of a pimp. I guess a women would have to write that book.
Published 3 days ago by Kiesha
2.0 out of 5 stars Roller Coaster
I am over joyed to finally be done with this book. It was an interesting story but not my type of read. I think the material just didn't interest me. Read more
Published 3 days ago by B. Ballard
3.0 out of 5 stars Mastering Pimpology
"Pimp" is an interesting and vivid account of Iceberg Slim's obsession with mastering the pimp game to make a name for himself. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Ebony EyeCU Reading
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This book was in excellent condition. I can't wait to read it again.
Published 7 days ago by Boho Chic
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book
Published 8 days ago by Lorelyn Zaragoza
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Deal
This is very real writing from someone who has lived the life, a very tough life that a lot of black people have to go through when you are born in the hood and think there is no... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Charles E. Rey
4.0 out of 5 stars It was a good read. Had a lot of slang in it ...
Story was very interesting. It was a good read. Had a lot of slang in it but that placed you in the shoes of his life. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Tony McNeal
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing story. Worth the read.
Published 16 days ago by SoCALgirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 18 days ago by amanda woods
4.0 out of 5 stars so far good.
I am still reading it. so far good.
Published 23 days ago by luscious lady
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More About the Author

Iceberg Slim, also known as Robert Beck, was born in Chicago in 1918 and was initiated into the life of the pimp at age 18. He briefly attended the Tuskegee Institute but dropped out to return to the streets of the South Side, where he remained, pimping until he was 42. After several stints in jail he decided to give up the life and turned to writing, crafting most famously his autobiographical classic, Pimp: The Story of My Life. He died in 1992.

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