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R L'S Dream

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,023 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Soupspoon Wise is dying on the unforgiving streets of New York City, years and worlds away from the Mississippi delta, where he once jammed with blues legend Robert "RL" Johnson. It was an experience that burned indelibly into Soupspoon's soul -- never mind that they said RL's gift came from the Devil himself. Now it's Soupspoon's turn to strike a deal with a stranger. An ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 1st 1996 by Washington Square Press (first published July 28th 1995)
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Apr 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Walter Mosley fans
Walter Mosley is probably best known for his magificient P.I. Easy Rawlins mystery series. R.L.'s Dream is an early stand alone (1995) I got a kick out of reading. Soupspoon is an old blues player from down South. He's sick with cancer. His protector and friend is Kiki, a white lady with a traumatic childhood and a drinking problem. They try to take care of each other. That's one key thing I like about Mosley's fiction, the compassionate though flawed characters he creates. You might, too.
Andrew Vachss
Nov 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant tsunami, razor-edged and driven by love.
Apr 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: general
This book was reccommended by author Ed Lynskey and sounded good, so I gave it a try. Though Walter Moseley is best known for his Easy Rawlins stories, this book is not a mystery. It tracks the relationship of Soupspoon Wise, an aging bluesman suffering from cancer, and his neighbor Kiki, who takes him in on a sudden whim when Soupspoon is about to be evicted from his apartment. Both Kiki and Soupspoon have southern roots, and I especially enjoyed Soupspoon's narratives that detailed what life w ...more
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thriller
Whilst I really enjoy the Easy Rawlings books, I have loved Walter Mosley’s non series books. This one is essentially all about the Blues. For the uninitiated RL is Robert Johnson, a blues man all on his own, and Soupspoon, a dying blue an in New York is obsessed with the memory of him 50 years on. The characters are memorable, the writing exciting, making the book really great. As Soupspoon remembered RL, I remembered my best friend who died a few years ago, who introduced me to Walter Mosley f ...more
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Okay, simply put, I love this book. Mosley's writing is almost palpable. It has substance. It's tactile. I love the feel of it in my mind, in my mouth when I read certain passages out loud. It makes me think of my father and the blues I listened to with him and the stories he taught me. Now, I want to pull out my dad's Robert Johnson records...and Mississippi Fred and Howling Wolf and Taj Mahal.
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Powerful drama of a dying blues man and his unlikely savior.
Stacey Suver
Apr 27, 2018 rated it liked it
The devil is Robert Johnson.
Jan 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
“You don’t know our place back then. We was the bottom of the barrel. We were the lowest kinda godless riffraff. Migrants and roustabouts, we was bad from the day we was born. Blues is the devil’s music an’ we his chirren. RL was Satan’s favorite son. He made us all abandoned, and you know that was the only way we could bear the weight of those days.”

Na het lezen van de eerste drie romans van Mosley had ik het gevoel een degelijke, maar misschien ook een wat onopmerkelijke schrijver te zijn teg
Apr 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
RL's Dream is a good book. It's a book about the blues and the South, and what it meant to be black during the Jim Crow era. Even though the book is set in the present, there is a feeling of reality to the scenes from Soupspoon's youth. I don't think Walter Mosley lived through those times, at least not as an adult. But he is old enough to have heard the stories from his parents and grandparents. Stories about what it meant that you could be killed for anything, or nothing, without protection by ...more
Perry Whitford
Oct 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who like the Blues raw.
Atwater "Soupspoon" Wise is an old bluesman dying of cancer, destitute, living in intense pain and on the margins of society before he is rescued by Kiki Waters, a 30-something alcoholic white woman.

Kiki puts him up and they begin a platonic relationship where the roles of nurturer and nutured alternate as both of them effect a rebirth in each other, albeit one that ends in death.

Soupspoon's claim to fame is that he once spent some time on the road with Robert Johnson, a short period of his lif
Atwater "Soupspoon" Wise is dying. An old blues man who can't forget the past. He especially can not forget about RL. RL was the blues man Soupspoon started playing with; the man living the life that got cut short.

The story starts with old Atwater fleeing a homeless shelter, in severe pain, and returning to his apartment, just to be tossed out by the landlord the next day. Kiki, rescues him from the stoop and takes him in. She cleans him up, risks her job to get him health insurance, all because
Mar 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
The central character of this novel is Soupspoon Wise, a bluesman who in his youth had met Robert Johnson. As the story begins, Soupspoon is old, broke and standing in death's doorway, but an unlikely angel arrives in time to allow him time to play another verse of his life's song.

This is a tale of how a chance encounter can alter the rest of a man's life and how a talented artist can be humbled by the presence of genius.

I have read most of Mosely's Easy Rawlins mysteries and enjoyed them and B
John Sloan
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very Good. A Sad but very enjoyable tale of an elderly mans last few months, and what he has to go through. The reflection of this character on his life up to this point, makes for some very good storytelling. Especially the bits about Robert Johnson, this is a more interesting take on his story. It is a very informative and interesting account of some of what was going on in the Mississippi delta blues scene in the first half of the 20th century, and life as a black man at this time and place. ...more
Jamie Howison
I discovered this one on Adam Gussow's list of recommended blues novels, and decided to give it a try. Mosley's reputation was made as a mystery writer, and while not a mystery novel this book does have some of those same textures. He does a fine job of creating engaging characters, and the general story arc was quite compelling. There were times, though, where I just wasn't convinced by the twists and turns in the plot, and I have to confess that the way in which Mosley draws on the mythologize ...more
Matthew Metzdorf
Sep 03, 2014 rated it liked it
This is not my favorite of the books I've read by the prolific Walter Mosley, but in its summation there are some moments that are transcendent and wise. This is a novel that, more than any other I've read or heard of, bottles the blues up for you to drink and taps into the folklore surrounding Robert Johnson and the birth and whimpering death of the blues man in all its derivations: the eponymous, the protagonist, and the archetypal. Doesn't go down easy sometimes, but that's the blues, I guess ...more
Michelle Palmer
I love the Easy Rawlins books by Mosley so I decided to give this one a try.

It was a bit uncomfortable for this white, southern, middle-class, middle-age woman but it was an excellent dive into a unique group of characters.

Mosley's characters are always well written and complete. This book is no exception.

It is a love story to the Blues and Robert Johnson in particular.

A sad but wonderful depiction of an old Bluesman's last few months.
Lynn Wilson
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
I love this man's writing. He has such a gift with language. Mosley finds the love in even the darkest, most flawed people. The only reason I have not rated it five stars is because the subject matter is so incredibly dark that I know there are not many who would appreciate it the way I have. If you can handle darkness, and if you appreciate the writer's gift, you'll love this one.

Sam  Hedrick
Jan 17, 2009 rated it it was ok
Very contrived. There was a story in there, but I don't think Mosely was quite able to get a grip on it. Nice references to the blues and Robert Johnson, but fell quite short of the mark. Main charector should have been sympathetic, but she was just too abrasive to relate to. I'll stick with Easy Rawlings...
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If I could give this book 100 stars I would. I vividly recall the day I read the first page, the emotions it evoked and the tears streaming down my face.

Walter Mosley is a marvelous writer; a brilliant crafter of stories; and a genius at swallowing me whole inside a story.
Shirley Hart
Aug 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Reminds me of Morrison's Jazz--but in a blues vein. Memorable. Kiki rescues Soupspoon. Eventually rescues herself. Life is the antogonist in this novel but life is the protagonist, too. And ain't that the blues?
Gio Clavijo
Apr 29, 2013 rated it liked it
En español: Blues de los sueños rotos (Editorial Anagrama). Un libro de esos que se va diluyendo. Comienzas emocionado la lectura (blues+ protagonista carismático) y al final, como que la decepción va creciendo, a pesar de muchos pasajes soberbios.
Mar 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Mosley's mysteries are cleanly written, with no excess. The stories are pared down, and yet have room for characters to waltz into weirdness without starting to bat an eye.

Irresistibly taut writing combined with complex plots. I was on the edge of my seat.
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Blues is a universal thing. This is a truly masterful novel, filled with well crafted characters that you can feel the life in. While reading it, you can feel the atmosphere that Mosley has created. I would highly recommend this novel to one and all.
Jul 23, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: wmosley
This was just effing weird. Walter Mosley's gotten a lot of heat for his forays into sci-fi, but they usually resound from people who just want him to crank out more Easy Rawlins stories. Thing is, as lush as his settings, as convincing as his dialogue is...this was just WEIRD.
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Met een Engels examen in aantocht op zoek gegaan naar een geschikt werk in een ver verleden. In een gigantische tweedehands winkel dit boekje gevonden en ik vind het nog steeds een schitterend werk. Laat u gerust meeslepen door de blues-sfeer in zowel verhaal en schrijfstijl.
Benjamin Plume
Not one of my favorites by Mosley, although still moving. This one is not for weak-stomached or skittish readers. As usual, Mosley goes a long way to making one understand his characters in unexpected ways.
Trice McCallister
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My very first Walter Mosley book. I read it 12times and it will never leave my bookshelf
Izetta Autumn
Jun 15, 2007 rated it really liked it
Sex with an 70+-year old? A drug addicted womyn? Selling one's soul to the devil for that special sound...Oh my.
Mar 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book
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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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