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Fortunate Son

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  2,676 ratings  ·  332 reviews
The New York Times bestselling author of the Easy Rawlins series returns with a new literary novel that explores the true meaning of fortune in a story about two boys, one ensconced in a life of privilege and the other in a life of hardship. Unabridged. 6 CDs.
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published November 1st 2007 by Hachette Audio (first published January 1st 2006)
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3.5 stars

I know Walter Mosley best as the author of the 'Easy Rawlins' mystery series, but Mosley dabbles in many genres. This book is a literary novel about two boys who think of themselves as brothers, but have very different lives.


Branwyn Beerman - a beautiful, black single woman who works in a florist shop - gives birth to a baby boy with a hole in his lung. Little Thomas Beerman is a 'bubble baby', kept in a glass enclosure that Branwyn visits every day - to will her baby to live. Tom
Apr 25, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Huh? Seriously? This book was really badly written. I don't have a copy with me right now so I can't quote. Just take my word for it. I can't believe anyone is taking this novel seriously. The story was somewhat interesting. However, Mosley knows only one device to move the plot forward - kill somebody off, I guess this is what happens when a crime writer tries to write something outside of his genre, it was ridiculous - people were dying like flies.
It read like a manuscript sent to a publisher
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, usa
"Books don't move me like when I was a kid," I told the librarian yesterday. "Every time I read, the experience becomes a little less special."
"You're reading the wrong books."

I've read so many, lately, that that was hard to accept, in the moment. And then I read this in one sitting. It's strangely moving and thought provoking and, at times, amateurishly written, with dialogue, descriptions and a final plot twist that are so poorly constructed as to make me feel embarrassed on behalf of Walter M
Dec 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of those books with so much humanity, so much beauty, that it alone could sustain my sometimes delicate faith in people. It is a rare meditation on what it means to pass through our world and what, if any, effect we leave on it. Lit snobs like to question what a work says about the human condition. This book asks a lot of questions about the human condition.
Jul 21, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary
I have been such a big fan of Mosely's mysteries that I grabbed at this audiobook on the shelf of my local library. Wow, it's like the bastard love child of Richard Wright and Danielle Steele, a series of sappy, cloying, breathless, nearly ridiculous love relationships grafted onto social commentary about how some folks become homeless. A black boy and a white boy grow up and then apart after their parents have an affair. Through a series of plot contrivances and meditations on eternal character ...more
Honey, honey, honey. This book. First let me say, I have never read a Walter Mosley book- not into reading Mystery. Why not? No clue. Just never struck my fancy. So as I was scrolling through his book list on the library's website, I saw this one and the blurb was interesting. So I got it and I spent all day in bed yesterday until I finished this book. My heart ached for Thomas. I cried so hard, I got a headache and had to go to sleep. I can't say this book was amazing, but I can say that I was ...more
Jan 02, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished "Little Yellow Dog" and immediately started another Mosley book, and another one after that, to the extent that tells you something. After finishing "Fortunate Son," I cast about for any book by any other author, to the extent that tells you something.

"Fortunate Son" is at once quintessential Mosley and at the same time a big departure for him. It's essentially a fairy tale of America, and the magical realism is a new toy for him (one he seems to enjoy playing with). Yet the treatment
Christopher Roberts
Walter Mosley's books are usually filled with observations on race relations and other interesting social topics, so this book seemed like it would be a winner. It followed two boys, Eric who is white and privileged, and Tommy who is black and raised in abuse and poverty. The boys were at first brothers in the same household when Tommy's mother and Eric's father fall in love but when Tommy's mother dies his abusive father takes him away.

The theme that Mosley does the most with is how affluenc
Debra Flores
May 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of two close brothers, one white (Eric), one black (Thomas), separated when they were 6 years old and reunited at 19. The two have vastly different lives during their separation. Thomas is the intuitive, saintly, and passive one. He accepts and surrenders to life's most horrible twists of fate. He is abandoned, beaten, imprisoned, raped and yet does not hold a grudge. Seemingly simple and guileless, everyone who is around him for any length of time is influenced by his goodness ...more
Feb 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always wanted to read a novel by Walter Mosely and I was not disappointed by this, my first. Indeed, as I read Fortunate Son, I found myself thinking that I had never read any novel quite like this one.

The plot is incredible though a bit complex to easily explain. In a brutal nutshell two "brothers", one black and one white, are raised together from birth in a posh Beverly Hills home. Their idyllic childhood is shattered when their black mother dies and Thomas' biological father reclaims him a
Jan 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this book on audio and although I gave it a decent rating, I almost did not continue reading/listening after the first couple of chapters as the story was beyond syrupy and sanguine. It was like the author was going out of his way to poke holes in all stereotypes in chapter one, so he could use the remaining chapters just to illustrate them.
White boy got everything.
Black boy ain't got nothin'.

And it pretty much goes like that. White people are all advantaged and take it for grant
MavLit Publishing

A compelling work. It leaves the reader really wishing good for one of the main characters who seems to have experienced all the bad breaks one could ever happen in life.
Dec 05, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone on a plane or bus.
This book was awful. An unsuccessful parable about race in the US. It was very readable in the way that bad tv can be very watchable. But often so bad I wanted to scream.
Carol Drufke-Zeller
Hmm, I came away from this not really being able to say this was a read I felt benefited me in any kind of way. The story itself was enough to keep you reading, but at times the pace of the story threw you off. The manner in which the author portrayed the passing of time felt phony. The character development was good, but the characters themselves were boring in an odd sort of way, despite these "unique" lives they seemed to be living. Most of the times the characters felt simply like characters ...more
This book was written in an odd style--very simplistically, with very little character development. I'd be interested to know if Mosley always writes like that. He uses what I guess I'd call magic realism, like some Latin American authors, in his story about 2 brothers that becomes a parable of the black and white races in the US. The white brother is huge, beautiful and gifted with the ability to make everyone like him and everyone do his bidding, but he is also dangerous in an uncanny way and ...more
This book is a different take on a brother to brother relationship. I enjoyed this story, it was very well written and I liked each character even though they were flawed. It was a raw emotional story that kept me reading until the last page. I hoped for the best for the two brothers from different worlds, who had different paths and experiences in their lives, but still loved and cared for each other more than they did in their other relationships. I would recommend this novel because it is a d ...more
I devoured the book within 24 hours. Walter Moseley writes mysteries, science fiction and realistic fiction; this book is a parable. Before you run away screaming, "Yuk, a parable!", I encourage you to read "Fortunate Son".

The story tells of two brothers, one black, and one white. One is large physically and healthy, the other is small and sickly. Yes, there are differences between Tommy and Eric, but the story is not that simple. The story is not about racism, but is filled with it. I know that
Linda Rowland
Jun 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One reviewer said it was like the love-child of Richard Wright and Danielle Steel, or something like that. It seemed more to me to be D.S. becoming R.W.
I am a fan of Easy Rawlins but have not been able to get interested in any other series. Thought I might like this stand alone novel. Guess I did since I picked it up and did not put it down until I was done.
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a GoodRead! Mosley is definitely One of the Greatest, he exhibits the ability to create stories for any genre and be entertaining as well as educational, He’s always spitting game with his pen. For Mi this Read is about Holding On 2 the Greatest Loves Of One’s Life in Life & Death.
Debra Faust-Clancy
Enjoyed this story by Walter Mosely; am reading him because I plan to attend CrimeBake (writer's conference) in the fall and he is the featured speaker. Story revolves around two boys Eric and Thomas, one white and one black. They grew up as brothers in the same house. They do not have the same father nor do they have the same mother. They are brothers because their father's white mother died in childbirth. His subsequent lover (spoiler alert!) whom he never married had a black child from a blac ...more
This book started out interesting and then took a strange turn. It was a depressing story with some happiness in the end ( I think). This was my first Mosley book, I will try another one.
Jun 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: touching
I'd read maybe one Walter Mosley book before picking this up at the library the other day when I was looking for another Christopher Moore novel. I liked the cover, and the leaf was interesting, and I started reading the first page and unintentionally got several pages into it before I realized I was going to have to check it out and finish it.

This book was interesting to me in two ways, and many aspects about it have stayed with me since I read it. It is a story of two brothers, one black, one
May 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-novel
I loved this book. (In what follows I'm excerpting from the Goodreads review and adding my own twist.) The book is about two boys, one ensconced in a life of privilege; the other, in a life of hardship. Using this rich context the author explores the true meaning of fortune. Eric is a Nordic Adonis, graced by a seemingly endless supply of good fortune. Tommy is a lame black boy, slowed down by chronic health problems, who remains optimistic and strong and the savior of many. After tragedy rips t ...more
Dec 30, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a toughie to read. Tommy, a young African-American boy, and Eric, a young white boy, are raised as brothers...then traumatically separated when Tommy's mother dies and his real family comes to claim him. Mosley skims fairly quickly over the boys' resulting lives--drug-dealing and crime for the sensitive Tommy, college, girlfriends, and an All-American charmed path for the heartless Eric. The story picks back up when the young men reunite and try to make sense of their intertwined histor ...more
Bernard Mcdonnell
Jun 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bernard by: Art Marroquin
Not often do I read a book that pulls me in like this one. Two brothers living in parallel and distinct worlds, yet needing each other to make a whole person.

Mosley kept me guessing about what would go right for one son and what would go wrong for the other. Stories told in tandem sometimes intermingle to closely in a novel. Mosley fleshes out each character and their lives over several years at a crucial time in their lives brings them back together.

What a complex creature is Thomas. His insigh
Jan 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wmosley
This is more of a tale about being thankful than anything else, I think, but isn't so hamfisted or schmaltzy for you to miss it. Sure, THomas has been in the lapt of luxury, but he got pulled out of it to be mistreated in almost every way possible. And after all of that? He's still thankful. Eric is the Golden Boy, for whom nothing goes wrong, but he too has issues: people gravitate to him and react to him in a very human way, a way I've seen firsthand with people I myself know.

A page turner th
Nov 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't let the title mislead you. Mosley has once again proven why he should be shelved next to the greats. Fortunate Son made me want to laugh and cry at the same time. I found myself cheering for all the characters including the ones Mosley portrayed as not so deserving of my compassion. This book is a fine example of why people come into our lives for a reason or just for a season. A must read for any Walter Mosley fan.
Lorrea - WhatChaReadin'?
I could not wait to finish this book. I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. Eric and Thomas, brothers from different mothers. Eric the son of a doctor. Thomas spent the first months of his life in the hospital. After Thomas's mom dies their entire lives are ripped apart and for 18 years they go without seeing each other. When they are reunited it is tradgedy that brings them together just as it tore them apart.
Sep 18, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Uh, I had higher hopes for this book, very disappointing. I mean, the story was decent and I liked the characters, but the way it was written was so cliched I was dyin. So literal, as if someone was writing for the first time and didn't know the phrases he was using were old as the hills and just as tired. Of course, I've never written a novel, so I can't slam it too hard...
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Walter Mosley (b. 1952) is the author of the bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins, as well as numerous other works, from literary fiction and science fiction to a young adult novel and political monographs. His short fiction has been widely published, and his nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times Magazine and the Nation, among other publications. Mosley is the winner of numero ...more
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“all those days I was walkin’ on the streets, I kept thinkin’ how special you got to be to get born.” 0 likes
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