Thursday, December 16, 2010

161 - The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey; Walter Mosley













Ptolemy Grey is a 91-year-old man, who has lost his wife, and much of his memories. He lives in a filthy, Los Angeles apartment. Roach infested, with a toilet that hasn't worked in a long while, he stays holed up here all alone.  His pathetic, lonely life, is made even sadder by his dementia. He spends his days listening to classical music and the news. His great grand-nephew had been checking on him and running errands, but when Reggie is struck down in a drive by shooting and dies, everything changes.

Robyn Small, is a 17-year-old family friend of Reggie's mother, who begins to look after Ptolemy. She helps clean his apartment and becomes his advocate as well. His memories are jumbled, and his mind is as disorganized as the apartment he lives in. When Robyn takes him to a doctor, Ptolemy agrees to take part in an illegal, experimental medical program which can restore his memory, but shorten his life. His restored memory can help him to get his affairs in order, but in return, his days are numbered -- one more year on earth, and upon his death his body is donated to science.

What transpires in this novel, is something that moved me deeply--the reader gets the opportunity to travel back through the life of Ptolemy Grey, which was both sad and, at times, almost euphoric. 

Walter Mosley has written many fine novels in the past that I have enjoyed, but I must say that The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey is one novel that will stay with me long term. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

RATING - 4.5/5 Stars 
(review copy)

22 comments:

  1. I like your review so very much and miracle of miracles the book is available in two libraries here and is coming back end of the month. I think I have time to squeeze this book in before I leave!!!!

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  2. I've just finished reading a collection of short stories and Walter Mosely has a story in it that I really enjoyed. I haven't read anything else by him but this sounds like a wonderful read.

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  3. I got a chance to hear Mosley speak about this book and grabbed my own copy as well. I am quite looking forward to it because the premise sounds really intriguing and I have been hearing nothing but good things. Great review on this one. I am really glad to hear that you liked it!!

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  4. My sister read this one and thought it was great too.

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  5. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed this one as I do have this one for review at home.

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  6. I loved this too and didn't expect to!

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  7. This sounds wonderful - it reminds me of Flowers For Algernon in a way. Away to add it to my wish list now, thanks for recommending it.

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  8. Yet another one I'd like to read one day. I'm glad this novel moved you so much.

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  9. I was leery about this book because I didn't want another Flowers for Algernon. But your review might change my mind.

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  10. This sounded so good, I just went to B&N and got the book for my Nook. Thanks for the review.

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  11. wow, it does sound powerful. Once again Diane, you tempt me with yet more books. Keep it up:)

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  12. Jill wrote an amazing review of this one and now adding yours to the mix has pushed me to thinking maybe I will buy a copy of this one!!!

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  13. What an intriguing story line and a powerful one at that. I'm adding this to my list. Thanks so much.

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  14. This is the second review that has made me want to read this book. Well done!

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  15. That sounds like a great book with an interesting story line, thanks! Have a great weekend!!!

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  16. wow! sounds really terrific. i'm glad you liked this one so much. it sounds pretty intense but i think i'd like it, too!

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  17. I haven't heard of this one but it sounds very interesting. I'm adding it to my wish list!

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  18. I would really like to read this book, Diane. It sounds great!

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  19. Wow, what a STORY. Awesome, I really will look for it here :) Thank you!

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  20. I've been seeing this book so much lately that I really want to read it. I have it on hold in the library and can't wait to pick it up.

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  21. You've convinced me to read this one!

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  22. This sounds so sad and depressing but so good. I'm adding it to my to-read list.

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