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Rose Gold by Walter Mosley
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really liked it
bookshelves: netgalley

I was first introduced to Mosley when a magazine article named the Easy Rawlins' books as favorites of Bill Clinton, who was president at the time. Curious, I picked one up, and have been a fan ever since.

I love the classic detective stories of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. Reminiscent of those protagonists, Easy Rawlins works the mean streets of Los Angeles. But, Mosley's hero is a black man struggling against the prejudices of mid-Century America. He has many of the characteristics of Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade:
. . . he isn't afraid of a fight;
. . . he has a weakness for a pretty woman and is unstintingly chivalrous;
. . . he has a very strong, but very personal, moral code; and
. . . he believes there are more important things in life than money.

But, he is also somewhat unique in the PI world---he is a family man and has a very tender spot for his children. It is the complexity and contradictions present in the man that make the series so strong and this new addition to the series, ROSE GOLD, such a pleasure to read.

The story is fast-paced and complex but the most interesting aspect of it for me is to be witness to the daunting insults and crushing racism that a man like Easy faced every day of his life. Smart and philosophical, but not formally educated, every time he stepped out of his home he had to be prepared to be challenged, questioned, insulted or disrespected. To create a character that can maintain their dignity and sense of purpose in the midst of this is impressive.

So, for me the story line (although strong) is secondary. As I read the book, I am seeing the ease and privilege of my life through someone else's eyes. Mosey is not preaching; he is entertaining and subtly educating and he has a tremendous gift for doing that.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 26, 2014 – Shelved
September 26, 2014 – Shelved as: netgalley
September 26, 2014 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Lewis (new) - added it

Lewis Weinstein Thanks for an insightful review ... LEW ...

Nancy Thank you, Lewis. I appreciate it.

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