01 July 2014

How old a favorite?

I first read a book by Walter Mosley when a newly elected President Clinton was photographed carrying a copy. How long ago was that? 1993? Holy cow! 21 years ago? Just 21 years? It's in that ambiguous time period that seems a lifetime ago, but a fairly recent lifetime. I had been teaching for 25 years by then. But where have the last 20 years gone?

While I have liked most of Mosley's books, my favorite is still Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned. I wrote about it in 2002 and reprinted that five years later.

At the community used book sale, I picked up a 2011 novel by Mosley, When the Thrill is Gone. It's another story about the life and world of Leonard McGill.

Following in the footsteps of many hard-boiled writers of hard-boiled detective novels, Mosley offers a tour of a very complicated and dangerous world. It's not quite the alternate universe of post-WWII Los Angeles that he used to write about, but it's very alternate to the my small town Minnesota world.

The characters are alternately attractive, repulsive, obvious, and enigmatic. The story moved along and never left me behind. I might well offer Mosley an improbability award, but there are too many parts of his world that I cannot evaluate. At times it was like reading science fiction.*

I liked reading When the Thrill is Gone. If I find another of Mosley's books at the used book sale or on the discount shelf, I will pick it up. (Right now, my problem is that I have five books stacked up on my bedside table, and one more I haven't written about yet -- another favorite from 20 years ago.)

*Rumor has it that Mosely has plans for a science fiction series to begin this year.

Have you read When the Thrill is Gone? Write. Tell this little bit of the world what you thought of it. Or write about anything you've read. I can always use new ideas. And so can you.

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