When it comes to “hos” and the men who run them, when it comes to intriguing and super-paced rivalry between ambitious pushers and dealers who sell dreams in a blizzard of white powder, when it comes to knowing the streets, it takes a real player and that player is Robert Beck. For more than two decades, Beck, writing as “Iceberg Slim,” has fascinated or horrified readers of his books and stories. Beck doesn’t create superflies and superhos; he gives the reader real live people--people with hopes and fears who cough and breath and bleed and who have grabbed hold of the only ticket they can find out of misery. But the ticket is often a one-way trip into hell and suffering. This anthology of stories by Beck is a monument to the courage of the people of the streets. Some of them make it; most don’t. Laugh along with them; cry when they cry; hurt when life turns against them.