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1. Known to Evil (A Leonid McGill
2. The Long Fall: The First Leonid
3. When the Thrill Is Gone (Leonid
4. The Long Fall
5. Six Easy Pieces: Easy Rawlins
6. The Right Mistake: The Further
7. The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey
8. The Tempest Tales: A Novel-in-Stories
9. Diablerie: A Novel
10. Black Betty : Featuring an Original
11. Fortunate Son: A Novel
12. 47
13. Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned
14. Blonde Faith
15. Workin' on the Chain Gang: Shaking
16. The Wave
17. Gone Fishin': Featuring an Original
18. White Butterfly
19. Devil in a Blue Dress (Easy Rawlins
20. A Red Death : Featuring an Original

1. Known to Evil (A Leonid McGill Mystery)
by Walter Mosley
Hardcover: 336 Pages (2010-03-23)
list price: US$25.95 -- used & new: US$4.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594487529
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The Walter Mosley and his new hero, Leonid McGill, are back in the new New York Times-bestselling mystery series that's already being hailed as a classic of contemporary noir.

Leonid McGill-the protagonist introduced in The Long Fall, the book that returned Walter Mosley to bestseller lists nationwide -is still fighting to stick to his reformed ways while the world around him pulls him in every other direction. He has split up with his girlfriend, Aura, because his new self won't let him leave his wife-but then Aura's new boyfriend starts angling to get Leonid kicked out of his prime, top-of-the­skyscraper office space. Meanwhile, one of his sons seems to have found true love-but the girl has a shady past that's all of sudden threatening the whole McGill family-and his other son, the charming rogue Twilliam, is doing nothing but enabling the crisis.

Most ominously of all, Alfonse Rinaldo, the mysterious power-behind- the-throne at City Hall, the fixer who seems to control every little thing that happens in New York City, has a problem that even he can't fix- and he's come to Leonid for help. It seems a young woman has disappeared, leaving murder in her wake, and it means everything to Rinaldo to track her down. But he won't tell McGill his motives, which doesn't quite square with the new company policy- but turning down Rinaldo is almost impossible to even contemplate.

Known to Evil delivers on all the promise of the characters and story lines introduced in The Long Fall, and then some. It careens fast and deep into gritty, glittery contemporary Manhattan, making the city pulse in a whole new way, and it firmly establishes Leonid McGill as one of the mystery world's most iconic, charismatic leading men.

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Customer Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
Walter Mosley rose to prominence with his character Easy Rawlins but in Known to Evil, we get the second instalment of the Leonid McGill series.

McGill is different to Easy Rawlins in that McGill is a man with a very shady past and the intent to make himself more law-abiding. Mosley has set his character in today's New York.

In this book, he is asked to locate a missing woman. Along the way, he encounters murders, assassins and intrigue.

Is the character as good as Easy Rawlins? I am not sure, it is still early in the series so we have time to see how McGill matures but I would say that the books on him are worth reading. Walter Mosley always writes well and this is no exception.

3-0 out of 5 stars Redemption
Walter Mosley continues to develop the protagonist Leonid McGill in his novel titled, Known to Evil. The motivation of private detective McGill is to act in ways that atone for his bad behavior, and it his redemption that becomes a life goal. In some ways McGill is both hero and everyman. Thanks to Mosley's fine writing, the dialogue seems realistic, the characters are well-developed, and the insights about human condition are profound. The personal circumstances that led McGill to this moment in his life and those of society at large contain a randomness that's sobering.

Rating: Three-star (Recommended)

5-0 out of 5 stars Better second installment w/ Known to Evil
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this second installment of the Leonid McGill mystery, and the story line was easier to follow.I think with the first, The Long Fall, establishing the character made it harder to follow the story line but it was also a great read.I recommend both books and look forward to reading the third installment. I won't mind stepping out of my totally, sheltered world to meet someone like Leonid McGill--I think I would feel safe and secure!

5-0 out of 5 stars One Of the Best of the Year
Walter Mosley made the difficult decision a few years back to stop writing about the literary creation that made him famous: Easy Rawlins, the unconventional black private eye from Los Angeles. He instead introduced a new detective series set in contemporary New York featuring a middle-aged black man named Leonid McGill. THE LONG FALL, the first installment in the series, released in 2009.

KNOWN TO EVIL, the second McGill book, confirms what longtime readers of this author have long known: Mosley is one of our best writers, not just of crime fiction but of all genres. The challenge he faced was to write a detective novel relevant to the America of the early years of the 21st century. The detectives created by Hammett and Chandler, and even late 20th-century writers like Ed McBain and Robert B. Parker, were products of the last century, as great and enjoyable as those characters were.

Mosley's McGill bares little resemblance to those earlier heroes. McGill is a likable character, but he has lived his life in a sea of corruption. He worked as a freelancer fixer for the mob, and anybody else who could pay, and freely admits to spending 20 years involved in criminal activity. "I framed these lowlifes for crimes that other crooks needed to get out from under --- all for a fee, of course," he says early on. One cop, upon meeting McGill for the first time, says, "They say you got your finger in every dishonest business in the city."

At 54, McGill has not exactly seen the light but is seeking some sort of redemption. In his midlife crises, he is wracked by guilt and relentless headaches over his past. He says, "Innocent or not, anyone can be made to look bad. And I had enough skeletons in my closet to make a death row inmate seem angelic. But I wasn't worried... just overwhelmed by the circumstances of my life." And what a life! Married for 23 years, with 20 of them marked by mutual infidelity, father to children not his own, and convinced he drove away the one woman he loved, McGill is alone, even when he is surrounded by family. While struggling to stay straight, his past is always present.

When a powerful New York political fixer needs a job done, McGill is not in a position to say no. Alfonso Rinaldo is the unofficial, unelected "special assistant to the City of New York." He is not an assistant to the mayor but to the entire city somehow --- the power behind the powers. He needs McGill to check up on a mysterious young woman, but no further details are forthcoming. McGill goes to an address and literally walks into a double homicide with the bodies still warm.

Now McGill has a real problem. Is he finally being set up himself? The cops are thrilled to see McGill stumble onto their crime scene. Various members of the NYPD have been looking for something to nail him on for years. McGill can't mention Rinaldo's name to the cops or else he will be in even deeper trouble. When it turns out that neither victim was the young woman, Rinaldo insists that McGill continue looking for her, not even telling him why he wants her found.

Before THE LONG FALL, Mosley said he wanted to write a contemporary urban noir. And he has succeeded beautifully here. McGill is not a knight-errant. He is a man just trying to survive, a small dangerous fish in a world of invisible giant sharks. Like a noir character from the classic period, his journey through the underworld of modern-day New York takes him from the secret warehouse detention centers of the National Security State to the sparkling corporate towers of midtown Manhattan. At one point, he meets a woman as powerful as Rinaldo on the top floor of a bank skyscraper accessible only by private elevator.

"`New York is like a boiling cauldron,' [McGill] said, only dimly understanding why. `We are all consumed therein.'

`That's down on the street you are talking about,' Sanderson told me with a dismissive wave of her liver-spotted hands. `Up here it's different. Up here we can make a difference.'"

Mosley writes about that difference. And, like in the Rawlins books, there is plenty of social commentary about modern America here. McGill says, "The government, even in a democracy, has the power to indict and condemn with impunity --- below a certain income bracket, that is. And even though I was working for Rinaldo, that didn't mean he would protect me. My independent status made me expendable, and if I tried to bring him down with me I'd end up one of those lamentable suicides hanging from the bars of a subterranean cell."

The corruption at the heart of this book revolves not around the murder of two people or the disappearance of a young woman, but deals with the fact that the system we have been brought up to believe in perhaps bares little reality to what actually goes on behind the scenes where the actual power lies. And maybe the real crime is that we are all guilty on some level. McGill says, "At any moment almost any American (barring movie stars, publicly acknowledged billionaires and sitting members of Congress) could be whisked away to that nameless building, en route to one of our satellite Siberias, and kept there until a botched water torture or the shrug of some judge sent them home."

But then McGill abducts off the street an assassin sent to kill the young woman and calls in a specialist he knows to torture the man in a Brooklyn warehouse until McGill obtains the information he needs to get a handle on his case. He lets the man live, but he knows he is not much better than the state officials who use "enhanced interrogation techniques."

Walter Mosley has written a vibrant detective series for the new century, reflecting the America of today. We live in uncertain times, and Mosley captures that perfectly here. McGill's old boxing trainer, now dying of cancer, says to him, "...there comes a time when you just don't win anymore." McGill responds, "But there is always a chance at a comeback." KNOWN TO EVIL is an entertaining, powerful mystery novel, one of the best of the year. And it will be enjoyable to watch Leonid McGill fighting for his comeback over the next several years.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Is love a disease?"
Private investigator Leonid Trotsky McGill (LT) has multiple problems in this, the second book of Mosley's wonderful new series. And they're mostly engendered by love of some sort, from adolescent to avuncular.

His two sons disappear after one falls in love with a high-end Russian prostitute. His wife is taking yet another lover, and even his girlfriend, the real love of his life, is with another man.

Meanwhile, the most powerful and deadly behind-the-scenes guy in New York City has hired LT to find a missing girl named Angelique, who's in big trouble. For years Rinaldo has been her invisible benefactor. This curious attraction felt by an evil nature for a good person is just one of the psychological wonders LT encounters in Known to Evil.

LT looks like a short chunky aging black man, but in fact he's a lethal boxer, and his wily intelligence is even more dangerous than his fists. The people who keep trying to kill him in the course of his work end up in a world of pain. LT is complex, a tough guy who reads books and meditates, drinking cognac one day and chamomile tea the next.

After a lifetime of shady dealings, LT wants to reform. But his business brings him into daily contact with killers, crooks and leg-breakers - and his friends include a hacker and an ex-hit man, both of whom have no prejudices against crime. Watching LT walk his own ethical tightrope is ever fascinating.

I loved the devious plot heavily peppered with terrifying bad guys, and the serene prose rich in casually delivered wisdom and poetic one-liners.

LT says, "Life is a test, and the final grade is always an F." But I'd give him an A+. ... Read more

2. The Long Fall: The First Leonid McGill Mystery
by Walter Mosley
Paperback: 368 Pages (2010-02-02)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$4.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B003VWC4DA
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The widely praised New York Times bestseller, and Mosley's first new series since his acclaimed Easy Rawlins novels...

Leonid McGill is an ex-boxer and a hard drinker looking to clean up his act. He's an old-school P.I. working a New York City that's gotten a little too fancy all around him. But it's still full of dirty secrets, and as McGill unearths them, his commitment to the straight and narrow is going to be tested to the limit...

... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally
I can remember when "Devil in a Blue Dress" came out. It was all over the bookstores, in dumps and displays in the front of various stores. Everyone who read mysteries read it that year. I'm the guy who sees what everyone else is doing, and does something else, just out of stubbornness, so I didn't read it for a year or so, but when I did, I realized that the hype wasn't in this case just manufactured. "Devil" is a truly great detective novel, one of the best first ones in the last 25-30 years, up there with Dennis Lehane's "A Drink Before the War" and Jonathan Kellerman's "When the Bough Breaks".

Mosley's had a somewhat uneven career since, in my opinion anyway. Several of the Easy Rawlins books since have been good (I especially liked "The Little Yellow Dog") and I liked the series of short stories featuring Socrates Fortlow, the guy who'd spent 20 years in jail for killing his wife and her lover. On the other hand, he's branched out and tried to be a "serious novelist", and that can be dangerous. I avoided "Blue Light" and his other more experimental stuff, and I didn't care for "The Man in my Basement" much at all. The whole series with Paris Minton, sidekick of Fearless Jones, just annoyed me, and the last book, where Paris in one passage modestly tells you he has a big schlong, while bedding one of many different women he enjoys during the course of the book, just struck me as a juvenile fantasy, predictable and not very interesting. I keep waiting for Mosley to recapture what he had when he started, before he got ideas and tried to be taken seriously.

The author is from Los Angeles, but he's moved to New York City (I gather his wife's in the "theatah") and so his new series is set in that city. Leonid McGill is a different character from Easy Rawlins. He's more of a shifty character, someone who in the past framed others for crimes they didn't commit (though most of the time they'd done *something*) and even occasionally fingered a target for a hit man. He finally did something that touched his soul in a profound way, and so now he's decided to walk the straight and narrow, and only take jobs where he can help people. Unfortunately, the past has a way of catching up with people in Mosley's books, and McGill is no exception to the rule. Someone hires him to find a list of people, against his better judgment he does it because he needs the money to pay the rent, and soon the men he's found wind up dead. When he goes looking for the guy who hired him, it turns out that individual is dead also, and soon after someone tries to kill McGill.

This is a standard private eye novel in the Chandler style. The plot is a bit over-complicated, has too many characters, and is really more about the setting (New York City) and the people that inhabit it than it is about the plot. McGill's a fascinating character, resenting his Communist father (who renamed himself Tolstoy and named his sons Leonid and Nikita), and feeling a sense of obligation to the wife who temporarily left him for a disgraced Wall Street hotshot, but came back and is trying to provide a home for him. The secondary characters, from the rest of Leonid's family to the various underworld figures he knows and interacts with, is pretty much completely fascinating. At one point one of the rich white people actually calls Leonid the "n" word, and he just ignores the guy. Easy would have been enraged, and I think Mouse would have shot the guy twice in the face.

This is a different character for a different world. I really enjoyed this book, and would recommend it. Very very good.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the beginning middle and the end
Leonid McGill is one of the greatest characters i have ever read about.His troubles, his sadness, all of his life and though i have experienced almost none of what he has, i feel for him.Written in first person you step into the shoes of Leonid McGill.All i can say is that Mr. Mosley, job well done.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Novel Detective, Great Writing, a Little Redemption, and a Raymond Chandler Plot

" . . . that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love." 2 Peter 1:4-7 (NKJV)

Walter Mosley knows how to establish a character with just a few words. Consider these:

"I didn't mind sending an innocent man, or woman, to prison because I didn't believe in innocence--and virtue didn't pay the bills. That was before my past caught up with me and died, spitting blood and curses on the rug. I still had a family that looked to me for their sustenance. My wife didn't love me and two out of three grown and nearly grown children were not of my blood. But none of that mattered. I had a job to do, and more than one debt to pay."

In some ways Leonid McGill is a lot like Easy Rawlins, a black man with the deck stacked against him who must look out for himself . . . and those he cares about. But on closer examination, the differences are much wider than from Watts to Manhattan. Easy has a better sense of who he is, has evolved more as a human being, and is a lot like Don Quixote. Leonid is near the beginning of a journey back from a brink where he didn't want to be.

Leonid is further toward the pit than most fictional detectives, a distinction that makes him more interesting. But there's still a streak of responsibility, of decency, that draws the reader to him.

As the book opens, Leonid knows that he's taken on a fishy assignment, but he finishes it anyway. PIs are used to being lied to, as least in detective fiction. When the lies turn out to have implications beyond his conscience, Leonid jumps back in to see what he can do about it.

While that seems straightforward, the plot twists and turns like the most convoluted of the Raymond Chandler classics. For my taste, it took more than a little too long for the mystery to be solved. As a result, the story bogs down in places and never quite goes at full speed.

If you love character development, you'll be fond of this book. If you want a straightforward mystery, you'll wonder why this one heads off in so many directions (as the consciously and conspicuously story bows to many of the great pioneers of PI fiction writing and their classic tales). If The Big Sleep wasn't one of your favorite novels, this book won't appeal to you as much as it did to me.

I especially appreciated Mr. Mosley's love for the old hard-boiled detective stories, so thoughtfully reflected in this story. It's great when a wonderful genre is expanded into new and interesting directions. I look forward to future books in the series.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not a very good read.
Too many characters to keep track of in this book.I didn't bother to share it with friends who are mystery buffs.

3-0 out of 5 stars Wait and See approach
Once upon a time, Mr. Mosley was my favorite author.I never missed an Easy Rawlins or Fearless novel and I still long fortheir adventures."Devil in a Blue Dress" is one of my favorite movies of all time and I have seen it at least 6 times.I adored Easy Rawlins so much, I bought the last few novels in hardcover for the full price!!I wanted Mr. Mosley to benefit from the hardcover royalties.

Now on to his new book, "The Long Fall".To put it bluntly, I don't like it.Hold on, let me back up a bit.I don't like any of the leading characters.Leonid McGill made a career of setting up innocent people and now he wants to change.Really, then get all of those people you set up OUT OF JAIL. The other major characters, his wife, favorite son, and friend (former assassin) are all despicable.Mr. Mosley, why didn't you make a good major character?Everyone in the book, except for the cop, are terrible people with terrible past. This book reminds me of the former show "Oz".There wasn't anyone in the show that you could call a good person.I feel the same way about this book.Mr. Mosley could have made his son a good person instead of a born criminal.His wife could have been good person.By the way, does Mr. Mosley have something against marriage?Easy Rawlins couldn't have a happy relationship either. I have been married happily for 16 years and MANY of my friends have been married longer.Mr. Mosley, there are people out there whose wife doesn't cheat on them at every opportunity.

Right now I don't know if I will read "Known to Evil".If I do decide to read it, I will definitely wait for the paperback or get it from a discount bookseller.I only gave this three stars because of my fondness for Mr. Mosley's previous works.I even bought "This year you write your novel" because he inspired me to write one.I feel so bad criticizing this book.I still adore Mr. Mosley's previous work and will think fondly of him because of it.Go back to writing about "Fearless"Mr. Mosley.At least he and Paris are a characters I can cheer on and if I am not mistaken, others share my opinion. ... Read more

3. When the Thrill Is Gone (Leonid Mcgill)
by Walter Mosley
Hardcover: 368 Pages (2011-03-08)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$17.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594487812
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Leonid McGill is back, in the third-and most enthralling and ambitious-installment in Walter Mosley's latest New York Times- bestselling series.

The economy has hit the private-investigator business hard, even for the detective designated as "a more than worthy successor to Philip Marlowe" (The Boston Globe) and "the perfect heir to Easy Rawlins" (Toronto Globe and Mail). Lately, Leonid McGill is getting job offers only from the criminals he's worked so hard to leave behind. Meanwhile, his life grows ever more complicated: his favorite stepson, Twill, drops out of school for mysteriously lucrative pursuits; his best friend, Gordo, is diagnosed with cancer and is living on Leonid's couch; his wife takes a new lover, infuriating the old one and endangering the McGill family; and Leonid's girlfriend, Aura, is back but intent on some serious conversations...

So how can he say no to the beautiful young woman who walks into his office with a stack of cash? She's an artist, she tells him, who's escaped from poverty via marriage to a rich collector who keeps her on a stipend. But she says she fears for her life, and needs Leonid's help. Though Leonid knows better than to believe every word, this isn't a job he can afford to turn away, even as he senses that-if his family's misadventures don't kill him first-sorting out the woman's crooked tale will bring him straight to death's door. ... Read more

4. The Long Fall
by Walter Mosley
Hardcover: 320 Pages (2009-03-24)
list price: US$25.95 -- used & new: US$6.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594488584
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A brand-new mystery series from one of the country’s best-known, best-loved writers: a new character, a new city, a new era. A new Walter Mosley.

His name is etched on the door of his Manhattan office: LEONID McGILL , PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR. It’s a name that takes a little explaining, but he’s used to it. “Daddy was a communist and great-great- Granddaddy was a slave master from Scotland. You know, the black man’s family tree is mostly root. Whatever you see aboveground is only a hint at the real story.”

Ex-boxer, hard drinker, in a business that trades mostly in cash and favors: McGill’s an old-school P.I. working a city that’s gotten fancy all around him. Fancy or not, he has always managed to get by—keep a roof over the head of his wife and kids, and still manage a little fun on the side—mostly because he’s never been above taking a shady job for a quick buck. But like the city itself, McGill is turning over a new leaf, “decided to go from crooked to slightly bent.”

New York City in the twenty-first century is a city full of secrets—and still a place that reacts when you know where to poke and which string to pull. That’s exactly the kind of thing Leonid McGill knows how to do. As soon as The Long Fall begins, with McGill calling in old markers and greasing NYPD palms to unearth some seemingly harmless information for a high-paying client, he learns that even in this cleaned-up city, his commitment to the straight and narrow is going to be constantly tested.

And we learn that with this protagonist, this city, this time, Mosley has tapped a rich new vein that’s inspiring his best work since the classic Devil in a Blue Dress.Amazon.com Review

Amazon Exclusive: Walter Mosley on Leonid McGill

My new detective series about the bad-guy-turned-good, Leonid McGill, has been a long time coming. As many of you know I cut my writing teeth on the Easy Rawlins series. Those novels are concerned with a time in L.A. (and America) when life was simple, black and white so to speak. Easy was an invisible soldier in an undeclared war where survival meant breaking the rules, and the laws, of a nation where inequality was the standard and class was a tattoo indelibly wrought on its citizens’ skins.

Leonid McGill, on the other hand, lives in the modern world. Rather than being a victim, he has spent his entire life as a victimizer working for professional criminals and other miscreants. He’s done jobs for the mob and bent businessmen looking to cut their losses; he’s robbed Peter to pay Paul and then turned in Paul for tax evasion.

In brief – Leonid McGill has not been a good man.

But Leonid has gotten as good as he’s given. Abandoned by his union organizing father at the age of twelve, Leonid watched his mother die of a broken heart within the next year. He’s gone from orphanage to foster home to the streets – fighting hard and never taking a backward step. He trained to be a boxer but found the ring of life to be a more suitable war.

Leonid is married with three children (though only one of them is his by blood). He and his wife have a relationship of sorts but there is little love in that bond. One gets the feeling that the only reason he hasn’t left this loveless union is that he just doesn’t know how to back down in a fight.

New York is not only McGill’s home but also the atmosphere he needs to survive. The city is his constitution and his nation. And so one day when he wakes up to realize that he has been on the wrong path for all of his fifty-odd years, Leonid does not abandon his home. Instead he decides to change direction against all the wrong that he’s done. Leonid is a man looking for redemption among the people he’s wronged in the city that he has betrayed.

This challenge will be the hardest battle the aging P.I. has ever taken on. The police have a lieutenant whose only assignment is bringing Leonid down. The mob has its hooks into Leonid, refusing to accept his resolve to go straight. His favorite teenage son Twill (the product of one his wife’s many affairs) is a loveable, and loving, sociopath who needs his father to run interference for the complex and brilliant troubles he gets into.

To say the least: Leonid is not your everyday detective. He is plagued by the deeds and victims of his criminal past and is therefore uncertain about the future. He has found love but holds back because of his hollow marriage. He is offered many jobs but often finds that the work itself unravels his vow to go straight.

Leonid’s human body and flawed past makes him a microcosm of America at a time when we are trying to turn the tide of history. He’s a hard-boiled hero in harder-still times; a six to one underdog in the most important fight of his life – or ours.

Easy Rawlins lived in my father’s world and the world of my father’s, and my own, people. Leonid McGill, however, lives in a world writ large. In Leonid’s America the truth is never only skin deep. And so to get at the underlying reality you definitely have to shed some blood.

Leonid is ready to bleed for what he now knows is right. He is a hero of the first order because he fights on with no promise, or even an inkling, of victory.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (47)

5-0 out of 5 stars Book Condition and Delivery as Promised
Every thing as identified in description information. Very pleased with condition of book and timeliness of delivery.

2-0 out of 5 stars A disapointment...
...compared to his earlier work.

Sorry, but although I've read all of Mosley's books, love his work and recommend him often, this one was the worst of the bunch by far. (And yes, I realize all of the critics love it), but he's basically re-created his L.A. character in New York, along with all of the same secondary characters, but with new names. (His friend the computer geek, his friend the violent killer, his lover with problems, his kids who need his guidance, and in this case, about 20 other characters to thoroughly confuse the reader.)

His new protagonist isn't nearly as likable as Easy, and the constant boxing analogies related to literally everything that is said or done got old fast.

As much as I like Mosley, I really wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who has followed his many previous books.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cultural History is Gone but Noir Lingers On
I will always wish Walter Mosley had stayed in Los Angeles. But I will always read him no matter where he goes. It took me a while to catch on to the Easy Rawlins series -- that Mosley had set out to do nothing less than teach me about the rise and fall of the African American community of Los Angeles, from its apogee at the end of WWII to its nadir from Watts through Rodney King. From the point of view of the people who really live the history, the day to day folks whose lives become screaminingly apparent through the eyes of the deep sociologist, psychologist and cultural historian, Easy Rawlins, aka, Walter Mosley. I now know more about that community than almost any other in America because Mosley took me there and led me through its alleys, bars, cottages and backyards, all burned to white hot clarity, like the light that shines so brightly down there.
But now, he has been in NYC too long to keep "milking" his old years in LA, I guess, so we must settle for his brilliance focused on a place that we already have read about too often and for too long. Ican't fault him for going to the big kaleidoscope, and I can't take issue with writing about the place you live in and know, but NYC is just NYC --- the place where everyone goes, where everyone co-exists, so the place you have to get really close up on in a minute postage stamp way, just one community at a time, to even begin to squeeze for anything better than big easy done-already stories --- like filthy rich people using their ill gotten gains to mis-use and abuse little folks making it from day to day....and even though there are rich people living in beautiful mansions, and unknown puppet masters in private offices, and all kinds of everyones in weird relationships with one another there that can't happen anywhere else, it still seems to have a been there read that feel to them all.....
So we meet Leonid, who at least still carries the red diaper memories of Walter Mosley which are an important part of who he is and who his characters are, but now we have a red diaper who got lost along the way, like so many did, and is now deeply in need of some kind of redemption, any kind of redemption, even if that redemption is only making sure the stock bad guys get a little of what they give from time to time, and fall at the hands of the usual Mickey Spillane et al kind of common man go-it-alone Clint Eastwood but African American tough guy out there Dash Hamming it to individual redemption by picking them off one at a time. Lots of the usual set ups, lots of the usual characters, that appear in all these kinds of reads, and no harm done by it. Fun read, fun characters, fakey kinds of bad guys you love to hate. But it definitely aint the late great Easy Rawlins, and it definitely aint a unique one of a kind view of a unique one of a kind place like South Central.
But Mosley is one of the greats and he gets all the stars for that --- he has earned them...hard work, good workman NYC plot and characters, working it for all it's worth.
The King is dead, long live the King.

4-0 out of 5 stars This is a PI novel for the early 21st century
Walter Mosley took the mystery genre by storm in 1990 when he introduced a mystery series set in post-World War II Los Angeles starring a black detective named Easy Rawlins. Here was a detective who worked in the same town as Raymond Chandler's Marlowe but walked on far different mean streets. It was a significant breakthrough in the world of mystery writing.

There have been nine Rawlins novels since then, and Mosley has gone on to write everything from serious fiction to science fiction to politics to even a book on how to write books. He is one of our most prolific authors. But he has never written a contemporary mystery. And he has never attempted, in his own words, "a classic noire suspense story."

Until now THE LONG FALL is a new private eye series set in contemporary New York City. Mosley expects to write a total of 10 books following the adventures of private eye Leonid McGill. And longtime fans of both Mosley and mysteries will not be disappointed. This is an important and exciting arrival in the book world, perhaps every bit as significant as the start of the Easy Rawlins series.

Mosley reinvents the PI genre in THE LONG FALL. McGill has little in common with great PIs of the past. Unlike Hammett's Spade and Chandler's Marlowe, McGill is not the type to sit around his office, waiting for the femme fatale to come through the door with her mysterious problem. Nor is he a knight errant like Robert B. Parker's Spenser.

McGill is dirty, plain and simple. He has made his living as a fixer for the mob and others. He does "piecework for killers and thieves." If you want a politician caught in a hotel room with a $2,000-a-night hooker, McGill is your guy. He tells us early on: "I had no problem bringing people down, even framing them with false evidence if that was what the client paid for. I didn't mind sending innocent men and women to prison because I didn't believe in innocent --- and virtue didn't pay the bills." Here is a man existentially ready for the fall.

McGill is not a killer, at least not a triggerman. He worked on the edges of the law, often resorting to barter that was little more than extortion/blackmail. So, for example, he is able to rent his office in an Art Deco midtown skyscraper for $1,800 a month when the market value of the space is $11,000 a month. McGill knows how to trade.

But at 53, his past has finally caught up with him, leaving him trapped in what he calls an "impossible life." He has "decided to go from crooked to slightly bent" and has managed to stay straight for a year and a half. His personal life is a disaster. He has not loved his wife for a dozen years. She ran off with another guy, and then when that imploded, she came back to him. He is father to three kids, two of them not his own. And one, his 16-year-old stepson, is heading right off the deep end and is about to become a criminal himself, unless McGill can save him.

McGill is a black man in a world where, as he points out, "It wasn't 2008 everywhere in America." The America of 2008 might have elected an African American president, but the past is never past, as Faulkner supposedly said. Mosley has always been a writer with a voice and social consciousness. And he has not lost it here. For example, he writes, "The scenario is simple, it just didn't make sense; like a cat sealed in a glass globe or the United States declaring peace."

McGill is a man haunted by his past, and he soon learns what Al Pacino's character learned in The Godfather: Part III: it is not so easy leaving the life. At one point he meets with a 70-year-old mobster to tell him he is out. Mosley writes, "The fit septuagenarian allowed another hint of mirth to flit across his lips. No one gets out, his smile said, unless it is on his back."

So McGill takes a job that smells bad to him from the start. An Albany PI pays him $12,000 for the whereabouts of four young black men. It is simple trafficking in information, something he has done a thousand times before. So despite his misgivings, he takes the money. McGill says, "And, anyway, I was broke and the rent was due."

In that sentence, Mosley creates a PI for our time, capturing perfectly the financial moral relativism of the past 30 years that has brought our entire economic system to the brink of the abyss. People are soon dying as a result of McGill's betrayal, and McGill might join them. And even if a killer does not get him, the aging private eye is getting himself. He says, "...I had the sensation of slipping further down into the sandpit of my own sins."

Mosley has written a true noir novel here. Take this passage for instance: "One thing I had learned in fifty-three hard years of living is that there's a different kind of death waiting for each and every one of us --- each and every day of our lives. There's drunk drivers behind the wheels of cars, subways, trains, planes, and boats; there's banana peels, diseases and the cockeyed medicines that supposedly cure them; you got airborne viruses, indestructible microbes in the food you eat, jealous husbands and wives, and just plain bad luck."

Mosley has also given us a character who, despite his dark past, has a basically good heart and is decent enough to seek redemption. We can't help but root for Leonid McGill, which will make this an interesting series to watch develop over the next decade. Will McGill find his redemption, or is it too late for a character so bad?

THE LONG FALL title is a deliberate echo of the past and Chandler's THE LONG GOODBYE. But Walter Mosley is too great a writer to just recycle the classic PI novel. This is a PI novel for the early 21st century, and the title refers not just to the fate of one man but perhaps an entire nation as well.

4-0 out of 5 stars NY Noir
Leonid McGill (his father was a communist union organizer who changed his name to Tolstoy and named his brother Nikita) was first introduced to readers in this novel in 2009, now reprinted as a trade paperback.(His second appearance was in a hardcover issued in March of 2010.) A black private eye based in New York, Leonid lives with his wife and three children (two of whom were fathered by someone else) in a loveless marriage (although Katrina is a great cook and he is close to her son, but not his own).

Essentially, the plot revolves around Leonid's acceptance of a job to find four persons only identified by their boyhood nicknames, offered to him by a PI from Albany.It turns out the PI used a false name, making it hard to trace him after Leonid discovers the identities of the four men:One of them is dead, another in jail, the third is awaiting trial and the fourth appears to be a legitimate investment advisor.When they start dying off one by one, Leonid feels guilty and attempts to find the underlying client.

Meanwhile there are various side capers testing Leonid's resolve to give up his past shady activities and go somewhat honest in his endeavors.Many of his activities are amusing and offbeat, making him a colorful character.In fact, many of the personages he comes into contact with could inhabit a Jimmy Breslin or Damon Runyon column.This aspect of the novel alone is sufficient incentive to read the sequel.


... Read more

5. Six Easy Pieces: Easy Rawlins Stories
by Walter Mosley
Paperback: 288 Pages (2003-10-01)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$3.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743442547
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Easy should be living a contented life, with steady work as senior head custodian of Sojourner Truth High School, and a loving family. But happiness is as elusive for Easy as smoke in shadows. Easy's the man folks seek out when they can't take their problems to anyone else. Trading favors and investigating cases of arson, murder, missing persons, and false accusations, it's hard to steer clear of trouble. Easy walks the line in this must-have collection from bestselling, award-winning author Walter Mosley. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

4-0 out of 5 stars Six Easy Pieces
Book was shipped promptly, received quickly, and arrived in excellent condition.
Mosley, of course, achieved fame through his Easy Rawlins books, but he hasn't limited himself to these, and this book was a try at
writing Easy Rawlins material in short story form.The stories are
fine, but they don't fully succeed because his characters and plots
are too complex to be fully presented in only 40 pages or so.Perhaps that's why he hasn't attempted this format since.

5-0 out of 5 stars Walter Mosley rocks
Such a great series of stories. Very entertaining writer who keeps you in it for the duration of each story.

5-0 out of 5 stars An important link (or series of links) in the story of Easy Rawlins
While these are seven (apparantly Mosley believes in overdelivering) enjoyable short stories, each in its own right, the overall story told in the series does have a couple of important developments here and make an interesting change of pace between the earlier and the later novels.I do have one comment and that isn't so much on this book itself as it is on labelling.The library copy I've read has an "African American" label on it, and I do wonder if designating the Easy Rawlins series as African American literature might not discourage many readers not acquainted with the series from reading it.While admitting that the label does fit, I feel the mystery designation is preferable.Be that as it may, the eries does portray the deveopment of inter-racial relations over a span of years, but this is better seen as a background to the mystery series.However yu lok at it, this is highly recommended, although I do suggest reading the earlier novels before tackling this collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars what can I say ?
the master has spoken. I have all your books. keep keeping on my brother. you are a joy.

2-0 out of 5 stars Great stories,well read but poorly packaged
These are wonderfully written and read stories.However, the CD's are very user-unfriendly.There is no way to tell where a particular story starts or ends. Most start in the middle of a disk with no audible chapter markers.If you import these into iTunes, you just get 7 chapters, broken up into about a dozen parts with great titles like 1a, 1b, ... 1m, 2a, 2b, ... etc.Not very informative or easy to use in a computer, car or player.

Overall, I prefer the cassette tapes read by Paul Winfield.Better sound, better voice and a lot easier to use.It's actually easier to digitize from the cassettes than it is to import from the CD.That's not normally true, but in this case it is.

Again, this are great stories and a good listen, but the product is poorly designed and hard to use.

... Read more

6. The Right Mistake: The Further Philosophical Investigations of Socrates Fortlow
by Walter Mosley
Paperback: 288 Pages (2009-09-29)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$3.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0465018521
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Living in south central L.A., Socrates Fortlow is a sixty-year-old ex-convict still strong enough to kill men with his bare hands. Filled with profound guilt about his own crimes and disheartened by the chaos of the streets, Socrates calls together local people of all races and social stations and begins to conduct a Thinkers’ Club, where all can discuss life’s unanswerable questions.

Infiltrated by undercover cops and threatened by strain from within, the Thinkers’ Club doesn’t have it easy. But simply by debating racial authenticity, street justice, and the possibility of mutual understanding, Socrates and his unlikely crew actually begin to make a difference.

The Right Mistake is Walter Mosley at his most incisive. At once an affectionate and coruscating portrait of ghetto life, it abides the possibility of personal redemption and even, with great struggle, social change.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

4-0 out of 5 stars Socratic Method
I have been waiting eleven years for a follow-up to Walkin' the Dog, the second of Walter Mosley's profound and moving Socrates Fortlow short story collections. I devoured Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned in 1997 and voraciously consumed Dog in 1999. I am such a fan of Mosley's Fortlow novels that I find it incomprehensible that I missed the publication of The Right Mistake: the Further Philosophical Investigations of Socrates Fortlow (2008). And, yet, somehow I did. In a remarkably serendipitous "recommendations" e-mail from Amazon.com (received in the summer of 2010) I was advised of a hardcover edition of Mistake at a bargain price ($8.74) - less than both the paperback and e-book editions.

Some things are meant to be. Two years ago I may not have been in the proper frame of mind to fully appreciate the delicious irony and profound wisdom of something, anything, being the "right mistake." Today finds me not only in the right frame of mind but primed and ready to receive Fortlow's sad, savvy and always deeply human further investigations.

It is also somewhat fitting that I come into possession of the third book of the Fortlow trilogy in the fiftieth anniversary year of the publication of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. Atticus Finch (played in the movie of the same name by Gregory Peck) is To Kill a Mockingbird's most upright character, representing the moral ideal of both a lawyer and a human being: he is brutally honest, highly moral, extremely opinionated, a tireless crusader for good causes (even hopeless ones), a virtual pacifist and, for the most part, devoid of any of the racial or class prejudices afflicting the other citizens of fictional Maycomb, Alabama.

Finch goes to great pains to instruct his children on the importance of being open-minded, judicious, generous neighbors and citizens. He is eventually revealed to be an expert marksman, but he had chosen to keep this fact hidden from his children so that they would not in any way think of him as a man of violence. He was once the best shot in Maycomb County, but quit shooting because he felt he had an unfair advantage.

Now, Socrates Fortlow is everything Atticus Finch is - brutally honest, highly moral, extremely opinionated, a tireless crusader for good causes - and he is everything Finch is not. While Finch is better than his peers, a lawyer, a state representative, a loving father, Fortlow is the worst of us - a double murderer and a rapist. While Finch has been re-elected to the state legislature many times, often without opposition, Fortlow has spent twenty-seven years doing hard time for the crimes he committed. Finch is our highest ideal; Fortlow is nothing nice.

This is what makes Fortlow the greater literary creation.

When we first meet Fortlow in Outnumbered he is living in negative space, in a hallway between two burnt out furniture stores. His kitchen is "only big enough for a man and a half" and the second room, where he sat and slept, was no bigger. He has a card table for dining and a fold-up plastic chair for a seat. He cooked all his meals on a single hotplate and drank his beverages, mostly water, out of mayonnaise jars.

Fortlow is a man living off the grid. He is literally a man who has nothing and no one. But, from the opening pages of Outnumbered to the last pages of Mistake Fortlow does what he do - teaching life lessons, doing favors small and large, and gaining grace from his noble, selfless actions.

From the depths of depravity, Fortlow becomes the eminence grise of his South Central Los Angeles neighborhood - a journey movingly and memorably examined in The Right Mistake.

5-0 out of 5 stars What If We Each Did the Right Thing, As Best We Know How?
"Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left." -- 2 Kings 22:1-2 (NKJV)

We all like to play the blame game. Whenever something happens we don't like, well, just blame someone else.

There's only one problem with that approach: Nothing is ever improved. Even if we make mistakes, it's good to take personal responsibility and do our best to do the right thing. If everyone did that, we would all be amazed at the improvements.

The Right Mistake looks deeply into that premise through the battered body and soul of Socrates Fortlow, former felon, now philosopher of life. If you have missed the earlier books that include this character (Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned and Walkin' the Dog), you should go back and read those first. They will put the character and his unique perspective into a better frame than just reading this book on its own.

This isn't a novel. It's more like a series of short stories in a chronological sequence that allows you to imagine the rest of a story line. It's a lot like the approach the impressionist painters used to let you finish the "big picture" in your head. The spaces between the short stories frame the issues nicely, and you'll definitely have a reaction to the social commentary as well as the personal philosophies expressed here.

I believe the book also serves a redemptive purpose for Walter Mosley in helping him to transcend genre into making more fundamental statements than fiction usually permits.

I found myself drawn deeply into the story, identifying with Socrates Fortlow (even though on the surface we have little in common), and being curious about where Mr. Mosley was taking me. It was a worthwhile ride. Be sure not to miss it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Mosley's Most Ambitious Work So Far
Walter Mosley, hands down, is the best writer of popular fiction in the U.S. today.He's most noted for his Easy Rawlins and Fearless Jones mysteries, but occasionally, Mosley gets the urge to write literature.This is where his Socrates Fortlow series comes in.Socco is Mosley's most ambitious attempt at character creation: a murderer, rapist, now ex-con, released from prison in the twilight of his life to find his way in the world.Socrates is burdened with more curses than Job--he's old, uneducated, thuggish, black, fat and worst of all, he has a conscience.In the first two books of the series, Socrates is just trying to figure out how a black ex-con with nothing can survive in a white man's world.Socco has little going for him except his bulldogged determination to make a place for himself.

But in THE RIGHT MISTAKE, Mosley has Socrates raise his sights.Not only must Socrates find redemption for himself, he must take on the all the man-made problems of the Watts community.Socco creates the Nickel House, where gang leaders can hold peace talks, where addicts and prostitutes can come for help, and, at which every Thursday night, the "Thinker's Club" gathers to discuss their community, their problems, and to come up with possible solutions.The gathering is a rag-tag collection from all walks of life: a black lawyer, a Hispanic carpenter, a Jew from Cheviot Hills, a suspected murderer, some local women, Socco's teenage protege Daryl, a self-important preacher, a gay couple from Venice, a martial arts teacher, etc.

Socrates's questions force the members of the group (including himself) to look inward and examine their deepest selves.At one point, he summons the black members of the "Thinker's Group" into a special Friday night session to argue what it is to be black and then to show them the answer isn't important.What is important is the quality of person each is.They are to judge themselves, not on the color of their skins, but on the content of their characters.

Not unexpected in a Mosley novel, the jaundice eye of the police is focused on the Nickel House.They assume that no good can be going on in a house where so many of the dregs of society gather.The police use their tactics of undercover agents, planted evidence and arbitrary arrests to intimidate and harass Socrates.But the Socrates of this book is a calmer, more self-controlled person than he was in the first two books.He is a man at peace with himself, and so the threats of incarceration and/or death hold no fear for him.

Literature helps us to better understand what it is to be human.In THE RIGHT MISTAKE, Walter Mosley through his Socrates Fortlow character takes on this task.Few writers today can do this as well as Mosley.

4-0 out of 5 stars Makes you think...
I found this book to be a bit hard to get into at first. But after I "befriended" the characters I began to learn something from each of them. I learned to listen until you have something substantial to add to the conversation from Luna.I learned a bit about how "colored" folks view themselves and who we classify as "white" from Samson.And most importantly I learned from Socrates that freedom is self-defined.Imprisonment is a state of mind.The last half of the book is great. I would definitely recommend it to others.

2-0 out of 5 stars Doesn't hold together
From the back cover and the first pages, I really wanted to like this book, but it turned out to be little more than a philosophical pastiche. We know characters only by their names, skin color--"light-skinned," "brown-skinned," "dark-skinned"--and other physical attributes. In Socrates' little group, there's a Muslim and an oriental martial-arts expert and a Jew, but that's all we ever get to know about them. Socrates is a pretty smart guy and asks delicious questions of his guests, but he also escapes from serious jams way too easily. And the sex scenes--a 6th-grader could probably do as well. (I see that one of the tag suggestions for this book is "orgasmic lit." No, no, no, no, no.) Let's just say that this book could never be made into a movie without some serious rewriting, because it's all philosophy and no plot or character. I haven't read the earlier Socrates Fortlow books, and don't intend to. ... Read more

7. The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey
by Walter Mosley
Hardcover: 288 Pages (2010-11-11)
list price: US$25.95 -- used & new: US$17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594487723
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A masterful, moving novel about age, memory, and family from one of the true literary icons of our time.

Ptolemy Grey is ninety-one years old and has been all but forgotten-by his family, his friends, even himself-as he sinks into a lonely dementia. His grand-nephew, Ptolemy's only connection to the outside world, was recently killed in a drive-by shooting, and Ptolemy is too suspicious of anyone else to allow them into his life. until he meets Robyn, his niece's seventeen-year-old lodger and the only one willing to take care of an old man at his grandnephew's funeral.

But Robyn will not tolerate Ptolemy's hermitlike existence. She challenges him to interact more with the world around him, and he grasps more firmly onto his disappearing consciousness. However, this new activity pushes Ptolemy into the fold of a doctor touting an experimental drug that guarantees Ptolemy won't live to see age ninety- two but that he'll spend his last days in feverish vigor and clarity. With his mind clear, what Ptolemy finds-in his own past, in his own apartment, and in the circumstances surrounding his grand-nephew's death-is shocking enough to spur an old man to action, and to ensure a legacy that no one will forget.

In The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, Mosley captures the compromised state of his protagonist's mind with profound sensitivity and insight, and creates an unforgettable pair of characters at the center of a novel that is sure to become a true contemporary classic. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Walter Mosley's Ptolemy Grey...the BEST of the best!
Walter Mosley has done it again with his unforgettable character, Ptolemy Grey aka Pity aka Pitypapa."The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey" is one of the best reads I have had all year long!Walter Mosley has written over 33 books and of course all should remember the movie adaptation of Mosley's "Devil in a Blue Dress".I believe that Mosley has gotten better with each book, how does an author keep topping his work?

In this novel, we meet Ptolemy, a senior citizen embarking on a journey leading to dementia.As with a lot of old people, Ptolemy at age 91, has been almost forgotten by family and has out lived most friends and even his spouse.His home is filled with enough mementos, photos, stuff, and memories to last two life times.He lives in LA (the place of the author's birth).Ptolemy has experienced elder abuse at the hands of a female drug addict in his neighborhood and fears going out or answering his door.His nephew Reggie has been taking him monthly to cash his social security check, pay bills, and get groceries.Reggie meets an untimely and tragic end and that is when Ptolemy's world changes dramatically.The author keeps readers on the edge of the seat as Ptolemy must make some decisions that could be defined as making a deal with the devil.

Ptolemy Grey gives us an up close and personal experience of aging, memories, life, and legacy.I highly recommend this book, you will enjoy the touching, inspiring, unforgettable Ptolemy and you may even be inspired to spend more time with the aging folks in your life.

5-0 out of 5 stars On Aging
"[Ptolemy] only had one chair, and that had a book, a glass of water, and three stones he'd found that day at the park on it. They were blond stones, a color he'd never seen in rock and so he picked them up and brought them home, to be with them for a while."

That's exactly why I read Walter Mosley -- to "be awhile" with his characters, whose situations and moral complexities I always think I haven't seen, and whose unfamiliarity always softens into a fond recognition.

Here it's 2006 and 91-year-old Ptolemy Grey lives alone in squalor in south-central LA. He has a small pension, he has a radio and a TV tuned 24/7 to a dueling background of classical music and cable news, and he has sporadic contact with extended family two and three generations down the line. But his home and mind have declined since his wife died decades ago, and now dementia makes him obsessed with the ages-ago deaths of a childhood friend in a house fire and the lynching of a beloved mentor. So when another loved one dies in street violence, and a young new friend awakens Ptolemy's spirit, he embarks on a mission to protect his loved ones before his own time comes.

Mosley narrates almost completely in scenes here -- from Ptolemy's perspective, which is a mix of confusion and distraction co-mingled with vestiges of philosopher and keen observer. A key plot point about experimental drugs did require a suspension of disbelief ... or maybe it just required me to fully enter a world where the rules don't resemble the ones I know, and to appreciate the point of this book: being awhile with this man in that world. I loved every page of it.

2-0 out of 5 stars A movingly drawn main character, but a novel undercut by cliche plotting and lumpy prose
The central character of this novel, Ptolemy Grey, is movingly rendered, especially in the book's first fifty pages; it's a well-realized portrait of a man lost in his fragmentary memories and slowly losing touch with the world of the present, living his final days in rather squalid and sad surroundings and without much love or human contact.But from this interestingly nuanced initial portrait, the book never develops into a realistic novel.Instead, it descends into cliche and fantasy, on every level from flat characterization to absurd plot to undistinguished, sometimes clunky prose.

The novel has a host of problems that make it hard to recommend reading, despite the occasionally very well rendered, even touching realistic moments amid its grotesqueries and cliches.First, there are no other real, rounded characters around Ptolemy's present or his past, outside of perhaps his half-remembered benevolent uncle, whose death and legacy form an important part of the plot.Second, every strand of the plot, as it develops, becomes absurd Grand Guignol rather than measured realism.The novel's version of reckoning with the past involves overcoming the old man's traumatic memories (everyone here has traumatic memories to be nobly, if often easily, overcome), a lynching and a secret pot of gold (yes, really), and revenging his grandnephew's drive-by killing.It's hard to say more without spoiling the plot, but several different revenge fantasies are cheaply, cathartically fulfilled and the administration of a lot of secret wealth is, for some reason, also important.(The selfishness with which Ptolemy administers the wealth he was left, though it was intended for the betterment of his race rather than just his friends, goes surprisingly ignored.)

Further, Ptolemy's magical escape from senility, via a magical "medical experiment," is achieved in a manner that's evidently meant to seem Faustian, but comes off instead as a half-baked pastiche of Flowers for Algernon.It's hard to see why this strand of the plot even needed to be there, since it would've been easy enough for Mosley just to write him a few flashes of lucidity when necessary.Every aspect of this plot, from the secret hoarded wealth to the magic pills, seems motivated by infantile wish fulfillment rather than realism, and the prose is similarly children's-bookish in its clunkiness, complete with lots of lame explanations and irrelevant descriptions where there ought to be rounded psychology, telling details, and compelling rather than perfunctory dialogue.

While this novel has Mosley's deft touch for unpolemical, telling renderings of race in American life, and the main character himself is well drawn, it is simply not a very good novel on the level of plot, writing, or characterization.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this book from beginning to end
This was a fascinating book about the relationship between a 91-year-old man Ptolemy Grey, his grandson, his great nephew and a friend of the family who was considered Ptolemy's niece and/or daughter (depending on the day). Ptolemy is suffering from dementia, but when he finds out his grandson Reggie was murdered he wants to know just what happened. After his great nephew does something that furthers the distance between Ptolemy and family, Robyn comes along with Ms. Wring to wake him up. A "deal with the devil" is made and suddenly Ptolemy's mind is a little bit sharper. He's ready to do business and solve crimes, but he sure has the ladies after him, too.

I loved this book. I don't know why I'd never read a book from Walter Mosley before--especially considering how well-known he is--but this was the first one that caught my eye. I'm glad I did. In so many ways Ptolemy reminds me a whole lot of my own 87-year-old grandfather (minus the dementia) so the relationship between Robyn and Ptolemy was dead on (minus the whole "looking at my legs" stuff). I liked the connection between the two and how they had each other's backs, and Ptolemy was one charismatic guy. I got a kick out of him. This was an easy read, and although the person who killed Reggie was predictable from the beginning, it was interesting to watch Ptolemy grow through the book.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Challenging and Daring Exploration of Age and Race
It's hard to describe how much I admire Walter Mosley's writing. His ability to create realistic dialog, characters and actions made his Easy Rawlins detective novels a hit, but even better, Mosley never let himself fall into a rut.He kept writing detective novels, but also branched out into genres including science fiction (like Futureland and Blue Light), modern fiction, and stuff that's hard to categorize (for example, The Man in My Basement and Killing Johnny Fry: A Sexistential Novel). Each time, Mosley's gift for character and dialog lifts the novel to a place you never expected it to be.

"The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey" is a typically ambitious and fearless Mosley effort, and it largely succeeds.The title character, Ptolemy Grey, is a 91 year old retiree, sinking into dementia.Largely trapped, both physically in his apartment and mentally in his uncontrollable memories, Grey has a series of encounters that motivate him to change his life, confront a variety of deep-set problems, and attack some long-unfinished business.

Ultimately, this novel becomes a powerful mediation on the end of a person's life.Ptolomy confronts what he has accomplished and what he has left undone, balances his love for people long dead with his obligations and connections to the generations left to come, and does his best to put his life and his own memories in order. Mosley does a great job with his characters, including Grey himself, Grey's new friend Robyn, and some characters who we only see through Grey's or other's memories, like his mentor, his childhood friend, and his grand-nephew Reggie.All of these characters were powerfully real, and fascinating.

As usual, Mosley doesn't shy away from race, and uses it to ground his characters.Born in 1929, Ptolemy lived through segregation and Jim Crow, served in World War II, and has a complicated view of race that ultimately shapes how he reacts to his friends and relatives' situation in modern Black America.

Mosley's most ambitious technique is his use of Ptolomy's sometime dementia, sometime lucidity, to write a novel that braids Ptolomy's past and present.This is often fascinating and effective, but occasionally makes for hard reading, particularly in the half of the book or more where Ptolomy is frequently floating helplessly on a sea of his memories rather than riding them.Still, this is a thoughtful, often captivating, emotionally powerful book. ... Read more

8. The Tempest Tales: A Novel-in-Stories
by Walter Mosley
Paperback: 192 Pages (2009-06-09)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$0.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416599495
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Mistaken for another man, wily Tempest is "accidentally" shot by police. Sent to receive the judgment of heaven he discovers that his sins, according to St. Peter, condemn him to hell. Tempest takes exception to the saint's definition of sin; he refuses to go to hell and explains that he, a poor Black man living in Harlem, did what he did for family, friends, and love.

St. Peter, whose judgment has never been challenged, understands the secret of damnation and heaven's celestial authority -- mortals must willingly accept their sins.

Should Tempest continue his refusal, heaven will collapse, thereby allowing hell and its keeper, the fallen angel Satan, to reign supreme. The only solution: send this recalcitrant mortal back to earth with an accounting angel, whose all-important mission is to persuade Tempest to accept his sins and St. Peter's judgment.

In this episodic battle with heaven and hell for his ultimate destiny, Tempest also takes the reader on a philosophic and humorous journey where free will is pitted against class and race -- and the music of heaven is pitted against the blues. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't stop reading this book
I was torn about how to rate this book.Then I realized the reason for my hesitation had nothing to do with the writing or content, but rather the deep sadness I felt when I finished reading it.I wanted a less conflicted conclusion.

The Tempest Tales made me think deeply about my belief system and about how my fellow travelers on the planet negotiate their own deeply personal compasses.These stories made me think about not just sin and justice, but race, morality, compromise and more.

Most important, while reading the Tempest Tales I felt an emotional tugging for the difficult positions of all the characters - even the devil - lol.

So, using my gauge that a great book is one that causes me to think and evaluate - I have to say this is a great book.Not nearly as fun to read as many of the other Mosley tales, but definitely provocative.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tempest Tales
this was my first Walter Mosley books and I enjoyed it tremendously.In this book Mr. Mosley brings very real to life experinces that make you think but it is written in a way that is fun and lite hearted.After reading this book I have read three more of his books and have enjoyed them all.In my opinon he is an excellent writer.

5-0 out of 5 stars A gem of a "little" book
This is a quite short and thin book, but it does pack a real wallop.It starts like a modern day fable as a black man, Tempest Landry, is mistakenly shot down by police and finds himself standing before St. Peter awaiting judgement.However, he refuses to accept his being sent to Hell for his alleged sins and is returned to life with Joshua Angel as his overseer with the expectation that Tempest will eventually accept that he is indeed a sinner and deserving of Hell.From there, the book becomes an ongoing debate on the nature of good and evil.This isn't just about the title character.The narrator, Joshua Angel, finds all his concepts threatened, and another character, "Basel Bob", who is first opposing Joshua Angel finds himself also threatened by the title character who battles both Heaven and Hell for the free will of mankind.This certainly isn't for the reader looking for a typical Mosely mystery, but will be a delight for those of a more philosophical bent.

3-0 out of 5 stars Tempest Tales
I came across this one in the usual way: by accident.I hadn't read anything by Mosley.

The other reviewers do justice to the book.I can only add that I found the writing compelling. It's not a book to easily put down - I had to find out what happens next.

It's written from a black perspective - but not so much as to be annoying.All the characters are black, except for the Devil ("Basel Bob"), who, naturally, is white.

I don't know why Mosley calls it "A Novel-in-Stories".Chapters, yes, but they all carry the one story along.

You can see the book as a Socratic dialog on the nature of sin.Once you accept the idea that the hero, Tempest, can actually question the judgement of St Peter (who decides Tempest should get sent to hell), the rest of the story follows naturally.Even the leap of faith [?] needed to believe that Satan has to convince a sinner by argument and reason to come into his realm is only a minor stumbling block.

My only complaint is that Tempest speaks sometimes in street jargon, other times in eloquent, educated terms.On the other hand, when you've got to argue with an angel - and win - and with the Devil - and win - a little eloquence and sophistication is a necessity.

I'll definitely be looking for more Mosley.

2-0 out of 5 stars A comic novel, but inconsistent in many ways

Tempest Landry is a man in the middle of a tug of war between an angel ("Joshua Angel") and the devil.Tempest is unjustly killed--murdered in his view--and rejects St. Peter's judgment that he is to be sentenced to hell for his (unrelated) sinning.When Tempest refuses to go to hell, he's sent back to earth to rethink his refusal.Huh?

The story plays out more like a story of the child who refuses a spanking, and the parents give the child a time out instead of a spanking. "Now, child, think about how you "deserve" your punishment... "Any parent knows that no "bad" child is going to admit he or she has done anything deserving of a spanking.It strains credulity and common experience to believe that Tempest is the first "sinner" of all time to say "no" to judgment when my 5 year old grandson comes up with better arguments on a regular basis...

I've enjoyed other stories about angels coming to earth: "The Horn Blows at Midnight" with Jack Benny (a box office flop, however), "Here Comes Mr. Jordan," (with the remakes "Heaven Can Wait" and "Down to Earth"), " and the serious "City of Angels."This story, in some ways, is not unlike the "B" movie, "Ghost Dad" where the protagonist meets an untimely death and humorously attempts to re-enter his life as a sometimes material, sometimes immaterial spirit. I liked "Ghost Dad" better!

So there are no clear cut rules of heaven, hell, and any rules we find appear to be made up as the reader goes along.How can Tempest be "dead" when he is walking around in a new flesh andblood body and affecting the living souls around just like before he wasshot umpteen times?Where'd he get the new body from?How is he going to review his life and accept St. Peter's judgment while he walks around earth living his life again in a new body?There are no convincing incentives for Tempest to do anything either way and therefore his new life (and this story) stagnates.

However, the devil, who is given the name Basel Bob (read "Beelzebub") is no effective antagonist, but an impotent foe, easily fooled and not the "adversary" (Satan) of religious thought. We have therefore a failure of "drama" in that there is no conflict between the characters. Tempest is never in any real danger from beginning to end from either the devil from hell or the angel from heaven.

For Langston Hughes fans (of which I am one), there is only a faint similarity to the Jesse B Semple essays, but only in having been written as a series of loosely connected essays.

Finally, despite the use of the name "St. Peter", there is no real similarity to the Christian faith where salvation is free to the true believer and all a man's sins are washed away by thesubstitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ.It appears to be unintended irony that the name "Joshua" actually means "God saves" because Joshua makes no attempt at any time to help Tempest find any salvation.God is conspicuously absent from this story, but that's somewhat typical of these tales about angels.For the true believer, the Christian faith is about good news for the sinner who is saved.Tempest Tales are sorely lacking of the religious joy contained in such folk songs as "Ain't that Good News"--

"I got a robe in that kingdom - ain't that good news? ...
I got shoes in that kingdom - ain't that good news? ...
I got a crown in that kingdom - ain't that good news? ...
I'm gonna lay down this world
I'm gonna shoulder up my cross
I'm gonna carry it home to my Jesus -
ain't that good news, my Lord, ain't that good news?

In the Tempest Tales there's no"robe," no "cross" and no "crown" for anyone in Tempest's universe andeven his J. Angel appears to be clueless about that!

Barry C. Boykin ... Read more

9. Diablerie: A Novel
by Walter Mosley
Hardcover: 192 Pages (2007-12-26)
list price: US$23.95 -- used & new: US$7.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B001OMHSIU
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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In this icy noir from a master of American fiction, the darkest secrets are the ones we keep hidden from ourselves.

Ben Dibbuk has a good job, an accomplished wife, a bright college-age daughter, and a patient young mistress. Even as he goes through the motions of everyday life, however, inside he feels nothing. The explanation for this emotional void lies in the years he spent as a blacked-out drunk before pulling his life together—years in which he knows he committed acts he doesn’t remember. Then a woman from his past turns up at a gala for his wife’s new gig at a magazine called Diablerie and makes it clear that she remembers something he doesn’t. Their encounter sets wheels in motion that will propel Dibbuk toward new knowledge, and perhaps the chance to feel again. With the same erotic force as Killing Johnny Fry, but grounded in a far darker vision of human nature, Diablerie is a transfixing new novel from one of our most powerful writers.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (27)

2-0 out of 5 stars No way is this book what you read Walter Mosley for
I admire any writer for attempting different styles.And I believe that Walter Mosey usually succeeds when he does offer us something different. However, I feel that he failed here in this story of a recovered alcoholic who is forced to face incidents he cannot remember that happened 20 years ago.The idea was good, but for me anyway, the characters just plain failed to sustain my interest in their affairs.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not a great read for a lifelong fan
This story reminded me a lot of 'Killing Johny Fry'.Overall it was a mediocre long story that may have been a great short one.Ben Dibbuk is a married computer programmer who lives a very predictable life.One day after a chance encounter with a mysterious woman name Star his life starts to change dramatically.At home he thinks that his life has no purpose and he is filled with a dread he cannot name or identify.At work he is unfulfilled.He does know understand his mistress' real intention for staying involved with him.As the story progresses he realizes that Star has begun to implicate him in a 25 year old murder.A murder that an innocent man was convicted of and died while serving the rest of his life in prison.Ben never really takes control of all the events surrounding him.He just sort of bounces from one emotion or lack thereof to the next without understanding why he is the way he is.With the help of an associate who has ties to an elite national security outfit he tries to find out if he is a murderer or not.My expectations were very high as I was hoping that this novel would top 'Killing Johnny Fry' and signal that Moseley is still the best.He is still the best but this is by far the most boring novel of his I have ever read.The story moves along at a snails pace and then the part of the story that the reader hangs in there for is a simple revelation type explanation neatly summed up in the last three or four pages of the book.

3-0 out of 5 stars I liked it. . . BUT!
This story just didn't do it for me. It wasn't exciting and the plot was so simple and plain and I hate to say this but it was kinda boring. Benny character was developed and I connected with him, but that's it. I didn't walk away from this story with that "OH WOW" feeling. That Star lady almost made the story get juicy but . . . well she didn't. I love Walter Mosley work; however, this will not be one of my favorites.
It was a quick read, and I was anxious to see what happened next but when it did happen I was like, "that's it?"

I think this should have just been one part of a novella. . . and I do recommend it if you need something simple, mellow, and quick to read.

3-0 out of 5 stars Darkness Within And Falling Apart
Ben Dibbuk is a middle aged computer programmer with a loveless marriage, a daughter in college he barely knows, and a young Russian mistress. He has reached some sort of peace with his inner demons and is content to live life without much feeling when something really strange happens. A woman appears in his life who claims to be from his past. Who claims that he murdered someone, many years before, in a drunken rage that he cannot remember. Who is planning to turn him in to the police.

At this point Ben's life begins to disintegrate, and most of the story is a slow, chilling, haunted portrayal of his tailspin. Ben really doesn't know if he might have killed someone or not; doesn't know if he will be spending the rest of his life in prison. Watches as his marriage disintegrates. Tries therapy with an obtuse if unconventional therapist. Tries to comfort himself with sex, but it doesn't work.

Walter Mosley is a brilliant writer, and does this as well as he does everything else. I enjoyed reading it, but when I was finished I felt dissatisfied. The story never made much sense. The characters were not believable. The ending was contrived. The motivations of the characters were hard to figure out.

What can I say? If you like Mosley, you'll like this one, too. I enjoyed it, but it's not his best work. Reviewed by Louis N. Gruber.

1-0 out of 5 stars This was written by Walter Mosely?
Lame, fatuous drivel.I can't believe this is by the same author that gave us Devil in a Blue Dress, and Walkin' the Dog. ... Read more

10. Black Betty : Featuring an Original Easy Rawlins Short Story "Gator Green"
by Walter Mosley
Paperback: 368 Pages (2002-11-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$0.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743451783
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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1961: For most black Americans, these were times of hope. For former P.I. Easy Rawlins, Los Angeles's mean streets were never meaner...or more deadly. Ordinarily, Easy would have thrown the two bills in the sleazy shamus' face -- the white man who wanted him to find the notorious Black Betty, an ebony siren whose talent for all things rich and male took her from Houston's Fifth Ward to Beverly Hills. There was too much Easy wasn't being told, but he couldn't resist the prospect of seeing Betty again, even if it killed him.... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars No easy work for Easy
Ezekiel (Easy) Rawlins lives in a world where you could be walking into a bullet anytime you knock on a door. The inhabitants of this world have strange names like Mofass, Mouse, LaMarque, Odell and Juice. It's the unsettled era of Kennedy, Khrushchev and Martin Luther King. And it's L.A., where black people thought twice before stepping into white neighborhoods.

Easy is handling several problems at once in this novel. Someone hires him to find a woman known as Black Betty, and pain and death seem to follow him everywhere on his search. Meanwhile his best friend Mouse, in jail for murder, just got out and wants to kill the man who turned him in. And Easy's got financial troubles too, involving some property that's slipping through his fingers.

The search for the missing Betty is particularly disturbing. When Easy was a boy, he was obsessed with Betty, who "had something about her that drove men wild." She was generous with her charms, but when a man's pockets were empty, she was gone. When Easy was twelve years old she kissed him for fun, and after that he followed her everywhere, her faithful errand boy and admirer.

By now he's lost track of Betty for years, but he likes the idea of finding her again, for his own sake, not just for the fee. At the same time he's conflicted, not wanting to bring any harm to Betty. The people looking for Black Betty won't tell why they want her.

This is my second Easy Rawlins book, and I find myself reading it less for the story than for theatmosphere simmering with danger, the poetic cadence of the language of the streets - and Easy's complex humanity.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of Walter Mosely's best.
I love the Easy Rawlins series and this is one of the best. The twists and turns are not predictable as in some books of this genre and Easy has ways of pulling things together that are amazing. I'm sorry that Mosely has discontinued the Easy Rawlins series, Easy and Moose are a great combination.

4-0 out of 5 stars Gritty
This is a classic Walter Mosley tale of woe and bad luck with characters so well formed that you feel like you are watching them on a screen rather than reading about them. Ezekiel Rawlins was home minding his own business when a seedy looking PI showed up to offer him a job. An old friend from Texas went missing and her employers - a wealthy family from Beverly Hills - want to find her. It sounds simple enough, but nothing is ever simple in Rawlins' world, and he eventually finds Betty at the end of a corpse strewn trail all while trying to keep his psychotic friend Mouse from killing an innocent person. Mouse just got out of jail and wants to know who reported him to the police. Hotheaded and impatient, Mouse is determined that someone is going to die and doesn't much care who he kills.

Along the way Easy is arrested, beaten, stabbed threatened and cheated in a real estate deal. Still he manages to solve the mystery of Betty's disappearance and stay alive.

Mosley really excels in his character development even down to the way he describes their clothes. When he talks about Commander Styles, he mentions how his slacks may have been police-issued, but his shirt was fine-spun. He does the same when describing Gwen the housekeeper and notes that while she's wearing a uniform, it's an expensive fabric. It really gives you insight into the characters.

This is a gritty tale about secrets and the fallout from one cruel man's actions.

5-0 out of 5 stars Black Betty
A rich woman's father left the estate to Betty, worth millions of dollars.The family wants to kill Betty to get the fortunate.The father did not leave the money to his daughter because she slept with a farm hand. In Black Betty, Easy Rawling searches for Betty, a woman who loves men with money.Yet, Betty leaves a man as soon as the money has gone.

4-0 out of 5 stars Easy to read Easy
Good book took a lil while to get into, but the book turned out great. I am gonna continue to read Walter Mosley books. ... Read more

11. Fortunate Son: A Novel
by Walter Mosley
Paperback: 336 Pages (2007-08-22)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$2.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316066281
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In spite of remarkable differences, Tommy and Eric are as close as brothers. Tommy, a delicate black boy, is cursed with health problems and drawn to trouble more often than not. Eric is a Nordic Adonis, graced by a seemingly endless supply of good fortune. When tragedy rips their makeshift family apart, the two boys are set on courses that diverge astonishingly. In a riveting tale of resilience and redemption that traces their parallel lives, Tommy and Eric ultimately reunite after years apart and draw on their childhood bond as they confront together the forces that threaten to destroy them. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (46)

3-0 out of 5 stars A good read.....
This was a good story.I gave it three stars because it starts out strong and close to the end, it fizzles out. Maybe too many characters and also the ending was weak.

4-0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK
This was my first time reading Walter Mosley and I have to say that i was very impressed by it being such a quick read and i found myself not wanting to put it down. The characters and story line really made you think how our own personal situations are never as bad as we think. There is good in any situation if you are just willing to look for it. This book would make an excellent disney or halmark movie minus the somewhat unnecessary sex. But thumbs up anyway Mr Mosely. Great summer read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best I've Read in Years
This is clearly the best book I've read since Clarence Major's My Amputations. It is simply a must read and an absolute classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece
This is the story of two close brothers, one white (Eric), one black (Thomas), separated when about 6 and reunited at about 20.The two have vastly different lives during their separation.Yet, which one is the "fortunate son" is a moot point. Further details would not really be spoilers, but would be irrevalent and misleading.The specific plot, per se, does not matter.Like a magnificent painting, the story changes as you view it from different angles, and the longer you dwell on it.Ultimately, it is a story about fate.In this case, the hand of fate is very heavy.

Superficially, some of the events are a tad implausible and some characters larger than life---but this is a vivid uplifting grand allegory of great depth, power, and complexity.As such, "suspension of disbelief" isn't an issue.

What is the allegory about?After considerable reflection, I've concluded that the underlying theme is the Black experience in America.Okay, as a typical White guy, I would not find that description appealing.Don't be put off by that description/conclusion.The underlying theme is at most extremely subtle, not "in your face", nor antagonistic toward Whites.However, the eyes of a Black author may be more attuned to the question of fate.All of us are minorities of one, each struggling with our own fate---the lessons of the book are universal.

Okay, I suppose that I'm suppose to complain about something to demonstrate my "sophistication".The only thing that bothered me is the temporal disconnect after the brothers are separated.Chapters in which Thomas is 5 are followed by Eric at 14, back to Thomas at 6, to Eric at 15.The discontinuities were a bit jarring.

This is a story which will stay with me for a long time. I look forward to re-reading it at long, but regular, intervals.This is one to buy in hardcover.

1-0 out of 5 stars Is It Just Me?
I am sorry but I thought this book was terrible.I am a fan of Walter Mosley and have read all of his other books.Easy Rawlins, Mouse, Fearless and the rest of his characters are beautifully drawn, gritty and funny.His portraits of the underside of L.A. in the 50's and 60's are always masterful.On the basis of that experience, I picked up this book and stayed with it to the end.In my opinion, it is awful and Mr. Mosley's first real failure.As Ambrose Bierce said about a book "the covers were too far apart."The plot, if you can call it that, is patently ridiculous as are the characterizations.Could this be the same author who wrote the wonderful "Devil in a Blue Dress"?

Finally, there is the issue of racial stereotyping.I hate to bring it up but Mosely always does in his books, so why not?Mr. Mosely displays a racial animus against whites in all of his novels and I don't begrudge it to him.I don't agree with him but it is his right to have this world view and readers can always vote with their pocketbooks.This time however, he goes too far with his racial animus and it infects the book.True, the underlying story is one of devoted filial love between and a black boy and his white "brother."But every white character in the book is depicted as a heartless, empty vessel while every black is depicted as loving, generous and kind.

This last aspect of the book disappointed me and definitely affected my opinion.But, in my view, even if all the characters had been white or black or green, the book would still be awful. There is nothing believable about it and the characters are absurd.I'm really not sure why Mr. Mosely chose to tell a tale like this one.With all respect, he isn't suited for it.
... Read more

12. 47
by Walter Mosley
Paperback: 240 Pages (2006-11-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316016357
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Number 47, a fourteen-year-old slave boy growing up underthe watchful eye of a brutal master in 1832, meets the mysterious TallJohn, who introduces him to a magical science and also teaches him themeaning of freedom. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

2-0 out of 5 stars disappointed
I chose this book for my grade eight class to tie in with some study of slavery and the Underground Railway.My students were captivated by the descriptions of plantation life and the hardships of slaves.We all were baffled, however, when the story took a science fiction turn.We probably would have accepted some sort of time travel connection, but the little glowing multi-coloured aliens and an intergalactic battle between good and evil was just too much.My students agreed that a simpler, less outlandish story line would have been much better.

5-0 out of 5 stars 47 or an X File
I am an avid reader of Walter Mosley's work so this was a nice change of pace 47 fed into my X File mind I really enjoyed the special relationship btween Tall John,Tweenie,& 47. Very good read interesting take on slavery from a youngster (47) perspective

5-0 out of 5 stars 47by Walter Mosley
This is the best book that I have read/audio, it was both educational, and holds true to the time. Being a Black Woman from the South it brings to mind what my parents went through, and how they had to live under the tierney of the times.It brought tears to my eyes, and to see the children of today also brings tears, because some really don't understand what our fore-fathers went through to get us here! I hope many more people of any and all races read this book.Would like to see more books like this one.

3-0 out of 5 stars 47
I enjoyed reading this book. It was different from other books that I have read by Walter Mosley.

5-0 out of 5 stars Making Slavery and Freedom Real Through Historical Fiction and Science Fiction
47 is a delicate work that will make anyone identify with being a slave in pre-Civil War Georgia. It's Uncle Tom's Cabin for the 21st century with a different message, be neither master nor slave . . . be a free person who makes good moral judgments and does the right thing even under the worst circumstances.

It would be easy for those who read the book's opening to focus on old wrongs rather than valuing freedom to choose. Mr. Mosley heads off that risk by adding a science fiction character, Tall John, from another part of the universe who needs to learn about the realities of slavery while 47 (the unnamed slave who had his number branded into his shoulder) learns about the world beyond his plantation.

The book sets up terrific ethical conflicts such as choosing between saving oneself and saving someone else who you love . . . and someone you only feel an obligation towards. I'm sure every reader feels tugged in both directions at the same time. It's a wonderful exercise in ethics.

I was impressed by how much history Mr. Mosley was able to build into his story while upholding timeless human values as a contrast. It's a very powerful story. I hope he will do more like this one.

Bravo, Maestro Mosley! ... Read more

13. Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned
by Walter Mosley
Paperback: 208 Pages (1998-10-01)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$4.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671014994
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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New York Times bestselling author Walter Mosley introduces an "astonishing character" (Los Angeles Times Book Review) in this acclaimed collection of entwined tales. Meet Socrates Fortlow, a tough ex-con seeking truth and redemption in South Central Los Angeles -- and finding the miracle of survival.

"I either committed a crime or had a crime done to me every day I was in jail. Once you go to prison you belong there." Socrates Fortlow has done his time: twenty-seven years for murder and rape, acts forged by his huge, rock-breaking hands. Now, he has come home to a new kind of prison: two battered rooms in an abandoned building in Watts. Working for the Bounty supermarket, and moving perilously close to invisibility, it is Socrates who throws a lifeline to a drowning man: young Darryl, whose shaky path is already bloodstained and fearsome. In a place of violence and hopelessness, Socrates offers up his own battle-scarred wisdom that can turn the world around.Amazon.com Review
In this cycle of 14 bittersweet stories, Walter Mosley breaks out of the genre--if not the setting--of his bestselling Easy Rawlins detective novels. Only eight years after serving out a prison sentence for murder, Socrates Fortlow lives in a tiny, two-room Watts apartment, where he cooks on a hot plate, scavenges for bottles, drinks, and wrestles with his demons. Struggling to control a seemingly boundless rage--as well as the power of his massive "rock-breaking" hands--Socrates must find a way to live an honorable life as a black man on the margins of a white world, atask which takes every ounce of self-control he has.

Easy Rawlins fans might initially find themselves disappointed by the absence of a mystery to unravel. But it's a gripping inner drama that unfolds over the pages of these stories, as Socrates comes to grips with the chaos, poverty, and violence around him. He tries to get and keep a job delivering groceries; takes in a young street kid named Darryl, who has his own murder to hide; and helps drive out the neighborhood crack dealer. Throughout, Mosley captures the rhythms of Watts life in prose both musical and hard-edged, resulting in a haunting look at a life bounded by lust, violence, fear, and a ruthlessly unsentimental moral vision. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (62)

5-0 out of 5 stars A collection of literary short stories depicting the Black experience in 1980's Watts
These aren't mysteries, but certainly should entertain Easy Rawlins fans as well as those unfamiliar with Walter Mosley's writing.Although short stories, there's a continuity and this can easily be read as a novel as the character of Socrates Fortlow,`an ex-con recently released from prison, lives his life in the Watts community.The stories are tough at times and tender at times.The first one introduces us to a young boy, Daryl, who returns in some of the later stories and we get a sense of the growing bond between the two and the attempt of Socrates to be a worthy guide and teacher to the boy.This is a very rewarding reading experience and is worthwhile reading regardless of the reader's ethnic background.

5-0 out of 5 stars A TREASURE
Mr. Mosley has created a fictional character who has taken on a life of his own.He has given us Socrates Fortlow a man who in one's mind lives beyond the pages of a book.If you buy the paperback and you love books you'll end up buying it in hardcover - hopefully a 1st ed. signed by the author.Enjoy- and learn.

5-0 out of 5 stars "You stood up for yourself ... that's all a black man could do"
The story begins similar to the Langston Hughes short story "Thank you, Ma'am" (a literary nod that I enjoyed) as a young man attempts to steal from Socrates Fortlow, a clue that sets the tone for the rest of the book.Socrates Fortlow is an ex-con, 8 years out of prison after serving 27 years for rape and murder._Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned_ is the story of Socrate's struggle to forgive himself of what he's done (in and out of prison) and to help other African-Americans in south central LA avoid similar mistakes.

Fortlow is a complex character - he's angry: he sees the good and potential in others, but he can't see the same in himself.He's formidible: his huge hands are nicknamed "rock breakers" for a reason.And he has a remarkable ability to forgive others, yet is unwilling to forgive himself.Through Fortlow, Mosley shows us how important it is to recognize our universal humanity and that ultimately, we are all our brother's keepers.

It is on the surface a light read, the messages subtle as Fortlow humbly goes about his business trying to find work, trying to stay out of trouble and (when he can), acting as mentor, philosopher and role-model for young and old in his neighborhood.Some may miss these nuances, in which case it is still a wonderful picture of one man's struggle to do right by himself.For those who give it a closer read, they will find the way in which Mosley gently shares his message rewarding.Recommended.

3-0 out of 5 stars Readable, not great, 3 stars
A collection of stories (some are more like character sketches) is just not as compelling as a book with one story would be, but the main character is interesting and the book is well-written and not as bleak as it might be.The author likes his protagonist, and you probably will, too, an ex-con with a strong moral code and no inhibition about expressing it.Made me want to read the author's other books, so it can't be too bad.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I really enjoyed this book.Mosley is a great talent and his writing is though provoking and insightful.The only reason I didn't give it a 5 star rating is because I felt there was something lacking.I wanted to feel like there was some kind of conflict and there wasn't.It was preachy--in a good way- but if given a definite plot or pushed a little more in a definite direction it would have been an amazing book. Even the constant reminder of his rape and murder convictions didn't create enough conflict. His goodness outweighed his crime and eventually with every mention, I got this "haven't we all" feeling.It was as if he was confessing to stepping on ants.Overall though, I would suggest reading it, just because Mosley has an amazing honest voice in his writing and I love the passion he gives his characters. ... Read more

14. Blonde Faith
by Walter Mosley
Paperback: 320 Pages (2008-08-06)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$5.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B002IT5P4C
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Easy Rawlins comes home from work, and finds more trouble on his doorstep in a day than most men encounter in a lifetime.

A friend has left his daughter at Easy's house without so much as a note. Clearly this friend, Christmas Black, a veteran of Vietnam, fears for his life and his daughter's.

Easy's closest friend, the man known as Mouse, has disappeared too--and his wife tells Easy that he is wanted for murder. Mouse has been a thorn in the police's side for so long that Easy is convinced that this time they will kill him as soon as they find him.

Worst of all, Easy's longtime lover tells him that she plans to marry another man. In a world of hurt, Easy strikes out on his own to try to find one friend, save another, and save himself from the pain that is driving him out of his mind. On his path he meets drug dealers, corrupt officials, every manner of criminal and con--and a woman named Faith who may hold the key to more than one life.

In his tenth Easy Rawlins novel, Walter Mosley writes with a grace and insight that few writers ever achieve. It is the clearest proof yet that Walter Mosley is "one of this nation's finest writers" (Boston Globe). ... Read more

Customer Reviews (47)

5-0 out of 5 stars LA of the 1960s
It's a world younger people might not understand.People think of racial prejudices in the deep south, but they were very much present in Los Angeles in the 1960s.The novel is set in the late 1960s after Civil Rights legislation had been passed.Easy Rawlins, a black PI who also owns apartment buildings, is asked to find an acquaintance.There are rumors that one acquaintance has been killed by another.There are some very dangerous people involved with don't-mess-with-me reputations.There is more than one person looking.Easy is having trouble in his own life as he tries to sort out problems in other people's lives.

This is an R rated novel with sexual content, language, and violence.Various crimes are commited, but people tend to settle things among themselves.Just don't get in the way.

Will Easy be back?Well... I remember a different series that I thought had ended when the main character was caught up in an explosion, but that series continued for several more novels.Some people are survivors and there are some threads of unfinished business.Every time I read a P.D. James novel, I think it is her last one (she is in her 80s), but then she surprises me with another.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Good One
I enjoyed this book a lot.It had all of the characters we've grown used to knowing as part of Easy Rawlins' life.The only bad thing is that this is the last Easy Rawlins book.He dies at the end.I knew that this was the last one before I read it.But, it got so good and I was so caught up in it that I actually forgot.I know that the author has written other books with other characters, but the Easy Rawlins series is my favorite.I hope the author thinks about bringing him back.After all, it was written so that anything could happen, right?

4-0 out of 5 stars Blonde Faith
Prompt shipping and receipt of item.
It arrived quickly and in excellent condition.
Of course, Moseley's Easy Rawlins novels are great,
although this wasn't his best.The ending whetted my
appetite for "The Long Fall."

5-0 out of 5 stars Sir Arthur Conan Doyle you're not
Though Walter Mosley may think that the last word is in on Easy Rawlins, the reading public does not.

And if there is any truth is his assertion that he is hitting on one note over and over again with Easy, and that there is nothing more to say, I would like to say this:

Mosley is a jazz musician, and if he does hit the same note over and over (throughout all his books, not just the Easy Rawlins series), it is always a fine note, and it is always infinitely beautiful in its variations.
Coltrane and Miles and Pharaoh Sanders could create whole songs and solos out of repeated notes, just by putting something different into that note every time, something that was always beautiful.

Mosley needs to do that with Easy Rawlins.

Don't retire Easy from the band, Walter! It will be like pulling the tenor sax out of your band.

And I will miss those solos.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Latest 'Easy' May Be the Last
"Blonde Faith" is the eleventh installment in Walter Mosley's celebrated Easy Rawlins series, and the novel's final scene leads one to believe it may be the last.Indeed, Mosley has recently launched a new series, beginning with "The Long Fall" (2009), in which he introduces a new protagonist/narrator, Leonid McGill, as well as a change of scene, from post-WWII Los Angeles to 21st-century New York.

The plot of"Blind Faith" involves Rawlins in a complicated series of searches for missing persons.Easy's friend Christmas Black has abruptly left his young daughter at the Rawlins household with no explanation.A Vietnam veteran, Black is being pursued by a band of men in army uniforms, several of whom are killed in the process.Raymond "Mouse" Alexander, Easy's hitman sidekick, has also disappeared, wanted by the police for apparently murdering a man named Pericles Tarr.Finally, while pursuing these two absentees, Easy is haunted by the fear that he may have permanently lost Bonnie Shea, his one true love, whom he ironically hadsent packing after discovering her dalliance with another man.

Along the way, Easy encounters Faith Laneer, the blonde whose name provides the book's punning title.She proves to be a link to Christmas Black, as well as a new love interest for Rawlins.

On his quest to find one friend and save another, Rawlins must not only overcome immediate obstacles--lies, threats, beatings--posed by his antagonists but must also come to terms with the less tangible but equally dangerous wounds to his psyche left by his breakup with Bonnie. That he ultimately manages to do so is proof of his resourcefulness as a detective and as a man.If we have seen the last of him ("I smiled, and then the world went black" are the book's final words), at least we can take some solace in his having faced his inner demons and essentially maintained his integrity in a world that is rigged to deny his worth. ... Read more

15. Workin' on the Chain Gang: Shaking Off the Dead Hand of History (Class : Culture)
by Walter Mosley
Paperback: 128 Pages (2006-12-27)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$12.78
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0472031988
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A passionate examination of the social and economic injustices that continue to shackle the American people


Praise for Workin’ on the Chain Gang:


“. . . bracing and provocative. . . .”

—Publishers Weekly


“. . . clear-sighted . . . Mosley offers chain-breaking ideas. . . .”

—Los Angeles Times Book Review


“[A] thoroughly potent dismantling of Yanqui capitalism, the media, and the entertainment business, and at the same time a celebration of rebellion, truth as a tool for emancipation, and much else besides. . . .”

—Toronto Globe and Mail


“Workin’ on the Chain Gang excels at expressing feelings of ennui that transcend race. . . . beautiful language and penetrating insights into the necessity of confronting the past.”

—Washington Post


“Mosley eloquently examines what liberation from consumer capitalism might look like. . . . readers receptive to a progressive critique of the religion of the market will value Mosley’s creative contribution.”



Walter Mosley’s most recent essay collection is Life Out of Context, published in 2006. He is the best-selling author of the science fiction novel Blue Light, five critically acclaimed mysteries featuring Easy Rawlins, the blues novel RL’s Dream, a finalist for the NAACP Award in Fiction, and winner of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association’s Literary Award. His books have been translated into twenty languages. He lives in New York.


Clyde Taylor is Professor of Africana Studies at NYU’s Gallatin School and author of The Mask of Art: Breaking the Aesthetic Contract—Film and Literature.

Amazon.com Review
Acclaimed novelist Walter Mosley spins a different yarn inWorkin' on the Chain Gang, imploring citizens to solve thesocial, economic, racial, and political crimes of late-20th-centurycivilization. Mosley takes aim at the average American's feelings ofdisempowerment and--while he is quick to point out the role raceplays--he also states: "The problem facing Americans today does notoriginate from racial conflict. The problem is the enslavement of awhole nation to the rather small and insignificant goals of the fewwho own (or control) almost everything." Mosley covers a lot ofground--from Plato's Republic to his own bid for thepresidency--but through it all, his faith rests in the individual tochange the world through changing his or her own world; he cites as anexample his creative powers as a writer to turn fiction intoreality. Mosley calls for us to "recognize some of the restraintsplaced on us by the organization of labor and popular culture, then tosee, from a calm place, that there might be a world in our hearts thatwe would like to realize, first by speaking out, then by shouting out,and finally by action." --Eugene Holley Jr. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Changed my life
After reading this book, I changed the way I live my life.I stopped waiting for that time when I can change the world, and started changing it in whatever small ways I can right now.I would advise everyone read this exceptional book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book with a harsh dose of reality!
In this essay Walter Moseley examines the American condition using African American history as a tool to expose the plight of the common man. America is a nation where a few hold the majority of the power, while the rest of us are enslaved to an economic system that allows these few with power to deprive us of our one true asset, labor. In America a man MUST work to live. There are no guarantees, such as safety or healthcare (although it will be interesting what the near future has in store).Moseley preaches to us about a subject that most Americans know all too well, "Money is the root of all evil." He takes this stance from a seemingly unbiased position (although this could be argued) discussing how America's capitalist machine has enslaved us all. From there he lays the groundwork on what we can do as a people to break these" chains of injustice" and transform the American culture into one that we (or he) envision.

I enjoyed this essay by one of my favorite fictional authors, Walter Moseley. I did feel like it was a bit too idealistic for my political views, but morally I will attest to having some of the same feelings that Moseley expresses throughout his essay. In America we have been living in excess for far too long with way too many "fat-cats" at the top hoarding profits while the rest of us are enslaved to the same products that we create. I'm sure Moseley is even further disgusted by our current financial crisis and the big players involved whose greed and excess nearly bankrupted America. I hope that anyone who reads this book takes Moseley's words to heart. It is a quick read and will really make you think about all of the things in life that have you distracted from focusing on what really matters... You.

5-0 out of 5 stars The chains of capitalism
WORKIN' ON THE CHAIN GANG: Shaking off the Dead Hand of History by Walter
Mosley takes a look at the chains that bind citizens of the United States.
Money, and producing more of it, is what is driving the country these days.
Even what we see on television is more about what sells rather than what is
true. The entire nation is pushing against the injustice brought about by
the few who own and control everything. While Blacks have long fought
against this type of injustice, now it is everyone's battle. Making money
has become global and therefore the need to pay attention to the
needs of the workers and unions are long dead. He ends on a note of hope,
using his platform for the presidency to show what must happen for America
to survive these chains.

WORKIN' ON THE CHAIN GANG is a very enlightening book and says what so many
of us are thinking. It certainly takes courage to make this public in
today's age of fear, retribution and loss of Constitutional protections.
Mosley has penned a book that every thinking citizen in the United States,
indeed the world, should read. It explains so much that we wonder about but
can't articulate.

Reviewed by Alice Holman
of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers

5-0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking
When Walter Mosley wrote this essay, he intended it to make people think about the way things are, and the way things can change.However this book was not a one-sided rant, nor is just for African-Americans.This issues addressed in this essay, ranging from capitalism in America to voter apathy, reveal some profound insights and proposes soulutions to the problems brought forth.To many people this book will be an eye-opener; it certainly was for me.While I might not agree with the degree of some of Mr. Mosley's assertions, I recommend this book highly for anyone trying to gain a different perspective of the United States than what you see in the news or read in the paper.

4-0 out of 5 stars Down with Capitalism!
�We [the working class] are marginalized by the profit of capitalism. We are footnotes to Citibank and the Mobil Oil Corporation and Chiquita Brands International (once know as the United Fruit Company).� --Walter Mosely

Because I haveread and advocated the analysis, ideas, and visions of Jesus, Karl Marx, Fedel Castro, Dorothy Day, Kwame Nkrumah, Rosa Luxanburg, and Mother Jones, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, and Paulo Friere, and many others, I didn�t find much new in this work by Walter Mosley. However, it was refreshing to see a fiction writer with skill, talent, and insight, attempt to give a piece of his mind in an honest, direct way.

I�m not sure how people who are fans of Mosley�s best selling fictional works will read this, his first non-fiction book. But I would suggest that despite its brevity and lack of development, this book would make a great book club discussion. It�s packed with enough insight and ideas for contemporary political thought that it might indeed lead readers to ponder life beyond their American Dream homes, automobiles, household gadgets, and Kodak moments.

Mosely makes sharp criticism of an American capitalist society which essentially puts profits before people and consumption before real needs. Thus, while people starve and receive medical care in this the richest country in the world, 5% of the population holds at least half the wealth in the country. There are people in this country who make say $5000 an hour when they go to work, while the rest of the population gets by on two-family incomes, over-time hours, and two-jobs salaries. And this says nothing about the poorest parts of the world where a bar of soap and toothpaste are luxury items.

As Mosely reminds us, �We know how much money every armed bandit has stolen from banks but almost nothing about how much the banks have stolen from us. We are told, during the commercial, how much some piece of clothing costs, but the returning anchor refrains from telling us what economic havoc we have caused in the third world by paying slave wages to local workers to make the price attractive [and profitable].�

Mosely attempts to give his view of an ideal system that would replace capitalism. But here he falls short. He regrets the doesn�t �know the exact steps that need to be taken to free us from our entanglements.�He�s not even sure it�s possible. But when tries to say that �everyone has a right to a living wage, a right to competent medical care, and a share in the natural resources that the nation either owns or creates,� he sounds to me, as Iunderstand it, like he�s a calling for a socialist system--though he dismisses early on in his book Marxism and communism as failed ideologies. That�s too bad. For I think if he had put more thought into a socialist transformation of society, he could have provided his readers with more to think about.

Instead, he suggest that readers contemplate their visions for a better world. But I bet when people do that, it will simply sound more like individualistic, capitalist visions of society. It�s not that we shouldn�t contemplate our own visions, but I suggest that it�s not that we, as Mosely suggest, need to make a list of �what it is that you deserve for a lifetime of labor,� but that we need to involve ourselves in a process of political education. We need political reading groups in our places of worship, our colleges, communities, and places of employment. As we politically educate ourselves, we can begin to ask ourselves what could I do with other in an organized manner to work for what I think is just and right.

This political education process could begin with Mosely work. ... Read more

16. The Wave
by Walter Mosley
Mass Market Paperback: 240 Pages (2007-01-01)
list price: US$7.50 -- used & new: US$3.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446618187
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A New York Times Bestselling Author< P>Walter Mosley, the < I>New York Times bestselling author of the Easy Rawlins novels and acclaimed author of < I>Futureland and Blue Light, returns to science fiction with a novel both eerie and transcendent. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (27)

1-0 out of 5 stars Amateurish Schlock
Well..I didn't exactly read the book but listened to it on CD - it was in the bargain bin at B&N (for good reason!) Listening to this was painful and time-consuming enough. The plot was pure re-hashed gibberish straight out of a B-movie sci-fi flick - Everything from the crazy scientist who wants to perform evil experiments on the "good" aliens to all the sweet mamas who instantly want to jump into bed with the hero (a top computer scientist who gave up his work to make pottery). Purely unbelievable tripe - I can't get over all the positive reviews here - which is the ONLY reason I'm adding my own two cents. I haven't read any of Mosley's other work although it sounds intriguing - I just can't trust Amazon reviewers for providing reasonable or rational feedback.

4-0 out of 5 stars Worth the Time, if you are so inclined.
Walter Mosley is, of course, the author of the `Easy Rawlins' series (of which I'm a huge fan) and the `Fearless Jones' series (not so much). He has also from time to time taken a detour outside of mystery/crime fiction to write very speculative stuff in SciFi and other things; for example see `The Man in My Basement' for a really startling view of race relations.

This little volume has some really fine writing, but some problems with the plot. I had a hard time really believing some of the characters who seemed, to me, to be pretty one dimensional. But be that as it may, it is worth a read. The ideas herein are interesting, if a bit too `supernatural' for my taste.

4-0 out of 5 stars The First but not Last Mosley book I'll read
I've never read Walter Mosley before but certainly knew of him.I can't believe I've waited so long to read one of his books.THE WAVE:this book has me totally hooked.It was an action-packed story that grabbed me from the start.I am enamored with all of the elements of the story:sci-fi (dead coming to life and alien creatures), love (girlfriend who without question strongly supports and stays by his side until the end of the journey), and the surrealism of the world Errol finds himself in.The only thing I didn't like was how loose he seemed to be (he slept around quite a bit). Since reading this book, I've now researched his other writings--sci-fi, thrillers, mysteries.I don't know where to start so I'm just plunging in.I just ordered three more of his books and I already started reading "Fortunate Son."I'm hooked.I may even become a Walter Mosley groupie.I just visited his website!

4-0 out of 5 stars Mayra Calvani - Armchair Interviews
`"... naked, naked... I don't have any clothes... so so cold..."'

With this intriguing line starts New York Times bestselling author Walter Mosley's latest novel. Don't be fooled by its short length and light writing, however, because this is one of those works highly allegorical and filled with deeply hidden themes.

The story beings when Errol Porter, a computer programmer turned potter, receives a creepy phone call from a strange man speaking in single words. The stranger's voice is pleading, desperate and crazed. A few days later the man calls again. This time his language is more developed and he claims to be Errol's father. There's just one problem: Errol's father is in the grave, dead for many years. But if the stranger is not his father, then who is he, and why does his voice sound so similar and he seems to know so many secret things about Errol and his family, things only his father could have known?

Errol goes to his father's grave and meets the stranger, and from that moment on his life is turned upside down. The stranger--or GT--is the identical, much younger version of his father. It doesn't make sense, but Errol's desire to believe that somehow his father has come back to him is too strong. He soon realizes this `creature' is, in a way, his father, yet at the same time a much more disturbing and wondrous being whom the American government is frantically after. Errol tries to help GT and in the process finds himself captured by the secret authorities. While captive he's shocked with one stunning revelation after another about the identity of GT and others like him, and witnesses acts of unspeakable ignorance, fear and evil by his own people.

The Wave is an interesting read, to say the least. It brings up many questions to mind: Can innocence and survival be evil? Who is more evil--the creature who acts on evolution and survival or the man who, driven by fear, commits acts of unspeakable atrocity? Does the end justify the means? The book can be read in a day or two yet haunts the reader with these questions for many days afterwards. The only disappointing element in the novel is the villain. The story is so well written I was surprised to find such a cliché, cartoon-like presentation of the "mad" government scientist from such an accomplished author. In spite of this, however, the novel is worth reading for all the moral questions it raises.

3-0 out of 5 stars Okay Read
This book was an okay read.I like the idea of the dead coming back. ... Read more

17. Gone Fishin': Featuring an Original Easy Rawlins Short Story "Smoke" (Easy Rawlins Mysteries)
by Walter Mosley
Paperback: 208 Pages (2002-09-17)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$1.54
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743451759
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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In the beginning...there was Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins and Raymond "Mouse" Alexander -- two young men setting out in life, hitting the road in a "borrowed" '36 Ford headed for Pariah, Texas. The volatile Mouse wants to retrieve money from his stepfather so he can marry his EttaMae. But on their steamy bayou excursion, Mouse will choose murder as a way out, while Easy's past liaison with EttaMae floats precariously in his memory. Easy and Mouse are coming of age -- and everything they ever knew about friendship and about themselves is coming apart at the seams....Amazon.com Review
Gone Fishin' actually marks the first appearance of Ezekiel "Easy"Rawlins, as well as his homicide-prone sidekick Raymond "Mouse"Alexander. But the story takes place in 1939, when both protagonistsare still living in Houston. This is no tightly plotted mystery, butan atmospheric coming-of-age story, which gives the reluctant Easy aneducation in sex and death, family and forgiveness.As always,Mosley's prose is a marvel: musical, funny, and full of no-frillslyricism. And the unfolding of Easy's character is every bit asgripping as the breakneck plotting of the later installment. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (26)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best read in sequence
I'm inclined to disagree with the reviewer who suggests GONE FISHIN' as a good starting point for new Easy Rawlins readers.Far better to start with DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS and read through to the 5th novel, A LITTLE YELLOW DOG.The events in that novel bring Easy to the point of reminiscing and reliving early days and the period when he first realized the extreme violence in Mouse's character. Be that as t may, this change of pace is a true winner and is highly recommended.Do get to know Easy through the previous books, though, for full appreciation of this volume.

4-0 out of 5 stars A story of Easy Rawlins' early days
This is Mosley's original Easy Rawlins story, written in the late 80s.Featuring a 19 year old Easy, the book describes a road trip he takes to Pariah, Texas in the company of his best friend, the volatile Raymond "Mouse" Alexander.Mouse, soon to be married, is traveling to Pariah to confront his stepfather, Reese Corn, over some money he feels is his birthright.While Easy becomes involved in several adventures/misadventures of his own, Mouse relentlessly pursues Corn, hounding him to the point of insanity.Mouse will do anything, and use anyone, to get what he wants.

Owing more to Flannery O'Connor than Ross MacDonald, Gone Fishin' is a treat for fans of Mosley's Easy Rawlins series, providing background into the complex relationship between Easy and Mouse.It's also interesting due to the presence of a younger, more naive, less cynical Easy.Mosley mines this naiveté for all it's worth, evoking much laughter at Easy's expense.It's refreshing to see a lighter hearted Easy; quite a contrast to the world weary man we see in the later novels.

This is a coming of age novel in the truest sense, as the book chronicles Easy and Mouse's early steps toward manhood. For Mouse, it means triumph over the man who made his childhood miserable; for Easy, it involves his momentous decision to learn to read.Both men will see the world differently after the events of the novel.Mouse, imbued with confidence, reaffirms his instinctive belief that might makes right, and Easy realizes that the world is a very complex place.Lessons learned, both go forth to make their way in that world, as chronicled in Devil in a Blue Dress, A Red Death, White Butterfly, Black Betty and A Little Yellow Dog.

Gone Fishin' is a winning bildungsroman, well told in Mosley's straightforward, no-frills style.Plain as it may be, this style is amazing for the range of emotions it evokes--Mosley can make you laugh out loud at Easy's foolishness, or cringe at Mouse's casual violence.Like the other novels in the series,Gone Fishin' explores a mystery, but unlike those novels, murder is not the focus.The mysteries explored here are deeper, involving friendship, love, revenge and destiny.Certainly not as chilling as murder, but ultimately more compelling.

2-0 out of 5 stars The Bottom of the Pile of Mosley Books
Fans of Mosley will buy this prequel to the Easy Rawlins / Mouse Alexander stories to find out how their anti-heroes were `made'.This book is liable to disappoint, however.The setting is rural South, not 5th Ward Houston, and the young men seem more chaotic than inchoate.Mouse, however, remains his murderous loyal self and drives the action.

Mosley's difficulty lies in portraying the secondary characters of this novel.They fall largely in three buckets - old-style holy roller good, blood evil, and grotesque.The stereotyping of rural blacks is blatant enough that Mosley seems to uphold the prejudices of 1920's redneck bigots.Fortunately he redeems this broad brush on several occasions with jewels of description and language, and a few twists of sympathy for his characters.

Not a best effort - worth reading out of the library, but not buying.

5-0 out of 5 stars lazyreaders.com book selection for May 2006
God bless Walter Mosley! Mosley has provided the inner-city middle schoolers that I have read to for years characters that they can identify with, and Mosley's writing skill and character development are something to behold. This is one of the shortest of Mosley's Easy Rawlins mysteries, but it is sure to attract students to the series. A wonderful author with a diverse pool of stories. To find this book and other cool short book club recommendations, go to www.lazyreaders.com.

5-0 out of 5 stars how mouse and easy shared a common youth
i am an avid reader of walter mosley. i especially like his easy rawlings books, how they and easy grow and change with the times. this book takes us back to their teens, sharing secrets, telling of places and people that i found very intresting. it also shares some of the things that have made them close and shows what has cemented their relationship. again, walter mosley kept my attention from the first page to the last. i am a woman and i have gotton several of my male friends to read mr mosleys books.even men that usually do not enjoy novels. i am always eagerly awaiting his next book. one day i hope to meet the man. ... Read more

18. White Butterfly
by Walter Mosley
Paperback: 320 Pages (2002-10-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$3.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743451775
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The police don't show up on Easy Rawlins's doorstep until the third girl dies. It's Los Angeles, 1956, and it takes more than one murdered black girl before the cops get interested. Now they need Easy. As he says: "I was worth a precinct full of detectives when the cops needed the word in the ghetto." But Easy turns them down. He's married now, a father -- and his detective days are over. Then a white college coed dies the same brutal death, and the cops put the heat on Easy: If he doesn't help, his best friend is headed for jail. So Easy's back, walking the midnight streets of Watts and the darker, twisted avenues of a cunning killer's mind.... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars More a literary work than a mystery
Mosley's third Easy Rawlins mystery - continuing the careful character development of the first two mysteries. Mosley is a master of characterization and in my view, simply uses the detective story to carry out his craft. The novel is set in 1956 Watts and portrays Rawlin's struggle with racist police, class issues in his own community (where he comes into a little property and has to conceal it), and marital difficulties in a very conservative, pre-civil rights era.

Once again the Los Angeles police blackmail Rawlins (by threatening to arrest one of his friends) into investigating a murder - this time when an apparent serial killer switches from black girls to a white coed. The investigation takes him into the dark world of prostitution and organized crime - leading to situations that threaten his marriage and put his own life in danger.

Rawlins is very different from most so-called "hard boiled" detectives - strong and intelligent, without being macho. And full of foibles and compassion, consistent with the sensitivity of an intelligent black male who has been kicked around by a profoundly racist society - yet hasn't become bitter and angry.

Mouse, Rawlin's sidekick, is back - a man who is like a child emotionally - but who, unlike Rawlin's lets his anger get on top of him. And who is so large and powerful this can get deadly.


5-0 out of 5 stars Great read
My favorite author came through with another great read.I've found each of Mosley's new lead characters to be fascinating.Can't wait to see who's next.

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific Purchase
This was a great value for the money. A must for a 'Walter Mosley' fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another good Easy Rawlins Book
This is another in the series of "Easy Rawlins" books. Each one is different, but so far good.

5-0 out of 5 stars He keeps going... and going... and going....
Earlier this year I mentioned that this year will be my "year of Michael Crichton"... now I might change that to my "year of Walter Mosley".Damn this book was good!I'm of those readers who don't have to read a "series" in order to enjoy it.I love reading about one of my favorite literary characters (Easy) and his extremely colorful life.I love reading how diverse circumstances helped formed him into the man he is.I started reading the Easy Rawlins "series" about five years (or so) and I started when his relationship with Bonita has been going on for a while and Jesus wasn't mute.THAT one threw me, but like I said, I didn't read this "series" in order.

White Butterfly is a classic Easy Rawlins novel with that perfect Walter Mosley touch all over the place.To call Easy a ghetto Renaissance man would not be a stretch.He seems to know everyone, everyone seems to know him, knows the right questions to ask, has best friends that would frighten Hitler, and has a soul that is as real as heat on a sidewalk.I think that is why I love reading about Easy so much.His soul.There isn't anything extraordinary about him really until you start to understand him.He's an ordinary man with a... original soul.In another time Easy might have led crowds in Birmingham.In another time Easy might have taught Plato.In another time Easy might have written a play for Shakespeare.In another time Easy might have written a prologue for W.E.B. Dubois.But in this time, in this place, in this book he's just a man.A man trying to find the killer or killers of young women.

Unfortunately, then like today, nobody cares if a Black woman is killed but the moment a white lady meets her maker all hell breaks loose.Easy is pretty much forced to take on this case to find out who is raping, brutalizing, and killing young women around L.A.The corrupt L.A.P.D. blackmails Easy to help them and then "fails" to give him the important information.In classic, unique Easy fashion he finds out what he needs to know and finds out a number of things he DOESN'T want to know.Intertwined within this story is also a story about family, a man's broken heart, a man's black soul, corrupt government looking out for us, how a woman sees her man, how this man's family sees him, and the continual test of a tested friendship.

What's the quote: "the more things change, the more they stay the same".That adage could not be truer within the pages of this novel.You'll shake your head over the dimwits in the L.A.P.D. and the practices they still use to this day even though they don't work.You'll recognize the struggle of a Black man and his family in the streets of L.A., you'll see that the need to survive back then is the same and the WAY you survive is just the same.Walter Mosley is a true living legend and his work is absolutely mesmerizing. ... Read more

19. Devil in a Blue Dress (Easy Rawlins Mysteries)
by Walter Mosley
Paperback: 272 Pages (2002-09-17)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$1.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743451791
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Los Angeles, 1948: Easy Rawlins is a black war veteran just fired from his job at a defense plant. Easy is drinking in a friend's bar, wondering how he'll meet his mortgage, when a white man in a linen suit walks in, offering good money if Easy will simply locate Miss Daphne Money, a blonde beauty known to frequent black jazz clubs....Amazon.com Review
Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins has few illusions about the world--at least not about the world of a young black veteran in the late 1940s inSouthern California. His stint in the Army didn't do anything to dissuadehim from his belief that justice doesn't come cheap, especially for menlike him. "I thought there might be some justice for a black man if he hadmoney to grease it," Easy says. Fired from his job on the line at an aircraftplant, he's in danger of losing his home, symbol of his tenuous hold on middle class status. That's a good enough reason to accept a white man's offer to pay him for finding a beautiful, mysterious Frenchwoman named Daphne Monet,last seen in the company of a well-known gangster. Easy's search takes thereader to an L.A. few writers have shown us before--the mean streets ofSouth Central, the after-hours joints in dirty basement clubs, the cheaphotels and furnished rooms, the places people go when they don't want to befound. Evocative of a past time, and told in a style that's reminiscent ofHammet and Chandler, yet uniquely his own, Mosley's depiction of aninherently decent man in a violent world of intrigue and corruption rang upbig sales when it was published in 1990 (although the movie version, with DenzelWashington as Easy, never found the audience it deserved). The minorcharacters are deftly and brilliantly developed, especially Mouse, whosaves Easy's life even as he draws him deeper into the mystery of DaphneMonet. Like many of Mosley's characters, Mouse makes a return appearancein the succeeding Easy Rawlins mysteries, such as A Red Death, Black Betty, and White Butterfly, every oneof which is as good as Devil in a Blue Dress, his first. --Jane Adams ... Read more

Customer Reviews (63)

3-0 out of 5 stars good writing, nasty characters
Yes, Mosely's an excellent writer, and he kept the plot moving.His sparse, clean writing style is perfect for this genre. However, the only character I found remotely sympathetic was Easy, and I even had trouble relating to him.I found the ending rather pat -- all the loose ends tied up a little too neatly to get Easy off the hook.Everyone else in the book was violent, promiscuous, or downright depraved, and a whole bunch of them did Easy's dirty work for him.Maybe the time and place Moseley's writing about really was that bad and I'm too naive to know it, but I'll opt for less brutal fare for my next mystery.

5-0 out of 5 stars How Easy got going
I'd been advised by another Amazon reviewer to read the Easy Rawlins series, so here I am at the beginning. And now I have that happy glow you get when you discover a very fine writer, and you know there's lots of good reading ahead.

Ezekiel (Easy) Rawlins doesn't like to kill people, but he learned how to do it in the War. He also got used to being around white people. This story opens in 1948.

Easy doesn't know he's destined to become a private investigator. His first case is thrust on him by a scary white man with dead eyes who pays him to find a beautiful young white woman named Daphne Monet. Daphne likes jazz and the company of black people. The white man who wants her found can't go where she goes.

A lot of people die while Easy figures out what's going on. He himself narrowly avoids shooting anyone - or getting killed himself. He has a friend called Mouse who watches his back, which helps. But even Easy has to step softly around Mouse, who carries several guns and has a very short fuse.

There are two unforgettable lovemaking scenes in this book, funny and poignant rather than salacious. And there are many scenes of wonderful dialog between touchy males who just barely avoid going into attack mode. The quality of Mosley's prose is indescribably delicious, even when all hell is breaking loose.

3-0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag...
I have mixed feelings about this one. The dialogue was very good, the setting was interesting and well-drawn, and the mystery aspect was good, too. The problem is that I never cared what happened to any of the characters because I couldn't connect with any of them. I think that's partly due to the fact that there we so many of them and the novel is only 219 pages long--there just wasn't enough time to get to know them. I felt sympathy for Easy and understood how trapped he was by societal attitudes and his circumstances, but I didn't like him much. I don't think I'll be reading any more of this series.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Page-Turner That is Perfect for the Beach or Airplane
This mystery is a good page-turner.E.z. Rawlings is a streetwise and intelligent black
man who gets laid off from his factory job in 1940's Los Angeles by his racist boss. He
inadvertently lands a job as a private eye.The book meanders a bit but the writing is
quite good.The book also examines social issues and has very realistic dialogue.I es-
pecially liked the parts that took place in speak-easies.

This is a perfect book for vacation or airplane reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
I ran into this book by chance at a Salvation Army store. I buy a lot of books there and do not finish many. At twenty-five cents a book, it is not a big gamble. This book is worth the retail price.

As others reviewers will tell you, it is set in the post-war 1940s in black Los Angeles. It rings true and holds your interest. The environment it describes is thankfully gone. So are the "black and tan" clubs that I used to frequent in the 60s, again thankfully gone. ... Read more

20. A Red Death : Featuring an Original Easy Rawlins Short Story "Silver Lining"
by Walter Mosley
Paperback: 312 Pages (2002-10-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$1.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743451767
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

It's 1953 in Red-baiting, blacklisting Los Angeles, a moral tar pit ready to swallow Easy Rawlins. Easy is out of "the hurting business" and into the housing (and favor) business when a racist IRS agent nails him for tax evasion. Special Agent Darryl T. Craxton, FBI, offers to bail him out if he agrees to infiltrate the First American Baptist Church and spy on alleged communist organizer Chaim Wenzler. That's when the murders begin.... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars A fully human detective
A Red Death was my first introduction to Easy Rawlins, who is such a relief from the one dimensional, macho, emotionless male detectives who are typical in this genre. In fact I was exclusively reading mysteries with female detectives before I came across Mosley's work. For me watching realistic characters get themselves into predicaments - and use their personal strengths to extricate themselves - is half the fun of reading a good mystery.And you definitely get that with Mosley's detective stories. Rawlins is full of flaws, foibles, conflicting emotions and insecurities.

I also found the scenarios in the book true-to-life - the need for African Americans to conceal from their friends when they come into money (by posing as the janitor when they own the building) - and the widespread tendency of the police to send informants into gang-ridden areas because they are afraid to go themselves.

Mouse, Rawlins' sidekick, is also priceless. A man with a heart of gold, but with a temper and a tendency to see things in black and white - a deadly combination in someone so big and powerful.

The historical setting, during the 1950s McCarthy era in Los Angeles, adds greatly to the book's interest.


5-0 out of 5 stars "I walked and cursed and loaded all my pistols"
Easy Rawlins is killing-mad. He's likely to go to jail and lose all his property. He's being prosecuted by the IRS for back taxes, and his only hope of getting out of this mess is to do some snooping for the FBI.

At this point in his career, Easy owns three apartment buildings, bought with stolen money that fell into his lap in an earlier book. But he hides his wealth and pretends to be the janitor. A black entrepreneur in LA in 1953 can't do business quite like a white man.

While Easy helps the FBI get the goods on suspected Reds (or pretends to), he keeps stumbling upon corpses. Naturally the cops find that suspicious. If Easy doesn't go to jail for tax fraud, he'll go for murder. The only way out of this mess is to find the killer himself.

The bewildering complications of the plot form a nice backdrop for nerve-racking fight scenes, amusing love scenes and spectacular drinking bouts. Betrayal between friends and lovers abounds, but most of it is forgiven by the time Easy ties up all the loose ends of his multiple investigations.

Easy's best friend Mouse shows up just when needed. With his short fuse and his taste for blood, Mouse is an uneasy friend for Easy, but he comes in handy when things get desperate.

I'm reading the Easy Rawlins books in order, and liking them more every time. The melodious prose and wry humor give deep pleasure. And the moral ambiguities Easy has to deal with invite our compassion, not just for blacks, but for the human predicament. Easy reflects, to his dismay, "I was on everybody's side but my own." That's precisely what makes him a hero.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Red Death
Easy Rawlins is a rarity - a self-employed, middle-income black man in 1950's Los Angeles.The role is a difficult one to maintain, particularly when the federal government gets wise to Rawlins' shortcuts to wealth.Facing crushing tax liability and/or prison, Rawlins agrees to help in the government's attempts to suppress communist worker's groups.The only thing is - Rawlins is starting to become a believer and people start dying in his vicinity.

A Red Death is a well-paced, noirish detective mystery with a setting both natural and utterly unique in the current field of mystery novels.While not the "new thing" that Devil in a Blue Dress was, I found this novel more satisfying.The story is complete, the characters are well-formed and believable.And perhaps most strikingly, there are elements of this novel that bear importance beyond its pages.That is, this book provides authentic thinking material and a perspective on an important topic that the reader may not have considered.A fine read in what appears likely to be an excellent series.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another fine color-coordinated mystery
Some years after the events of "Devil in a Blue Dress," Easy Rawlins's real estate investments are doing quite well.Unfortunately, he hasn't been paying taxes on them, which gets him involved with a government espionage investigation and a nasty tax man.At the same time, Easy's old flame shows up with her son, having left her husband Mouse, who happens to be Easy's friend and a sociopathic killer.

Walter Mosley has written another fine mystery.Its setting, the black culture of 1950s Los Angeles, is a unique setting and makes for an interesting companion piece to Ellroy's LA Quartet.Easy's milieu is just as fascinating as the puzzle he must unravel.Once again, Mouse pulls Easy's fat out of the fire; I'm starting to wonder if this happens in every book.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Blaxploitation Movie's Daddy
Even though Mosley's popular whodunnits started taking shape in the 90's, it's easy to see that the stories he writes stemmed from a certain influence:

Shaft, maybe even Black Ceasar, et al. for the action and "givin' it to da man!" undertones. Mixed in with a little bit of "Cotton Comes to Harlem" and "Mohagany" for the occasional romance and levity. In fact, his works don't seem much different than what you would see on the 1973 big screen in a theatre packed to the back with black faces. Note the similarities...

1. You've got your classic hard brother, be he a private dick or just a good guy out to get what's coming to him. Easy, in classic Easy fashion, is a guy trying not to do what's wrong because he's seen enough of that. A hard drinker because of the pain his past has caused him, this fellow with kill only if he has to.

2. There's always the white folks who turn out to be the bad guys. They're cops or ganglords or jerks with a ton of dough. Here we have Lawrence, a tax agent who comes down on Easy because of tax evasion. Second we have Craxton, the FBI guy who wants to use Easy for his own purposes, but makes a deal with him - do my bidding and I'll chill out that tax thing. Finally, there is Officer Fine, a bit player who lusts after the cries and screams of anything black.

3. Can't forget how nobody else "understands him but his woman." And she's black, no way around that. With Easy, he's messing around with a woman who can get him killed as sure as the day is long: Mouse's wife. Now if that's not a mistake, I don't know what is. Mouse is Easy's friend, for one thing. For another, he's a cold-blooded killer. But Easy's willing to risk it all for love.

4. Must mention the white woman he cheats on her with. This is thrown in soley to annoy the white man. In 1970, this act of spite was a given. And it's in this book too.

5. Jive talk. Nothing but jive talk. It simply must be indicative of the era and this novel plays out perfectly as a piece choc full of blacks who were taught how to talk by their 1930's parents, who were taught to talk by THEIR 1900 former slave parents, who, before that, were educated in grammer and English by Africans who weren't even born here and ignorant overssers. Mosley is obviously no stranger to this snowball effect that whites have come to call "ebonics." As the credo goes, "write what you know."

6. The hard brother has to be a vigilante type. No way is he an angel. Easy has taken lives and he regrets it. He drinks like it's going out of style and he needs it. He cheats The Man out of his money to keep things balanced. He can be a sinner, but he must be able to rationalize it believably or the reader (watcher) won't sympathize with him. No problem with that here.

So yeah, it's like a blaxploitation movie with one catch: the white friend. I've never seen that in the movies, yet I've read two of Mosley's books and in both he seems to project his antagonists with an affinity for Jews, similarizing their plights in doomed histories. This approach is effective in that it shows open hearts and opened minds during an era of rampant hate. I liked this book because I could identify with many of the characters, some of whom I am ashamed to say I feel like I've known well in my lifetime. But there's just something about the story that keeps it average... ... Read more

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