Heidi's Reviews > A Red Death

A Red Death by Walter Mosley
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's review
Apr 04, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: audio-book, 50books-poc-rnd1, by-nwp, fiction, fiction-crime, from-library-hclc
Read in April, 2009

A long time ago I decided never again to read crime fiction written by a man. I was so disappointed by the James Patterson "Women's Murder Club" book that I read (I actually felt it was worse than Patricia Cornwall!), that I decided that was it. No more male writers.

But there came a day when I needed a heck of a lot of mental distraction on my (hour-long) drive home from work, and when I went to the library I discovered that they had four Mosley audio books and another four or five *books* of his. And as it was the only thing that looked vaguely interesting in the audio book section - and because it would count for 50books_poc - I decided to give Mosley a chance.

Mosley's writing, and his character Easy Rawlins, remind me of Sara Paretsky and VI Warshawski, a favourite writer/character duo that I've been sorely missing of late. They've got the rough edges, the gritty cities, the edge to their stories that other writers don't quite match.

Mosley is clearly a notch or two above James Patterson, although I don't know that I'd trust him to write a female pov character. His female characters are all just a little too much the sexual object, and not quite enough human being. (That said, I loved both Etta Mae and Shirley... and think either of them would have been the making of Easy.) I found myself liking and admiring Easy quite a bit: despite how much he despised himself, and despite the truth of his background. And I certainly did enjoy the resolution of the mystery.

(Whether it's Mosley, or the rhythm used by the reader on the audio book, the odd thing is I can hear that same rhythm echoing through the words I write in this review. The rise and fall of that rich voice that I loved listening to for just over a week, morning and evening, to and from work.)

I don't want to read (or listen to) too much Mosley too fast. I don't want to risk Patricia Cornwall syndrome. (I read every Cornwall book a housemate of mine owned in a single weekend while I was procrastinating on my honours thesis. Reading that many at a single gulp exposed the lack of creativity that Cornwall had in her storylines, and I've never brought myself to read another one since.) So I'll leave it a while before I pick another one up. But one day I certainly will. Especially those audio books.
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Reading Progress

03/26/2009 "Halfway through ch 7"
03/26/2009 "Somewhere in chapter nine or ten. Disc 2, anyway."
03/28/2009 "Disc 3/Chapter 12 - loved the description of First African Baptist."
03/30/2009 "Disc 4/Chapter 21, I think? The voice is starting to invade my head (not nec. a bad thing, but...)"
03/31/2009 "Definitely on disc 5 of 7. Easy's been arrested!"
04/01/2009 "On the 7th and final disc."
04/02/2009 "I have finished "A Red Death"."

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim Sturm Read "Red" about a year ago. On disc 6 at the moment. Like two different books. My mate picked up the audio book. I started listening. Took me awhile to realize I'd been there before. So worth it!

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