Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Doom Fox by Iceberg Slim

(pb; 1978, published in 1998)

From the back cover:

"Doom Fox is the last in Iceberg Slim's legendary series of underground novels. Written in 1978 and unpublished until now, Doom Fox is a tale of the Los Angeles ghetto that begins just after World War II and spans the next thirty years. In the no-holds-barred tradition of Chester Himes, Doom Fox captures a violent, vivid world of low-riding chippie-catchers, prizefighters, prostitutes, and smooth-talking preachers."


In Doom, Slim -- a.k.a Robert Beck -- once again serves up a wild-flavored brew of hardwired cynicism, sex, savagery, greed and street-level racism which pepper his characters' often explicit slang verbiage.

Doom centers around Joe Allen, Jr, a naive boxer, and the events and people that grace or curse his life (as well as those around them). The decades-traversing cyclical tragedy that defines their hardscrabble lives colors their outlooks, which are often expounded upon, in thought, action and politically incorrect dialogues.

Because of that latter element -- the characters' dialogues -- Doom runs a bit long, but it does not ruin this mostly entertaining read: it does, however, downgrade it from excellent to good. That said, this is worth purchasing, as good Slim writing is always distinctive and often better than many authors' best works.

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