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