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Too Real To Put Down
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.