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4.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,388 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
From one of the most revolutionary writers of the 20th century, the uncensored and gritty novel that inspired today's street lit and hip hop culture.

"After my ninth birthday I began to really understand the meaning of my name. I began to understand just what my mother was doing for a living. There was nothing I could do about it, but even had I been able to, I wouldn't hav
Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 1st 2007 by Holloway House (first published 1972)
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Tisha London
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
Ama Major
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
(view spoiler) ...more
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
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.

Cat Ellington
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The extraordinary, gut-wrenching tale of the son of a prostitute who resorts to a life of bloodlust in the criminal slums of Detroit—the author's Nativity.

I actually read Whoreson a few weeks after I'd completed Dopefiend.

Goines was literary genius.
May 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good writing, interesting story, but a little too gritty for my taste.
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
Jul 19, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
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.
Darcia Scates
Sep 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
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.
Jun 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book gave insight about prostitution...and it blew me away of all the other elemnts that was going on.
Nyisha Clements
Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!!!
Simon Shimmy
Jul 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Keili Rae
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The storyline was good and moved along fairly quickly but the ending, even though it wasn't the happiest was a part 'fairy-tale' ending that kind of annoyed me.
Whoreson, who was named for his mothers type of employment grew up in poverty learning how to survive on his wits in the lifestyle he was born into. Through many ups and downs he learned about himself but nothing seemed to evolve beyond lying, cheating and stealing until the ending which seemed to tidy for me when I read a book about this
D.E. Eliot
A masterly disturbing depiction of the pimp life in the 60's. It's fast-paced and even if you're not a fan of Urban Fiction you'll still be engaged enough to keep reading. There's not a lot of character building in this story but honestly there isn't any one character in this entire novel you really want or need to get to know. Donald Goines is at his best with this one but you have been warned
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audibles
The Jungle Creed says the Strong must feed on any Prey at hand, I was branded a Beast and sat at a feast before I was a man.

This read is harsh, but most know Goines is not for the fainthearted.
Monique Jackson
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michael Cook Jr.
This blew my mind when I first read it. Dopefiend was close to my life but this was just something else
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
Jan 06, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Cheryl Durham
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Carl Schramer
Feb 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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in search of book club questions 1 9 Aug 20, 2013 01:48PM  
  • Trick Baby
  • The Naked Soul of Iceberg Slim
  • Low Road: The Life and Legacy of Donald Goines
  • Street Dreams
  • Dutch (Dutch Trilogy, #1)
  • Home Wrecker
  • White Lines (White Lines #1)
  • Harlem Girl Lost
  • The Reason Why
  • Blow
  • Notorious (Notorious #2)
  • Money, Power, Respect
  • Insatiable
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
More about Donald Goines...

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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.” 9 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.” 4 likes
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