Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Pimp - Iceberg Slim Review

Review of Iceberg Slim's semi-biographical work 1967: Pimp

Relentless from the first disturbing page to the jailhouse revelation Slim gets by the end.
Very well written with intelligent use of metaphor - which is just as well because a more direct application of language would make many scenes unreadable with their brutality.
One criticism may be that each chapter seems to be based around one particular brutal episode - normally involving a women. But I guess it was a way for him to structure.
It also has that problematic ambiguity of gangster rap - used a lot by Ice T named after slim. Is the misogynistic violence sexual and actual being exposed or celebrated. There were some parts where I actually didnt know.
However as the afterword from a black female writer puts it -it shows elements of African American male culture which had been ignored or idealised by some in the past.
Read it in very nicely laid out new edition with foreword from Irvie Welsh and you can see the influence with a number of scenes seeming to be lifted directly into his work.
Shocking but readable.

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