The Man in My Basement
That is the question you have to ask yourself before reading this book. If a person stumbled upon your doorstep and offered you an immense amount of money to imprison them, without giving you a clue as to why they want to be imprisoned in your basement,...more
I was totally absorbed in the bo...more
Much of the book is more complicated than it seems. While there is no explosive climax, the book is well-written to the point that after the story comes to a resolution, you are still hooked into the falling action as the story winds down int he last chapter.
Even the racial currents of the book turn out to be more complicated than they s...more
On the one hand, was Mosley providing some kind of allegorical tale, exploring issues of evil and writing/righting the wrongs committed by whites/slavers on blacks/slaves - and providing that happy ending for his protagonist? Giving the "I" to the black protagonist to write his own history, those masks of his ancients sitting on the window shelf looking down at him. His getting to write his history and tell it, not have someone else d...more
Which came first, civilization or inequality? At the risk of sounding like a pundit, I’d like humbly suggest that the conservative point of view is: civilization requires inequality. There needs to be a class system, a hierarchy which creates a scaffold on which civilization is maintained. And because this is intrinsically unfair, all kinds of (irrational) justifications are used to maintain these hierarchies, and the most pervasive of this i...more
One aspect that makes this book so well liked is the vivid descriptions. The author, Walter Mosley, made it obvious he wanted the readers to be so engaged in the bo...more
It tells the story of a last of the line original black family that came to America, Massachusetts, as free people.
This book is about journeys to find oneself both for the Narrator, and the man who pays him a ton of money to imprison him.
It is one of the most interesting books I have ever read.
The story line certainly may not be as thri...more
It's about a black guy, at the end of his financial rope, who is a bit of an autodidact nerd-recluse, and has worn out his welcome in a lot of formerly friendly places, wi...more
This relatively short novel asks a lot of its readers--more so, even, than Mosley's Easy Rawlins mysteries or more serious fiction, plays, and essays. His two unlikely (and largely unlikable) heroes are left to tackle such huge questions as the nature of evil and redemption, guilt and punishment, power, ambition, and America's role in the world. Some critics found that the book did not dig deep enough or come close enough to offering any concrete conclusions, and they criticized the overly philo...more
There's not even much of a story, and the plot is simple, but those few steps are powerful. The slave becomes the slaver. Refences to black history are made, but not really the essence of the story. The main character is simply a loser, with no redeeming qualities. He keeps himself apart from people by only communicating with lies and fibs. His character is thrown up against another character who...more
Charles Blakey was content to sleep walk through life; blaming his failures and misfortunes on anyone but himself. Anniston Bennet carried the burden of the failures of governments, the ultimate cost of power and wealth, and...more
I hate to label it disappointing, but it was. Part of that stems from how it was not at all what I expected. (That in itself is a hazard of reading, and I shrug my shoulders at it.) However, I was expecting a psychological thriller, and I got an extended series of philosophical questions about the nature of evil, necessity, action, and humanity. I haven't the least problem with exploring these ideas...more
It's the story of a black man living in his family's historical home. He is unemployed and running out of money with no plan on how to provide for himself when a small white man appears on his porch offering to pay...more
This book helped me admit to myself that Mosley's female characters exist primarily as sex objects. Sure, they do other things--for instance...more
This is an eerie story th...more
The title had me intrigued; the basement; the underground; the whole Jungian shadow self...so much potential darkness to explore. I think Mosely either chickened-out or got tired.
I DO recommend this book...more
When a twist is added - being paid to surrender yourself to a basement for two months? Had to read it. Also, it's the only Mosley...more