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Walkin' the Dogby Walter Mosley
Synopses & Reviews
Bestselling novelist Walter Mosley brings back Socrates Fortlow, the widely praised hero of Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, in this powerful new book exploring life outside the law in modern-day Los Angeles.
The introduction of Socrates Fortlow, an ex-convict forced to define his own morality in a lawless world, was hailed as "astonishing" by the Los Angeles Times. In this new book about the man with "rock-breaking hands," Socrates confronts wrongs that most people would rather ignore and comes face-to-face with the most dangerous emotion: hope. It has been nine years since his release from prison, and he still makes his home in a two-room shack in a Watts alley. But he has a girlfriend now, a steady job, and he is even caring for a pet, the two-legged dog he calls Killer. These responsibilities make finding the right path even harder — especially when the police make Socrates their first suspect in every crime within six blocks.
In each chapter of Walkin' the Dog, Socrates challenges a different conundrum of modern life. In "Blue Lightning," he is offered a better-paying job but has to consider whether the extra pay is worth the freedom he would have to give up. In "Promise," he keeps a vow made long ago to a dying friend, and learns that a promise to one person can mean damage to another. In "Mookie Kid," he gets a telephone and learns that the price of being able to reach others is that others can contact him — whether he wants to be reached or not. Walkin' the Dog builds to a stunning climax as Socrates takes on a rogue cop who has terrorized his neighborhood. Writing with the same lyricism and insight that have made bestsellers of his Easy Rawlins mysteries, Walter Mosley has brought us a brilliant new book and one of the most enduring fictional characters to come along in years.
"Mosley can readily manage more than one empathetic series hero, and in Socrates Fortlow...he has a winner....This is a deceptively low-key book that sneaks up on a reader with the realization of how much can be revealed by artfully chosen, dead-accurate dialogue, and how fully a uniquely admirable and always unexpected personality has been brought to life." Publishers Weekly
"Mosley long ago proved that he is skilled at narrative and phrasing, and Walkin' the Dog reinforces that distinction....But the meat of [the book] is not in its stories, but in its doggedly philosophical inquiries....It can sometimes be difficult to climb the mountain of thought in Walkin' the Dog...but its meaning and style of expression make it a rewarding exercise." Michael Praeger, The Boston Globe
"[P]robing and stirring....Delicately balancing the demands of individual stories and the whole cycle, Mosley uses his perpetually angry, sensitive hero to show that 'bravery ain't no big thing....It's love that gives life.'" Kirkus Reviews
"In prose as plain and gritty asphalt, Mosley (who is also the author of the Easy Rawlins mysteries) adeptly builds a feeling of urgency and suspense around even seemingly ordinary episodes of his protagonist's life." Adam Goodheart, The New York Times Book Review
"Through the quiet magic of Mosley's writings, we empathize as Socrates struggles to become part of the community and do the right thing....Like his Athenian namesake, Socrates is a man of subversive views and moral courage." William Plummer, People
"In Walkin' the Dog, [Mosley] once again throws light on a part of this city we seldom see and proves that appearances can be deceiving. Perhaps we shouldn't praise Mosley for the bravery of his vision; we've come to expect that from him. Perhaps we should be more grateful for the hope he's found in Socrates Fortlow's new and difficult life." Thomas Curwen, The Los Angeles Times Book Review
"In terms of plot, the book is disjointed, mostly following Fortlow's workaday life. The true soul of the book seems to be the pondering of the relationship between the races....Much of the philosophizing is perhaps a tad deep for an uneducated jailbird, but Mosley should get credit for addressing this neglected segment of society. Recommended." Library Journal
Nine years after being released from prison, ex-convict Socrates Forlow is struggling to rebuild his life — with a girlfriend, a steady job, and a pet — but his efforts to maintain his principles and do the right thing is complicated when the police make him their prime suspect for every neighborhood crime.
In this sequel to "Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned", Socrates Fortlow is back in Watts, trying to leave prison in his past, and confronting the most dangerous emotion of all: hope.
About the Author
Walter Mosley is the author of the bestselling Easy Rawlins series of mysteries, the novel R.L.'s Dream, and the story collection Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, for which he received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. He was born in Los Angeles and has been at various times in his life a potter, a computer programmer, and a poet. His books have been translated into twenty languages. He lives in New York.
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