cover image Street Poison: The Biography of Iceberg Slim

Street Poison: The Biography of Iceberg Slim

Justin Gifford, read by J.D. Jackson. HighBridge Audio, unabridged, 9 CDs, 10.5 hrs., $34.99 ISBN 978-1-62231-765-3

Robert Beck, aka Iceberg Slim, author of the megabestselling memoir Pimp and one of the most influential black writers of the 20th century, is given reverential treatment in this well-researched biography. Gifford traces Beck’s story from his childhood in Chicago during the depression, through a life of petty crime and his pimping in the 1940s and ’50s, to his flash of fame as an author and cult voice to a generation, and through his eventual decline, though he retained an air of dignity and garnered respect from those around him. Voice actor Jackson brings a solid presence to his reading. His clear, well-articulated narration keeps Beck’s story moving at a steady pace, and he transitions easily into a street voice for quotations from Beck’s interviews and writing. The book is a fascinating look at a writer who, despite his millions of sales, is little known by the general public but whose influence is still being felt today. A Doubleday hardcover. (Aug.)