Iceberg Slim Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Pimp (1969) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Long White Con (1977) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Trick Baby (1979) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death Wish (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mama Black Widow (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Naked Soul of Iceberg Slim (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doom Fox (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shetani's Sister (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Airtight Willy and Me (1985) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The story of this ‘Black’ American writer who started his carrier at the age of 18 as a pimp is something to look forward. Iceberg Slim, who is also known as Robert Beck was born in the year 1918, on 4th August. His adventurous journey of life was reflected in his novels. His first attempt at the age of 43 was enough to be a renowned name in the world of writers. The writer was born in Chicago and spent the childhood in Wisconsin, Milwaukee and Illinois. After that, he returned to Chicago as his mother thought that it was the best option after his father left them. He himself accepted that his mother was strong enough to earn a living for them. She gave him almost all the privileges that a middle class kid would have and that was quite rare at that time.

The writer got involved into the profession of a pimp at the age of 18. His frosty temperament in the business and slim figure earned him the name Iceberg Slim. In his autobiography, he has openly admitted that as a pimp he was ruthless and a hard manager. After getting into the prison and serving for 10 months he realized that he was too old for pimping. Then, he moved to Los Angeles in 1961 and started a new life with Betty Shue. The woman became the wife of her three daughters. He changed his name as Robert Beck and started to work as a salesman of insecticide. According to Beck, His wife inspired and encouraged him to write about his life. He liked this idea of writing a novel. At the start he thought to do it in collaboration, but he realized that he can gain lots of loyalty from the book and changed his mind. The sales figure over 2 million copies indicates that it was indeed a good decision. He inspired many black writers and rappers like Ice T and Ice Cube. They changed their names as a part of their homage to this terrific black writer. His biography ‘Pimp’ inspired a documentary in the year 2012. The documentary was named “Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp”. The documentary showed the journey of the writer from a pimp in Chicago to the writer of 7 fascinating novels that was sold worldwide. His second novel Trick Baby was also turned into a film that was also named as per the book. The book was released in 1973 by Universal Pictures. The film was directed by Larry Yust. The film went on to collect a whooping $ 11,000,000 in the US Market. This interesting personality died on April 28, in the year 1992. He was 72, high diabetes and a liver failure was the cause of his death. The biggest reason behind the success of Iceberg Slim was his ability to connect with the Black Youth. They are still able to connect with his stories and that is what made Iceberg Slim, a youth icon.

His first book ‘Pimp’ was published in the year 1967. The thing that was best about this book was he never tried to glamorize his past and his profession. He also changed the names of his friend as most of them was alive at that time. This is why his pimp friend who committed suicide later on was turned into Sweet Jones from Baby Bells. Satin, the notorious drug dealer of that time became Glass Top. The Personal experience of the writer helped him to stay ahead of his contemporary writers. He was aware of the brutality and the dangers of the underworld of that time. This gave him the advantage to portray the first hand reality of the underworld that he was once a part of. The book gave a sight into the world of ‘Black Pimps’. It was first of its kind. The writer showed how the oppression of the white dominated society pushed the black boys to pimping and drug dealing. The whole book has shown the reality of the streets and the black life. The interesting thing about this book is Iceberg never tried to justify him. He just opened the stories of that time, the streets of Chicago. He tells you about the pros of that life, like money, girls and the hard earned respect, but soon you also get to know the dangers. This duality of this book is the thing that encourages the readers. As a reader, one will soon get the feeling of the life of a pimp in that era. One will soon understand how dangerous and terrible the life was at that time. It is like a visit to a particular side of history and it becomes special when it is coming from a man who has lived that history.

The second novel “Trick Baby” is something enjoyable and depressing at the same time. In this novel Iceberg also portrays his life history, but this time more on a personal note and third person view. The book tells about Johnny O’Brien, who is raised by his black mother and a father who was white. His father left him in the childhood. His mother suffers a brutal gang rape and lives her life in a mental asylum. The real story starts when Johnny meets a guy who is termed as ‘Blue’ because of his pale skin. This black partner who looks like a white guy gives Johnny the confidence to con the larger groups. They soon began a journey full of tricks and dangers. The novel centers on this journey and gets funny at different parts. Soon you will understand the loneliness that are deeply rooted in this journey. The drama, the dangers they bring on themselves in the quest to survive tells about the darker sides about that time. In this whole novel Iceberg doesn’t justify their doings, he just describes those with an open heart. The book gives a close view of the street laws that ruled that era. You understand how white folks had the upper hand and how they were handled by the black people. The street language and real locations make the book an experience that is true from its essence.

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