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on January 28, 2001
Reviewed by Zane for RAW SISTAZ BOOK CLUB
There are some books that seem partially real and then there are books that seem so real that they have you limbering somewhere between trepidation and awe. Such is the case with Whoreson. From the first chapter, I was hooked when I discovered that the main character's birth name was actually Whoreson. His mother, Jessie, a prostitute, selected that name after she gave birth to him less than an hour after turning a trick. Jessie, along with her mentor Big Mama, raised her son to do one thing: become a pimp. He studied it like an art form, learned from those he considered the masters, and got his Ph.D. in Pimpology. There are numerous women in this novel with low to non-existent self-esteem that allowed Whoreson to turn them into prostitutes when he was too young to even get a driver's license. Especially Boots, whom Whoreson meets while she is pregnant and still tricking for her rent. For those who have ever wondered what makes a person decide to stand on a street corner, whether male or female, and sell their bodies for money, this book offers a significant insight into their lives. This is not a pretty book, but being that the author lived the majority of it, makes it remarkable. Whoreson, a semi-autobiographical novel that Goines wrote while he was incarcerated at the Jackson Penitentiary, is a fictional masterpiece. In and out of jail seven times, Donald Goines was shot and killed in Detroit in 1974 while he sat at his typewriter working on his latest novel. Having sold upwards of 10 million books worldwide, even though he has been given very little recognition in American media, I truly believe that we lost one of the best AA authors in history too young and too tragically. I can only imagine how many other masterpieces he could have churned out, being that he wrote as many as eight in one year. There is no one to compare him to. To even attempt to compare him to another author would be an injustice. If you haven't been turned onto Donald Goines yet, you are missing a world of incredible literature.
I give Whoreson a 5 on the RAW Scale.
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on May 24, 2000
Whoreson is a great book, it is however explicit and harsh. But that keeps the book real. I would say this is my favorite Donald Goines book but I'd be lying because I liked "Black Girl Lost" and "Dopefiend" as much as I liked Whoreson. Whoreson was better though because it was a longer book. In the book Whoreson we get to see Whoreson grow up from a small boy into a "Man", why he was named Whoreson and why he was born a Pimp/street hustler. And that he really had no other choice in life. Thats all he knew. Something about Whoreson's character makes you like him even though he is ignorant as hell. There are lots of twists and turns, excitement as well as let downs that makes you just want to keep reading. As I said before it is a book for a mature reader as the sex and violence is harsh. I really enjoyed reading Donald Goines books and am reading "Black Gangster" and "Cry Revenge" right now so far they are worth the money I spent and exciting reads as well.
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on March 10, 1999
I have read all of Donald Goines' books, this one is by far my FAVORITE. The first time I read this book I was very young, at that time it was exciting because I knew that I shouldn't have been reading the book in the first place. (Kinda like sneaking and listening to Richard Pryor records when no one was around) I was amazed with the fast pace of the book and all of the underhandedness of the main character.
Once I got older I was able to appreciate the author's writing style. In all my years of reading I have never read anything that was as clear and concise as Mr. Goines' novels. His writing is so clear, its like you are apart of the story. Almost like the story is unfolding right before your very eyes. Not only do you feel as though you know each of the characters, you get a sense of familiarity of the surroundings. I have never been to Detroit MI, a day in my life. But I can envision each scene, each street corner, each alley and every building that was mentioned in this book.
I must say that not all writers have the capability of great story telling, nor do all writers have the capability of good writing style, well Mr. Goines had both.
This generations of writers seem to be patterning after the same style of writing and the same story line. Every once in a while we should step back in time and take a look at something original. Read something from someone with ingenuity and originality, someone who definitely had a flare for writing. And from a writer who wasn't afraid of telling his story the way he wanted it told. Maybe I am a little prejuiced, but damn that man could write !!!!!
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on August 1, 1999
This is the first and only book I've ever read by Goines. I had never even heard of him before. I just love to read books based on real life and how hard it can be. When I read "Whoreson" I literally did not put it down 'til I was finished (I was even caught a few times reading it at work). I was so impressed with Goines' work that I vowed I would someday have his entire collection of novels. I must say that I have read numerous books by various authors but Donald Goines is one author I will remember and speak about for yoears to come. His writing is absolutely excellent!
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on October 18, 2000
First of all I would like to say Donald Goines is the best author out there. I first heard about him listening to Bay Area Mobb Music. Then when I was in Korea I was put on to him. This book Whoreson is excellent. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a good story to read. All of Donald Goines' books are true to life. Anyone can relate to them, especially minorites. I recommend all 16 of his book. They are all 5 stars.
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on September 15, 1999
Whoreson is a book that really allows us to look at pimp life in the real prospective. I mean you would never image living like this unless this was the environment in which you have grown up in. This book, however, touches all african americans if you take the time to read it you will be amazed of the trial nd tribulations he dealt with and then the survival tactics that were displayed. This let's you know we can do anything. Some of us have came from the slums and we are running businesses, becoming successful authors,and so forth. So even if you are a whores son, KEEP YO HEAD UP!
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on June 5, 2014
-Slight Spoilers-

"Pimping is an art, Whoreson. There are very few pimps in this world who can really take the title of being a pimp. Just because a man gets his money from a whore, that don't make him no true pimp. Real pimps are really rare" - Donald Goines.

I never read a Donald Goines book, but always read and heard great things about his work since he's one of the first authors who started the street literature/urban fiction genre that inspired the likes of K'wan and Wahida Clark. I decided to start off reading Whoreson after reading many glowing reviews about it.

The main character Whoreson Jones is raised in the slums of Detroit by his mother Jessie who's a hooker. Jessie starts to groom him into a pimp but when she sincerely falls ill and dies he has to become a man at the age of sixteen. Using what his mother taught him, he ends up becoming a pimp. However he gets many lessons thrown his way. After serving a six year prison stint, he becomes vengeful and cunning after his release when he finds out his childhood friend Tony has copped his best and loyal hooker Boots once she is released a year or two before Whoreson. He's determined to seek revenge but he also wants Janet too. Janet is also from his old neighborhood but found a straighter path in life as a jazz singer. Janet is mistreated multiple times by Whoreson but she does want to be with him. The ending ends with perfection as Whoreson dirty games comes back to haunt him and he learns valuable lesson of his deceitful ways.

Great story here! Very entertaining and the pacing was smooth. Glad I kicked off my Goines experience with this book first.
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on February 10, 2013
This was really a great book. It keeps your attention this book was about a prostitute that had a son and she named him "Whoreson". He grows up knowing his mother profession. His mother got sick and he had to do what he had to do to help his mother. As he got older he wanted to be a pimp and that's just what he did, at the age of 16. He was mean. It also shows as he got older how his life was and how he use women to get what he wanted. If you haven't read this book please do you will really enjoy it.

Sistahs on Lit
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on March 1, 2003
I chose this book because a friend of mine recommended it to me. This was my first book by Donald Goines and I read it all in one day!!!!!!I opened this book and was sucked into the world of Whoreson,the half-white child of a prostitute. His story of the things that happened to him as he grew into a young pimp will be sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. His picture is vivid as you are taken on a journey through the poverty-stricken streets of the ghetto. I do not want to tell you the story and spoil it for you but I will say this: I GUARANTEE that you will enjoy this book and you will not want it to END. Do yourself a favor and purchase this book.
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on January 4, 2013
This is a very well written novel. And what makes it so exceptional is that it is based on real life events that the author witnessed during his lifetime.It is not a book full of the niceties of life, it follows the society of the sex industry in African America. Sad that one had to live this life, but it is a reality for many. Once you start reading the novel...it is hard to put down until you are finished.
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