52 pick up: May update!

A weak month in terms of finished books, but that’s partly because I only half-finished some stuff.  It’s also because I had about half a week where I didn’t feel like reading.  Ah well, the important thing is that I’m on track to hit my target.

22. The Hot Rock by Donald E. Westlake

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A stone cold classic from Westlake.  I’d also seen the brilliant movie adaptation with Robert Redford, so this one held few surprises.  It was fun nonetheless and at least now I’ve got the ball rolling with reading his Dortmunder books.

23. Pimp: The Story Of My Life by Iceberg Slim

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This was a probelmatic book for me, but easily the most interesting thing I read this month.  I don’t think I have ever read a more misogynistic book than this autobiography.  The pimping code is shocking by any standards, built as it is upon systematic exploitation using a combination of mental and physical abuse.  The intricacies of this abuse system are detailed with unflinching honesty and that is possibly enough to make it compelling.  However, it’s the introspection in the writing which elevates it to something beyond simple schlock.  For Iceberg Slim, the enduring legacy of a ghetto lifestyle is regret, shame and guilt.

Almost as good as Edward Bunker’s Mr Blue, which I read earlier this year.  Almost.

24. A Killing In Comics by Max Allan Collins

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The first part in a trilogy of books starring Jack and Maggie Star, comic strip publishers with a penchant for solving murder mysteries.  I read the third part in the trilogy last month and it was good enough for me to want to read more.

This one was less predictable than Seduction of the Innocent, but otherwise it really felt like more of the same.

25. Honey In His Mouth by Lester Dent

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Lester Dent is the man behind Doc Samson.  This was a decent noir tale about a small-time crook hired to take the place of a South American dictator.

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