A masterful, moving novel about age, memory, and family that will forever establish Walter Mosley as one of the true literary icons of our time.
Ptolemy Grey is 91 years old and has been all but forgotten - by his family, his friends, even himself - as he sinks into a lonely dementia. His grand-nephew, Ptolemy's only connection to the outside world, was recently killed in a drive-by shooting, and Ptolemy is too suspicious of anyone else to allow them into his life, until he meets Robyn, his niece's 17-year-old lodger and the only one willing to take care of an old man at his grandnephew's funeral.
But Robyn will not tolerate Ptolemy's hermitlike existence. She challenges him to interact more with the world around him, and he grasps more firmly onto his disappearing consciousness. However, this new activity pushes Ptolemy into the fold of a doctor touting an experimental drug that guarantees Ptolemy won't live to see age 92 but that he'll spend his last days in feverish vigor and clarity. With his mind clear, what Ptolemy finds - in his own past, in his own apartment, and in the circumstances surrounding his grand-nephew's death - is shocking enough to spur an old man to action, and to ensure a legacy that no one will forget.
In The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, Mosley captures the compromised state of his protagonist's mind with profound sensitivity and insight, and creates an unforgettable pair of characters at the center of a novel that is sure to become a true contemporary classic.
©2010 Penguin Audio; 2010 Walter Mosley
"Mosley's depiction of the indignities of old age is heartbreaking, and Ptolemy's grace and decency make for a wonderful character and a moving novel." (Publishers Weekly)
Top ten percent. Great story, characters you can really root for and streets where you can hear the gravel under your feet.
Not so much the subject matter, but Walter Mosley's talent. His other, non detective novel "Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned", in my opinion, was even greater than this..... And that is saying something. Or, at least typing something.
Yes, he has a way of taking you inside the characters. If they are senile, you are senile, if they are surprised, you are surprised. Don't know what craft he employs to achieve this more than other authors to a point where I would bring it up, but lets not dissect it, ok?
Rich baritone, emotional, characters, PERFECT!
"Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned", only has fair reviews on Audible but if you like this you will love it.
This story should have put Walter Mosley back on the map although I love all of his books this is probably the best one that I've ever read and love it the most I appreciate the story
It reminded me of the Last Pilgrimage of Harold Frey - same type of scenario, unlikely they will succeed but they do.
The narrator was just delightful - what depth of performance
This was a lovely tale of overcoming adversity, weaving in mysticism.
The author's style was just right - beautifully descriptive while capturing your attention.
Wonderful cast of characters
This was my first Walter Mosley novel and I was not disappointed.
I loved the unique plot and storyline. The characters were so real it was quite easy to visualize them and their lives. Ptolemy Gray is an unforgettable protagonist. I came to understand his choices and rooted for him in spite of societal norms for how one should behave. And then there was Robin. I think we all need a Robin to come by and clean house and rouse our memories. I really appreciated the way Mosley shone lights on the various "love" relationships people experience or mistakenly believe they have experienced. The truth can be hidden in memory. Memory is so very powerful. Ptolemy demonstrates this so well and he brings to our attention how important memories can be if we maintain access to them.
A great story by a great storyteller.
The narration was also excellent in every way, setting the tone of Ptolemy for the reader/listener.
I love to walk and run listening to audiobooks
I really enjoyed this book. I picked it up because I had heard that Walter Mosley is a highly regarded writer and I can see why. This book is hopeful yet sad, lyrically melancholy and ultimately, all about love and life, though dementia and impending death are the main "characters". Read this - you will enjoy it. Also, the narrator was sublime.
Walter Mosley 's ability to create unique characters, families and relationships is apparent in The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey as in all his books. This time he takes us into the life of a 91-year-old whose mind is clouded and wandering. Taking a risky, experimental treatment, he regains clarity for a brief period and brings satisfying closure to his life. Mosley's insight into the human heart and the power of love is complemented by the performance of Dominic Hoffman. A great audio book!
This book starts off a bit disjointed and I kept thinking I either wasn't paying close enough attention or that it was poorly written. However, after reading other reviews, I hung in and am so glad I did. This is one of those stories that just won't leave your mind. I'll find myself thinking about Ptolemy at the oddest times. There are many levels to this book and all are thought provoking. Dominic Hoffman did a most excellent narration.
This is off the well trod path of mysteries. A unique old man takes a unique path and makes everything right in his world. I relished this story and thought about if for days afterwards. I have read almost all of Mosley's books, but I think this one is the best.
Dominic Hoffman is exactly right for the part. He captures Uncle Gray until his very last breath. Every once in awhile you get a really good book, and for me, this was one of them.
Bravo Author! I was skeptical when I started this book, but after the first few minutes I was hooked. I listen to audio books while I work and try to keep them solely for work, not home. But this book could not wait. I listened at home AND at work. It truly is a gem. I fell in love with the characters and the rich descriptions took me to another world. I recommend this book for anyone who loves life or desires to re-connect with life and what is important. I will never ever forget Ptolemy Grey. He is in my heart forever.
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