Donald Goines was a one-of-a-kind writer. He learned his craft whilst in prison. Growing up in poverty and an abuser of drugs (mostly heroin), Goines documented life in the inner cities in the 16 novels that he wrote during his brilliant but all too brief career. The characters in his books are all from experience, he was a drug dealer, pimp, user, thug and eventually a victim. During his stay in Jackson Penitentiary, Goines took up creative writing and started his literary career. His novels were aimed at those who lived in the inner cities and were sold in small shops and book stores. Using a writing style that was heavily influenced by Iceberg Slim, he brought the sights, sounds and aura of the ghetto and urban life into the literary world like no one has before. His characters were flesh and blood instead of being stereotypical paper doll cut outs. The use of street vernacular added to the novels giving them an authentic quality to them.
Sadly, his stories and drug addled lifestyle eventually caught up with him. During his brief and prolific career, it seems like he knew the end of nigh and it added to his already tense style. His books have influenced a great many urban writers,poets and rappers such as E-40, Common, Nas, Ghostface Killah, 2Pac, Ludacris and RZA. Unlike most writers of his era, the books have stood the test of time and they're highly recommended. But be forewarned, Donald Goines novels are filled with adult language, graphic violence and sex.