My ex-wife’s grandfather was 93 when he died. Every time I visit his grave from now on, I’m going to think of this book by Walter Mosley. Walter Mosley made me cry with “Fortunate Son”, and this book was recommended to me from the library, so I went for it. Mosley put this book out in 2010, and it is a heavy hitting, slow burning, epic book that reaches into your soul and pulls out every emotion that you can think of. “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” by Walter Mosley is one hell of a book, and it is one of my favorites that I’ve read in 2017 thus far.
Woa! Sorry to stop your flow of reading. I wanted to interject and say that this is an older review. I know, old content isn’t always great. However, if you’re reading this, just know that this is a review that I wrote after reading the book in 2017. I’m working on 2019’s reviews, and will post them as I can, but this is from my archives. Sorry to break up the flow again, just continue reading, and please try the fish! I mean, buy the book.
I wish I could write as prolifically as Mosley. He has been putting out some great books, and this one is different from some of his other well-known works. This is a book that focuses on a 91 year old man, named after ancient Egypt, and is on his way to death. The main character is Ptolemy Grey, and he’s living in South Los Angeles, where he’s most likely going to die. He is a hoarder, he is losing his memory, and he patiently waits for his grandnephew, Reggie. The thing is, Reggie gets killed by a drive by, and has to come to the realization that he’s alone. He turns into a hermit, but a young lady saves him in many ways, Robyn. His niece’s tenant shows up to help him, and things get through to some amazing elements of life, love, and regret.
Ptolemy is a character that is dying, but is given new life in an experimental drug system. He is given a drug that will help him get his memory back, but he will die, no matter what. He takes it on for free, and his memories start coming back to him. He starts to realize all the things that he missed out on, and with the help of Robyn, he starts to get his final affairs in order. Through this, the tightening of the screws start, as Robyn and him start to realize that he has millions, and is going to ensure that Reggie’s family, is taken care of. But first, he must confront what happened to Reggie and who was involved. The final act will leave you speechless, as this one turns into an incredible story of revenge.
With “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” by Walter Mosley, Mosley makes you laugh, cry, and realize that we are all going to get old. We are all going to die. Our decisions today can help or hurt us in the future, and sometimes, we need to remember that. Mosley crafts a Los Angeles story with deep empathy, and great pathos. I loved it. I recommend it, and I think Mosley is slowly becoming my favorite writer. I can only hope to be a good writer one day, because I’m definitely not anywhere near any of Mosley’s work. This is a great book. Don’t miss out on the beautiful prose, and amazing emotional story-telling.