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Houston, TX | Book Blogger| tangledintext@gmail.com

Pimp in the Pulpit by Thomas Leslie McRae REVIEW

December 4, 2017

Paperback, 35 pages

Published December 2nd 2016 by Eber & Wein Publishing

 

Pimp in the Pulpit is a short story filled with unique characters. Each has a different outlook on life and how they treat family and friends. What is acceptable to some is nothing more than the devils work to the others. The large family has met on several occasions for gatherings, parties and reunions, some went OK but most didn’t. Nobody was sure what went wrong to cause such chaos when the family gathered. There was speculation that when Minister Tierra Joy become involved in any family event planning it quickly turned into a hot ghetto mess.

Well it’s time for another gathering. Lillian McBride, affectionately know as Lucifer is turning 95. Lillian has four children, a son, Tony McBride. She also has three daughters Viola McBride, Minister Tierra Joy and Cleopatra Jones. Will this special occasion bring the family closer or drive them further apart? How will they finance the gathering? How much money that is raised will be stolen or used for other means? Will the huge clan from Texas show up? What about the food, will they have enough? Will the relatives go nuts eating like they are on death row and this is their last meal, consuming it all in fifteen minutes or less? How much of the buffet will they steal and take home? Who will drink too much and act up? Has Cleopatra and her family learned from their previous gatherings? Will they even attend the bash?

Cleopatra is married to Marcus Jones Senior. They have two kids Marcus Junior and Edward (Eddie) Jones. Eddie is a hardworking man and is perplexed about his family’s actions towards his family, immediate and distant kin. He has trouble understanding even his Dad’s outlook on the birthday party. He begins questioning family loyalties, their love for one another while at the same time remembering the advice his Mom and Aunt Gladys told him several years ago. Will this gathering, compounded with the events of the other ones finally open Eddie’s eyes?

This was the perfect read during this holiday season. Pimp in the Pulpit will either make you feel grateful to not have a family quite this dysfunctional or relieved to know you aren't the only one with this much drama flying around. The short stories are humorous, entertaining, and relatable. I did enjoy the message these stories encompassed. Family can be an ass and just because they are related does not mean you have to put up with them taking advantage of you. Actions speak louder than words and to figure out who really loves you based on how they treat you. 

 

The stories were in third person, past tense which for me is my least favorite combination. It adds a distance to the piece to have it in third person and then telling the stories in past tense removed the story telling aspect even further.  It would have been nice when the author hinted at his role in this dysfunctional family at the end, to have that more of a focal point throughout.

Read Thomas Leslie McRae's Full Interview Here:

 

Pimp in the Pulpit uses real word dialogue that includes slang, cussing and racial slurs. The dialogue reminded me of the way Mark Twain wrote using dialect from the region his characters were from. Were you worried that this style of writing would offend some readers?

  - “Not really because everyone has different taste plus life experiences, my world may not be identical to the next man beside me. And for that I make no apologies, I am merely trying to tell a story. Based on my life and my success plus failures as a man, as a person and as an individual. For the most part people have been very supportive and found the book to be quite entertaining.”

 

 

How did you come up with the title Pimp in the Pulpit?

  - “My mother’s oldest sister is the primary inspiration for the book. I spent a great deal of time around her for many years. The reason I named it Pimp in the Pulpit is because legally she’s a minister but morally bankrupt. I’ve seen this woman con more people and pimped them out of their life savings while claiming to be doing God’s will. She is a opportunist who doesn’t know the meaning of honor and spirituality and that is why I wrote Pimp in the Pulpit as she was one hell of an inspiration.”

 

 

How long have you been writing?

  - “Since Elementary School but I didn’t get serious about it until I got in my twenties. But even then my confidence in myself was not that high and it took me until I turn in my 30s to decide to step out and be a man on a mission with words and passion.”

 

 

What do you like to do on your spare time?

  - “I like to watch movies on some occasions read a good book. Hang out with my brother plus parents talk to my extended family and friends. Listen to some music and fantasize about the house I will eventually buy for myself and my parents.”

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