Suzanne Ruta
July 25, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Daddy Cool

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Donald Goines
genre
, Fiction

We gave it a B+

Write about what you know, they say. Donald Goines knew the Detroit underworld — gamblers, hustlers, and thieves. He’d done it all to support a heroin habit. He finished the first of his nasty, brutish, and short novels (Whoreson) in jail in 1968 and was shot dead at his typewriter in 1974. In the violent, ghettoized world he describes, what goes around comes around, often the same day. Daddy Cool is an aging hitman who dreams of middle-class respectability for his beloved daughter, who likes to hang with a pimp who can’t count past 100. The outcome is gory and tragic. Goines’ novels have sold millions of copies in the inner cities (rappers are big fans). Originally published in 1974, this high-profile paperback reprint takes him mainstream. It’s about time. B+

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