Re: RARA-AVIS: Donald Goines

Dave (
Sat, 23 Jan 1999 12:56:24 -0800 I must echo your sentiments about "Dopefiend." I was alternately
repulsed and impressed, but the sheer power and craft of the book was
undeniable. It's a rare book in which every chapter could stand by
itself as a short story, but I think "Dopefiend" fits that criteria.

I also was blown away when I read it, and I turned many people onto it
-- it's a completely lurid read, but so real and macabre. You get a real
sense of the darkness that engulfs the drug world, as well as the
perverse behavior that accompanies it, especially the process of
"turning someone out." (Usually a woman.) Plus, Goines invents one of
most evil heavies of all time in the dope dealer "Porky."

Though I can think of some true autobiographies that are powerful
stories about addiction, "Dopefiend" is one of the best fictions -- and
it is completely unsentimental! Still, as Goines' first book, much about
it is probably autobiographical. But my instinct tells me that
"Whoreson," which I think is his second book, is probably even closer to
his own experience, although I can't be sure. BTW, Holloway House, (note
correct spelling!) has a "rip-off" bio called "Donald Writes No More,"
that is basically a plug for their editions of Goines and Iceberg Slim.

Gina, I'm impressed that you're appreciating Goines. Not to me sexist
about it, but I know few women who'd even read him, much less be
impressed by him.


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