42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
A nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there...,
This review is from: Pimp: The Story of My Life (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 naÔve 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.