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Doom Fox

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Overview

With books such as Trick Baby, Pimp, and Long White Con, Iceberg Slim detailed life in the American ghetto and became one of the secret inventors of the concept of cool. Ignored by the mainstream literary world, advertised by word of mouth, his underground classics crystallized the mixture of attitude and artistry that is found everywhere from blaxploitation to Bad Lieutenant, punk to hip-hop. Doom Fox -- written in 1978 and unpublished until now -- is the last in his legendary series. It is set in Los Angeles ...
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Overview

With books such as Trick Baby, Pimp, and Long White Con, Iceberg Slim detailed life in the American ghetto and became one of the secret inventors of the concept of cool. Ignored by the mainstream literary world, advertised by word of mouth, his underground classics crystallized the mixture of attitude and artistry that is found everywhere from blaxploitation to Bad Lieutenant, punk to hip-hop. Doom Fox -- written in 1978 and unpublished until now -- is the last in his legendary series. It is set in Los Angeles during the postwar decades and evokes a world of low-riding chippie-catchers, prizefighters, prostitutes, and smooth-talking irreligious preachers. Propelled by the story of Joe "Kong" Allen and his gorgeous, treacherous wife, Doom Fox incorporates elements of sex comedy, prison literature, and street fiction. At base, it is a dead-on exploration of the violent frustrations of life in a disenfranchised community.
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Editorial Reviews

Esquire
The adventures of underclass operators, hustlers, and survivors, from Defoe to Fielding to Fanny Hill. That's where Iceberg Slim's fictionalized accounts of his life fit, along with Jim Thompson or even the first and most exciting part of The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
Washington Post
Iceberg Slim did for the pimp what Jean Genet did for the thief.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A former pimp, ex-con and all around hustler, the late Iceberg Slim (ne Robert Beck) wrote a series of underground bestsellers presenting a harrowing vision of African American ghetto life, rife with crime and personal betrayal. Despite their often caricatured dialect and hyperbolically rendered sex and violence, many of his novels are redeemed by a core of social truth. This book, however, a ghetto farce written in 1978 and never published, contain very few truths of any kind. It is the story of a decent but simple-minded heavyweight contender, Joe Allen; his operatically dysfunctional family; and his sappy love for the beautiful and rather temptable Reba, his childhood "play sister." Among a large cast of ghetto stereotypes Slim presents Reba's conniving parents, the busted card shark Baptiste and his nymphomaniac wife, Phillipa, in a series of bombastic personal tragedies brought on by their own cartoonish character flaws. Joe hounds his philandering father into destitution and madness; marries Reba, who wantonly cheats on him; and finally lands in prison after murdering her lover. The writing is howlingly bad ("...the derby-hatted knight of his man-prince rears a blue-black awesome shadow..."); only Slim's fans will likely get a kick out of his excesses. The book's dubious introduction ("the life he describes is real") is by gangsta rapper Ice-T, who could easily be a character in an Iceberg Slim novel. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Originally written in 1978 but unpublished until now, this final work by Robert Beck--better known as Iceberg Slim (Trick Baby, Holloway House, 1996)--comes alive both as an ode to a romanticized ghetto underworld and as the last place one might find tragicomedy in its purest form. Boxer Joe "Kong" Allen yearns for Reba, who is engaged to the neglectful doctor-to-be Pretty Melvin. Joe's stepfather, Joe Senior, is reluctantly married to bitter matriarch Zenobia Allen while chasing "chippies" on the side. Reba's gambling father, Baptiste Rambea, lives in scorn of his ex-wife while dreaming of the ultimate score. Within a network of overlapping relationships, the men are cuckolds and the women fast and steadfast, while between the lines a furious postwar Los Angeles boasts lust, mayhem, and intrigue. Essential for enthusiasts and popular fiction collections.--Ahmad Wright, "Library Journal"
Kirkus Reviews
The revival of black pulp fiction no doubt explains the release of this previously unpublished work, written in 1978 by the notorious pimp-turned-poet of the streets (hustler name of Robert Beck, d.1992). Best known for his pulp classics, Trick Baby, Pimp, and Death Wish, Slim offers more of the same gritty world here in an inept plot and overwrought style. To further exploit the gangstaþ rap connection, Ice T (his own name an homage to Slim) was enlisted to introduce the volume; his laughable justification for criminality, his celebration of Slimþs authenticity (þa true playerþ), and his claim that Slim is some sort of moral exemplar for kidsþwell, you donþt have to be William Bennett to find it rather disingenuous. And the proof , of course, is in this mess of a book that piles hard-luck story on top of hard-luck story, and flies through time without a care. One sleazy character after anotherþhustlers, pimps, prostitutes, junkiesþenters the tale at the oddest moments, without regard for narrative coherence, though there is a unifying thread: the story of Joe þKongþ Allen, a pug-ugly prizefighter whose love of a beautiful neighbor leads to his eventual troubles and death. Episodic to a fault, the novel, set in South Los Angeles, pits good- hearted Joe against his first rival, the dandified, multiracial Melvin Steinberg, a þchippie crazy humperþ who eventually spurns the pregnant Reba, love of Joeþs life and herself the daughter of a nympho Creole woman and a card-shark transvestite. Wild subplots, meanwhile, are peopled by equally wild characters: Whispering Slim, a pimp with rhyming jive; the Rev.Felix, a child preacher who grows up to be a bisexual swinger and embezzler; and Roxie Johnson, the blond teenaged hooker whose seductions lead to Melvinþs murderous revenge. Slim tricks up his prose with patches of low-grade porn: his lame melodramatics are as offensive as his degrading view of women everywhere on display here.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802135889
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 160,875
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2001

    'The Real Deal From Pimp 2 Pimp'

    Yeah, this wasn'y really my type of flava but it is a good book. It's Icebergs' last know written book. everybody by now should be hip 2 PIMP, THE STORY OF MY LIFE & TRICKBABY etc....In my opinion Robert Beck A.K.A Iceberg is one of the best yet under rated writters. He not only writes bout' the world 'SQUARES' only see in moveis and read in fiction novels, but he brings in the that underworld that is very real back in the 20's 30's 40's 60's 70's and in now present time. They say even if all the buildings in the world fall, Pimpin' gonna be still standing tall.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2000

    the best in urban fiction

    this might be considered urban fiction but to many people this is urban reality. the flow on this novel was great, it moved perfectly from kong as a teenager into adult hood and the later years. kong might be someone everyone knows, he might even be you, just trying to get along while teh pressers of day to day life is drive him to the edge,but he is too smart and too tough to give in, but reba is the only thing keeping him from it when he gets locked up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2011

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