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4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  1,085 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Donald Goines takes the reader into the violent world of ghetto prostitution. Whoreson Jones, the novel's hero, is the son of a beautiful black prosititute and an unknown white john. By the age of sixteen, he is a fully- fledged pimp, cold blooded, ruthless. Written in gritty street talk, Whoreson's story affords a startling glimpse into the hell of the inner city, yet bri ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 1st 2007 by Holloway House (first published 1972)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,248)
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Tisha London
This book is amazing, it grasped my attention from the first page. I love how it tells a story. It starts off as his mom being pregnant with him, by A white man who paid her for sex. This is how he got the name "Whoreson" because he was the son of A whore. This story is told magnificently. It covers all of the stages of his life. There is even some psychology in this book. As he grows older he falls in love with A woman who resembles his mother. He also becomes A pimp. There are parts in this st ...more
Mark Desrosiers
The title character (yes that's his given name, guess what his mother does for a living) is nasty, brutish, and tall. He's biracial. He's got an enormous tool of reproduction and curly/wavy hair. His lifelong dream is to be a pimp, and he achieves this dream, but at a price. And... that's pretty much all you get as far as character development, quite an achievement given that Whoreson narrates the entire thing.

So, I wish I could have liked this one more, but despite the ultraviolence and hilari
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Kim (aka "Kim BookJunkie")
I would give this 3.5 out of 5 if I could have. Overall, I was pretty disappointed by this book. It tells the story of a young boy raised in the streets. He tells us about various adventures and struggles he injurers yet most of his stories are just mediocre with nothing extraordinary. Basically, because he had no positive role models, he was a selfish, self-centered, money hungry jerk. He even borders on sociopathic at times, only showing leaving moments of empathy and insight into his wrongdoi ...more
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This was Donald Goines's second published novel. Like Dopefiend, his first published novel, it's a vivid, unsentimental, rough-hewn story of ghetto life. Unlike Dopefiend, however, I didn't find it as compelling. Part of it might have been the first-person narration. For the most part, the reader only gets the perspective of the novel's protagonist, Whoreson Jones, and after the halfway mark, I got tired of his small-mindedness, violence, greed, and inability to learn from his mistakes. I wanted ...more
Ama Major
I really struggled with this book. While it was a great read, I found myself struggling with the fact that I was rooting for a pimp??

Donald really left it open for how the reader should feel, he didn't seem to want to push the reader to feel bad for or to think against the antagonist. He simply put it all out there raw and let you come up with your own emotions.

Without giving away too much of the plot I will just say this I didn't feel the main character redeemed himself until the last 3 or 4 p
Bill Magill
Read it because a friend recommended. Pretty trashy, moderately entertaining. Not bad, but not exactly my kind of book. Apparently the author actually lived in the ghetto, so it was kind of interesting to peek in and see what really happens. Not sure exactly how much, if any, he exaggerated.
Wynne Kontos
I had purchased this book before a client told me it was one of his favorites. This client borrows several of the books I keep in my office, and after his endorsement and finishing Iceberg Slim's "Pimp," I was excited to read my first novel by Donald Goines.
I'd previously read an excerpt of Goines' "Dopefiend," a descriptive, difficult to imagine scene in a trap house. "Whoreson" is a little easier, but still chronicled disadvantaged men acting badly.

Whoreson is exactly as he's named, done purpo
So yea what would make me read this LOL..It was kinda a dare, a research effort and just another notch in my quest to read everything I can get my hands on and I realized after talking with my library friends that I have never read a Donald Goines novel..I have heard of him often, see his books all the time and even may find a few tattered novels in my daddy’s book collection but from his ghetto instaclassics of Dopefiend, Kenyatta’s Escape and Black Girl Lost I have not read any of them..hmm an ...more
Cheryl Durham
Oct 03, 2014 Cheryl Durham rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adult Readers
Recommended to Cheryl by: Book Club List
There was a time when I would read books by Donald Goines on a regular basis. That was some time ago. I did not want to read this book. But, because of my commitment to the Book Club I did. It, like all of his writings, are harsh and isn't for everyone. I, however, think that every now and again it's okay to pick up an old read and peruse it. I'm glad it was on the list.

Donald Goines depicts a story of a young ghetto pimp. The youngster was born and cultivated to live a life on the street. His
With the tag "America's #1 Best-Selling Black Author" stamped across the top of this book, I expected something different from Whoreson.

Unlike Robert Beck aka Iceberg Slim, Goines does little to make me root for his character. Here he creates a man with all the tools to succeed at what he wants, but at the same time, nothing about the character makes me feel any sympathy towards him or his troubles, which for the most part, he seems to create with his destructive behavior.

Read Pimp instead.
Nardsbaby Reader

DANG!!!! Pimpin' is so hustling. I guess it was the first hustle but to have your mother name you according to conception then to teach you "The Art of Pimping!" I like how detailed this story was, and how he shows you each step he wasn't a master pimp he took steps.
Donald Goines is a brilliant writer the best stories come from within.

Bill DeGenaro
Goines' work is pretty brutal stuff, verging on exploitation. Often cited as an influence by hip hop stars, he writes gritty stories about crime and addiction. Think "The Wire" but way pulpier. Must reading for anyone interested in Detroit writers and ways the city gets represented in fiction.
Darcia Scates
I would give this book a triple five star rating. The conversations and the characters are so realistic, that you would swear this story really took place. Donald Goines stands alone as a legend in this genre. Buy this book, and buy more for your friends.
This book is one of my all time favorites, because of its raw content and the author's extreme visual usage of words the book read like a movie, i could not put it down and found myself still visualizing the scenes in my head days after finishing it.
Jun 11, 2009 Ezraela-Bat rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: To all
I used to own this book, it was one of the best books I have ever read, it didn't help any that the book was stolen from me. The character in this book made me smh, goes to show you how anyone can turn bad in certain circumstances.
Simon Shimmy
One of the few urban fictions I ever read. Donald Goines is able to bring reader into the real ghetto, not the one you will only see in rap videos.
Nyisha Clements
Whew!!! Man this won't allow you to go to sleep. I promise you'll want to finish the book before going to bed. Excellent book!!!
This book gave insight about prostitution...and it blew me away of all the other elemnts that was going on.
I had great hopes for this one but for me it was a big disappointment. I just couldn't get past the unbelievably idea that a mother would call her baby Whoreson - even with post natal depression. I kept thinking, really! I mean really! Especially since the description of his childhood showed she clearly loved him despite their circumstance and her fucked up values. She would have definitely changed his name early on in his youth. Why she as a working girl would think it important to tutor her so ...more
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Sarah Hamilton
While the main character is a rough and tough pimp, the son of a whore, I still found myself rooting for him. I wanted him to change his tune. The book is gruesome. Whoreson cuts no one any slack because he wasn't cut any himself. I was a little let down by the ending. I felt it was really rushed. It didn't tie much up for me. I wanted more, but it definitely won't be the last Goines book I read as I have already bought two more.
Carl Schramer
I felt like the Black Writer Donald Goines, showed very little sexuality, and more violence in the main character's world. Whoreson Jones, the son of a Black prostitute named Jesse, and an unknown Whitejohn, shows anger and resentment about his name, and his lifestyle. I learned that in Goines's novel, a pimps world, isn't so glamourous, as currently portrayed by Black Urban (Street) writers. I also learned to feel sorry, for Jesse, the young Black Prostitute, and for her son Whoreson. Woreson, ...more
Marty Babits
If you get hooked on Goines hard-boiled atmospheres, you'll find this fits the bill fine. Maybe not one of his greatest but solid for what it is.
Anita Dawson
I love Donald Goines, the original author of street lit...The story of a ghetto pimp. What else was he destined to do after his mother named him Whoreson. We watch the character grow as he faces street challenges. As he learns the hustle game, he crosses paths with so many people in the game, many that did not have his back. He learns that this game is about money and not loyalty.
Lady Layne
It was an awesome book Donald Goines inspired to become a writer myself
L'oreal Jackson
If you read at least one of his novels then you will definitely love them all.
The ending ruined an otherwise strong read.
Great book
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in search of book club questions 1 8 Aug 20, 2013 01:48PM  
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Donald Goines was born in Detroit to a relatively comfortable family - his parents owned a local dry cleaner, and he did not have problems with the law or drugs. Goines attended Catholic elementary school and was expected to go into his family's laundry business. Instead Goines enlisted in the US Air Force, and to get in he had to lie his age. From 1952 to 1955 he served in the army. During this p ...more
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“Pimping is an art, Whoreson. There are very few pimps in this world who can really take the title of being a pimp. Just because a man gets his money from a whore, that don't make him no true pimp. Real pimps are really rare.” 4 likes
“When I was three years old and in my mother's arms, she looked down at me and said, "Son, the way I'm taking care of you now, when you get old, always have a woman to take care of you like this." Dig this! All I'm goin' do is rest and dress, buy gasoline and lean. I'm goin' buy diamond rings and have the best of everything. I'm goin' pimp whores.” 2 likes
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