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Pimp by Iceberg Slim

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Pimp by Iceberg Slim is a savagely honest autobiographical story by a man who was fully immersed in the cut-throat world of pimping. Iceberg lays bare the disgusting world of prostitution in all its ugliness and allure in his own words. He begins the story of his life in the 1920’s when America was radically different from now. It was a time when the race divisions cut deep into the social flesh of this country. Iceberg grows up fast to the realities of racism, destitution, drug abuse, and crime. By his late teens, Iceberg is out on the streets turning out young girls into prostitutes.

This book is dripping with the sleaziness of the streets. It’s a deeply psychological and graphic account of how the pimping game works behind the scenes. You can feel his mind at work, scheming on how to get the most money, how to break the most hoes, and keep it all together in his head. His words cut the reader’s brain like a switchblade that had been used to chop a line of cocaine. Iceberg doesn’t tell his story asking for forgiveness. It’s not a plea for help. He tells it because he lived it, and it’s a story that should not fall into obscurity. Pimp isn’t just his story; it’s a part of American history that will always be shamefully brushed under the rug.

Pimp is the book on American pimping. This book is perfect for anyone who enjoys biographies, crime literature, noir, minority literature, and radical American history. While this book gets plenty of readerships in select circles, Iceberg slim is a bit of an underground writer. He is an amazing writer who creates fire out of printed words. Still, because of his back ground, style, and subject matter, the literary world has denied him access into its pristine halls. It’s alright, this book, like its writer, is rough enough to survive outside in the cold streets.

Iceberg Slim smoking pipe

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Bangkok Express is a bloody good ride

Indie pulp writer James A. Newman gives us a guided tour into the criminal underground of Bangkok, Thailand in Bangkok Express. It’s a tropical pulp fiction with an international cast of characters caught in a spider web of corruption–with coldblooded murder for cash at the center. Newman’s depiction of Bangkok makes the city come alive in all its beautiful savagery. It is a strange place that is both burning with poverty and drowning with dirty money. There’s no such thing as corruption in Bangkok. You either swim with the sharks or get eaten by piranhas. No money means no mercy. Bangkok, baby, hope you’re ready.

The book opens up with one of the most uniquely depicted murder scenes I’ve ever read. Newman portrays the act of murder in a way that I can only refer to as a work of art. It’s a style in which panic, adrenaline, fear, and confusion exist in a vacuum. From the first chapter, I knew I was hooked on this savage tale. This book is definitely a fast-paced thriller, and the only time you ever get to relax is in some sleazy sex mall with Thai ladyboys offering a cheap walk on the wild side. Or perhaps you would care for a comfy couch and a little heroine? Fear in Loathing in Bangkok, why not? This book definitely has that Hunter Thompson “gonzo” quality.

I especially enjoyed the brand of characters that were caught up in the mix. Together they formed just the right formula for everything to go to hell in a hand basket. Put a couple million British pounds up for grabs, and let the backstabbing begin. In some ways, Bangkok Express is a bit of a demented comedy. There’s some character dialogue that really captures the essence of dark humor that pulp fiction is loved for. How Newman’s characters manage a good laugh with a gun shoved in their faces is commendable. Although the plot can get a little tricky with so many players off completing their piece of the puzzle, the story stays tight and never becomes messy (that is until somebody’s brain gets a bullet massage).

I’d recommend this book to all you crime lovers out there. All the sick minds that can appreciate murder with a little bit of irony sprinkled over it and a splash of tropical paradise. The book does push the cheese factor on a few occasions, but I guess things just have their own way of unfolding in Bangkok. Newman lives in Thailand; he’s seen (and done) some stuff that we can only guess. It’s that firsthand experience that gives Bangkok Express that genuine gritty authenticity. Sniff hard enough and you can suck in the smells of diesel fumes and fresh mangos, and have the pink glare of neon lights softly stinging your eyes. According to his bio on bangkokbooks.com, he’s currently working on another book while awaiting the apocalypse. Now that’s the kind of attitude that produces books worth reading.

James A. Newman

Bangkok Express can be found at bangkokbooks.com and amazon.com. His books are available in paperback and for e-format. He has also written other pulp works Bangkok City, Lizard City, and his short story collection Thailand After Dark.

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