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Book Title: Daddy Cool|
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Reader ratings: 4.2
The author of the book: Donald Goines
Edition: Holloway House
Date of issue: June 1st 2000
ISBN 13: 9780870678776
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 724 KB
Read full description of the books:
Mack Daddy for the Ages
Back in 1974, young men used to read books like Daddy Cool and The School on 103rd Street. These cult books were the literary equivalent of blaxploitation movies: stories of black action heroes (usually hardened street warriors like pimps, dealers, or hit men) who were trying to get one over on the Man (represented by racist cops, government stooges, or corrupt politicians). A whole generation of inner-city youths cut teeth on these pulp fiction thrillers, yet the authors and books remain unknown outside the ghetto.
With the reissue of these classics by Old School Books (W. W. Norton), Original Gangster literature moves from the ghetto slum to the buppie enclave. In "serious" literary circles, ghetto stars such as Iceberg Slim and Chester Himes are now referred to as "urban realists." Consider yourself warned.
This genre exists in an amoral universe, where "good guys" are sometimes hardened criminals, and by the last page the heroes usually meet a violent end. One of the most popular cult writers was Donald Goines, a heroin addict and ex-con whose 16 books chronicled the brutal and desperate lives of addicts, hustlers, and pimps. Goines's books have remained in print, but Daddy Cool is his first novel to be given the trade paperback treatment.
Although hugely popular, Goines was far from a master prose stylist. Many of his books have hollow characters and laughable plots. His finest book, by far, was this novel about Larry Jackson, better known as Daddy Cool.
Although he's the best hired killer money can buy, even Daddy Cool isn't safe from domestic trouble. He's got two lazy stepsons who've turned stickup men, a wife he's outgrown and barely tolerates, and a beloved daughter who's left home to live with her boyfriend, a young pimp on the make. It's taken a toll on Daddy Cool and thrown off his game. A routine assignment, for example, results in the deaths of his mark and an unexpected witness. Things get even worse when he discovers his daughter has started working the streets for her boyfriend.
In Daddy Cool, Goines's plot makes up for his bare-bones writing style. He manages to do the unthinkable: take a standard blaxploitation stereotype and make him into a believable character. Here's the scene where Daddy Cool spots his daughter plying her trade:
"Oh, Daddy," she cried; then the floodgates opened and all the pent-up emotions she had been holding back came spilling out. Daddy Cool leaned over and took his daughter in his arms. She cried as though her heart was broken.
As he held her tenderly, he had to fight down a lump that came into his throat. He stroked the back of her head and spoke gently to her. "Now, girl, it ain't nothin' that bad, is there? I know I raised a girl who could just about handle everything that came up."
Goines manages to walk the line between heartfelt sentiment and melodrama. Best of all, he fully explores the complex interrelationships of his characters. And don't worry, there's still plenty of tough gangsta stylin' and explosive violence to make hard-core gangsta rappers look like stone-cold punks.
And in a broader sense, Daddy Cool and the other Old School Books titles are important historical and cultural markers for African Americans. Norton deserves acknowledgement for rescuing these otherwise abandoned treasures.
Originally published over a 21-year period (1957-1978), these books and authors fell just outside the limelight created by the Black Arts Movementthat 1960s literary/political movement that advanced social engagement as its banner toward liberation. Eschewing the accommodationist literature of civil rights, the Black Arts Movement aspired only to black power. Among its early progenitors were writers Tom Dent, Ishmael Reed, Larry Neal, and Rosa Guy and poets Dudley Randall and Amiri Baraka, the movement's acknowledged founder. The literary movement coalesced in 1965, holding tightly together until 1975-1976.
But Old School Books authors found themselves in a double bind. As a genre, they were dependent on acceptance by the established politic for finance and publication. The New Negro Movement and glow of the Harlem Renaissance had long passed, and the perceived value of African-American fiction was minimal.
The Black Arts Movement, ignited by performance poetry spoken in popular rhetoric and vernacular, sparked mass appeal. While poetry flourished (the Last Poets, Haki Madhubuti, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Gwendolyn Brooks), black fiction took a back seat. Simultaneously, as the Black Arts Movement spoke of community and liberation, the themes addressed by Old School authors made them politically incorrect pariahs: "Player and hustlers...mack daddies and racketeers...cops on the take and girls on the make" reads one introduction.
Apparently, time has rehabilitated (and exonerated) these authors, now warmly embraced in the hip-hop era. "They take the brutality and ruin of the urban black landscape and transform them into art," says The Source. In Old School Books, one can find a dramatic recounting of black life on the hard track. Welcome back.
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Read information about the authorDonald 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 period he got hooked on heroin. When he returned to Detroit from Japan, he was a heroin addict.
The next 15 years from 1955 Goines spent pimping, robbing, stealing, bootlegging, and running numbers, or doing time. His seven prison sentences totaled 6.5 years. While in jail in the 1960s he first attempted to write Westerns without much success - he loved cowboy movies. A few years later, serving a different sentence at a different prison, he was introduced to the work of Iceberg Slim (Robert Beck). This time Goines wrote his semi-autobiographical novel Whoreson, which appeared in 1972. It was a story about the son of a prostitute who becomes a Detroit ghetto pimp. Also Beck's first book, Pimp: The Story of My Life (1967), was autobiographical. Goines was released in 1970, after which he wrote 16 novels with Holloway House, Iceberg Slim's publisher. Hoping to get rid of surroundings - he was back on smack - he moved with his family to the Los Angeles ghetto of Watts.
All of Goines's books were paperback originals. They sold well but did not receive much critical attention. After two years, he decided to return to Detroit. Goines's death was as harsh as his novels - he and his wife were shot to death on the night of October 21, 1974. According to some sources Goines's death had something to do with a failed drugs deal. The identity of the killers remained unknown, but there were reports of "two white men". Posthumously appeared Inner City Hoodlum (1975), which Goines had finished before his death. The story, set in Los Angeles, was about smack, money, and murder.
The first film version of Goines's books, Crime Partners (2001), was directed by J. Jesses Smith. Never Die Alone (1974), about the life of a drug dealer, was filmed by Ernest R. Dickerson, starring DMX. The violent gangsta movie was labelled as "junk masquerading as art."
During his career as a writer, Goines worked to a strict timetable, writing in the morning, devoting the rest of the day to heroin. His pace was furious, sometimes he produced a book in a month. The stories were usually set in the black inner city, in Los Angeles, New York or Detroit, which then was becoming known as 'motor city'. In Black Gangster (1972) the title character builds a "liberation" movement to cover his planned criminal activities. After this work Goines started to view the social and political turmoil of the ghetto as a battlefield between races.
Under the pseudonym Al C. Clark, Goines created a serial hero, Kenyatta, who was named after the 'father of Kenya', Jomo Kenyatta. The four-book series, beginning with Crime Partners (1974), was published by Holloway House. Kenyatta is the leader of a militant organization which aims at cleaning American ghettos of drugs and prostitution. All white policemen, who patrol the black neighborhoods, also are his enemies. Cry Revenge! (1974) tells of Curtis Carson, who is tall, black, and used to giving orders. He becomes the nightmare of the Chicanos, who have crushed his brother. Death List (1974) brings together Kenyatta, the powerful ganglord, Edward Benson, an intelligent black detective, and Ryan, his chisel-faced white partner, in a war against a secret list of drug pushers. In the fourth book, Kenyatta's Last Hit (1975), the hero is killed in a shootout.
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