By Chris Bunton
Pimp: The Story of My Life, written by Robert Beck, A.K.A Iceberg Slim, was one of the best street crime books I have read. It was very well written and flowed like a dream. It kept you turning pages and interested throughout.
Not only was the book good. But the history that goes with it is also fascinating.
Iceberg Slim lived the life of a pimp from the 40’s through the 50’s and 60’s till he “retired”. Then, he started writing books. His books came on the scene and revolutionized street literature and black writing. He told a story that wasn’t told, and then went on to tell those stories through fiction novels.
His work has impacted the lives of many famous artists black and white alike.
He was born in Chicago, in 1918. He started learning to become a pimp around the age of 18 and lived that life in Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, and even moved out to Seattle for a time. He tells the gritty truth of the street, and doesn’t hold back. He talks about dealing with the stresses of the job, and his times in jail, including an escape.
His book is a must read for the criminologist, True Crime aficionado, or black history buff and activist.
Iceberg Slim retired from pimping at the age of 42. He died in 1992, having written 7 novels and been involved with interviews and non-fiction works that tell the tales of the street.
“[In Pimp], Iceberg Slim breaks down some of the coldest, capitalist concepts I’ve ever heard in my life.” —Dave Chappelle, from his Nextflix special The Bird Revelation
“Pimp sent shockwaves throughout the literary world when it was published in 1969. Iceberg Slim’s autobiographical novel offered readers a never-before-seen account of the sex trade, and an unforgettable look at the mores of Chicago’s street life during the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. In the preface, Slim says it best, “In this book, I will take you, the reader, with me into the secret inner world of the pimp.” An immersive experience unlike anything before it, Pimp would go on to sell millions of copies, with translations throughout the world. And it would have a profound impact upon generations of writers, entertainers, and filmmakers, making it the classic hustler’s tale that never seems to go out of style.”—-From the Amazon page.
A Documentary about Iceberg Slim can be found HERE.
Bio: Chris Bunton is a Writer, Poet and Blogger from Southern Illinois.