It's 1963. Easy Rawlins has given up the street life and is now the supervising custodian of Sojourner Truth High School in Watts. He gets up early and goes off to work. He wears nice clothes and puts all his energy and love into his job and his adopted children. He likes his new life.
But his life changes when Easy comes in early one morning to find one of the teachers already in her classroom. She has her dog with her, and a story about a husband gone mad. Before Easy knows what's happening, the teacher is in his arms. Before the day is over the teacher is gone, leaving Easy with her dog - and a corpse in the school garden.
Easy may have left the streets, but he hasn't been forgotten. The police believe that Easy is involved in the murders. Old enemies are waiting to get even. The principal of the school wants to fire him. His old friends aren't the same, and his new friends might mean his death. A murderer is running lose somewhere. And a little yellow dog plots revenge.
©1996 Walter Mosley; (P)2002 Audio Renaissance, a Division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
"The best book yet in this fine series. Easy Rawlins [is] one of the most distinctive voices in crime fiction." (The Seattle Times)
"A well energized and crafty novel." (The New York Times Book Review)
This title has potential and builds on the Easy Rawlins saga; a chapter from his middle-age. Easy's 8 to 5 job (and how he got it), his reluctant return to the streets, Mouse's transformation are all elements to keep your interest. Unfortunately, if you have enjoyed the distinctive narration of Stanley Bennett Clay in the three earlier titles, this audiobook will be a big disappointment.
I loved all the previous Easy Rawlins audiobooks. They are great stories, compelling, suspenseful, real. I highly, highly recommend all the books, and this one is no exception.
BUT. The previous narrator, Stanley Bennett Clay, was fantastic. A perfect Easy. In constrast, the narrator for this book, Howard Weinberger...i have to say, he was truly awful. He stumbled over words, chronically mispronounced things, his emphasis was all wrong. It sounded like a kid in school hesitantly reading something for the first time. It was as if he had never seen the script before...and didn't bother to look up the words he didn't understand! It was so jarring, I considered several times going out and buying the book so I could finish it without listening to him. It made me wince. It was really disappointing.
All in all, I would listen to all the previous books, but read this one.
To be fair, this fifth Easy Rawlins Book followed four narrated by the incomparable Michael Boatman, and I don't envy any narrator trying to fill those giant shoes. That said, this is a pivotal work in the Rawlins canon. It gives us a new Easy, no longer a man of the streets, but a hard-working supervising custodian at a school, clinging to family life and sobriety. It's a compelling and important story, and it deserved better than Howard Weinberger's narration. The Easy Rawlins novels are as much about the Los Angeles of the era as they are about the lead character. Having a narrator who can't even pronounce "La Cienega" pulls the listener right out of the story at crucial moments. Inexcusable.
I plan on reading or listening to all of Walter Mosley's books. Howard Weinberger needs to learn how to read a book out loud! He also needs to work on his pronunciation. He pronouces proffered "pro-offered!" He mispronounced another word earlier in the story, as well, but I cannot remember what it was. Weinberger reads like he has better things to do. I'll be buying the book instead of listening to it! I'M NOT HAPPY!!!! :<
I do not yet have any. I just started listening, but the reader is so boring and unskilled that I returned it to Audible.com!
Weinberger is BORING, expecially when compared to Michael Boatman! Also, he mispronounces some of the words, such as "proffered."
I am disappoointed in the reader but not the book.
Replace Weinberger with a competent reader!
I tried to listen as long as I could but this poor narrator is just not up to the task on this book. I switched to the Kindle version for my iPhone and out of curiosity started listening and reading at the same time. Not only does the narrator use very little inflection, he bungles some of the text and way into the book mispronounces "Mofass." Maybe it's his first try, but I agree with the listeners who switched to the book on this one.
With "LYD" Walter Mosley is as brilliant as usual. Do yourself a favor and listen to this book. Then, buy the hardcover and put it on your coffee table for guests to enjoy. Even reading/listening to a few chapters is entertaining.
If you haven't already done so, be sure to listen to Mosley's "Fearless" series. There again are very good stories that will keep your ears wide open.
My first experience of this author and series I have heard so much about. The writing is, as "advertised", wonderful. Being a native Angelino I love hearing even the names of the streets evoked. That is why hearing them mispronounced - again and again - is really hard on the ears, esp. since "Easy" is supposed to be such a cool cat and an Angelino himself. (It's "La Ci-en-e-ga", not "La Ceenega") Sorry, but the narrator's voice itself is fine and deep and textured but, as some of these reviews point out, he sometimes reads like he's just learning how. It's weird. I almost had to ignore the reading to stay focused on the words. That's too much work for something you should get lost in. But those words! Mercy. I bought this book on a $9.98 sale and it was definitely worth it. The narrator is not sooooo bad that it ruins the experience; he's just awkward and I am cranky about details; and it is an awfully good book. I'm definitely in for every one of this series. I haven't even finished this one and I'm writing the review! If you're waffling, I'd say get it, but get others first if this one costs 30 bucks or whatever. Know what I mean?
This was my first book by Walter Mosley, but it was compelling and brought me into the mind of a black man, a murderer, who desired to live right, but fought his own demons as well as those demons created by racial barriers. Walter Mosley is great on characterization and very thought-provoking. I enjoyed his humorous side as well, and must share a great line: "He was the definition of a loser in L.A. -- a man without a car." A great read!
Being from L.A. it was painful to hear the names of streets mispronounced. the story dragged a bit and Mouse just wasn't himself. However, it was nice to see Easy exert himself.
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