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Mama Black Widow (2004)

Mama Black Widow (2004)

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4.09 of 5 Votes: 3
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0870679317 (ISBN13: 9780870679315)
holloway house

About book Mama Black Widow (2004)

Iceberg Slim tells the story of a family plagued with so many of the horrors that plague the urban neighborhoods. Poverty, prostitution, violence, murder, drug deals, and grittiness that few are able to explain in a way that others can understand are easily visualized as Iceberg Slim spins this tale. A homosexual young man is struck with the difficult question of whether the way his mother has treated him is the cause of his inability to become aroused with a woman. He struggles to grasp the understanding of her actions, actions that have led to death and distance within the family. When life has wreaked such havoc that it's only him and his mother left, a mother who manipulates everything in her power to keep him close, he finds the need to escape her grasp. There were times where the story was a bit drawn out, places that might have been trimmed a bit. Otherwise, this is a great depiction of life in the 'hood, a life that few people will ever experience or understand and that no one should ever live.

I'm coming down the home stretch of reading everything Iceberg Slim wrote, and I'm glad this one was saved for the endgame. I think I have one or two more left, and then I'm done.Like most of Slim's work, very few punches are pulled. As a matter of fact, I can't think of a single instance of Slim pulling a punch. He tells it like it is. I found PIMP to be one of the bleakest, most depressing books I've ever read, and MAMA BLACK WIDOW is cut from this cloth.One word that I've never heard used to describe Slim's writing, however, is: humane. I would like to suggest we start using this word for his work. Never once does he pass judgement on Otis in this book, never condemning his friend's lifestyle choices. Keep in mind this book was written in the 1960's and that fact becomes even more astounding.Highly recommended!

Do You like book Mama Black Widow (2004)?

This is a tough book to read but once you get through the first chapter and enter Otis' life you will find this a hard book to put down. Iceberg Slim provides a window into the life of a Black family that like so many others at that time joined the migration to the 'promised land', the North. They struggled to survive in the most difficult of circumstances. It is a tragedy but a real portrayal of the inhumane suffering that one family and others in their time in history in the Chicago ghetto sought to overcome.

When I read Iceberg Slim's book "Pimp" I was so intrigued by the subject matter of his book "Mama Black Widow" that I had to read it. Stylish and poetic, with a tragic twist, the story about Otis "Tilly" (Sally) Tilson, a glamorous drag queen struggling to survive in Chicago, Illinois is painful and graphic enough to make it highly melodramatic but compelling all the same. Despite that,it still has a lovely humanistic side that made me really care about the characters and what they go through in the story. Told by Otis to Iceberg, his account of how his family followed other African-Americans up North from the Deep South for a better life, shimmers with loss, deep passion and ghetto flash. It's the honesty and boldness of his account that's really at the heart of "Mama Black Widow" and made it a book I'll always remember.
—Victoria Moore

I don't know what I was expecting from this but it was somewhat different from what I did think it would be like. Not to say it's bad- it's certainly not- I enjoyed it. It took a little while to get into for me, a little longer than I thought it would for sure, but once I got into it there was no turning back. The main character, Otis, is so real you feel like he's your brother (or sister depending...) I was in awe of how much I was into the story once I really fell into it. I can't wait to read Pimp and the others now!
—Eva Leger

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