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Fortunate Son: A Novel Hardcover – April 10, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 313 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; First Edition edition (April 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316114715
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316114714
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #863,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. White Los Angeles heart surgeon Minas Nolan, a very recent widower, meets African-American flower-shop employee Branwyn Beerman when her son Thomas is born prematurely with a hole in his lung, and without a father in his life. Minas has a son, Eric, a week younger than Tommy, and the four, along with enigmatic Vietnamese nanny Ahn, soon form a loving ménage. Following Branwyn's sudden death 50 pages later, Tommy, now six, is plunged into a hardscrabble life when his difficult father, Elton, claims him; he grows up without resentment, talking aloud to Branwyn when he's sad or confused (and sometimes to Elton's on-again, off-again partner, May), but ends up on the streets. Eric, meanwhile, sails through childhood and adolescence, but remains alienated, constantly missing "his brother," even having a child at 16 with Christine, who's a few years older. Knowingly drawing on the genre constraints that drive his Easy Rawlins mysteries, Mosley puts Thomas through trial after trial, and Eric through a kind of chronic heartlessness. Both continually refer to the time they lived together, and each thinks of the other as a real brother. After more than 10 years of separation, they're reunited, but that's not the point: with the lightest, slyest of touches, Mosley shows how a certain kind of inarticulate, carnal, involuntary affection transcends just about anything. It's not love, it's fate, and it's breathtaking. (Apr. 10)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Walter Mosley, author of the Easy Rawlins mysteries series, tackles a new genre with almost every novel. Like some of his previous work, Fortunate Son explores America's racial divide, but it does so in a fairy tale or parable about race, fate, luck, love, and redemption. Critics generally agree that Mosley succeeds in this genre; darkness, concise writing, compassion, social criticism, and questions about which son is "fortunate" resound loudly. Only the New York Times faulted Mosley for his stereotypical characters, predictability, and lack of tension. In the end, Fortunate Son may or may not live up to Easy Rawlins, but it remains a strong tale about love transcending all boundaries.<BR>Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

More About the Author

Walter Mosley is one of America's most celebrated and beloved writers. His books have won numerous awards and have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Mosley is the author of the acclaimed Easy Rawlins series of mysteries, including national bestsellers Cinnamon Kiss, Little Scarlet, and Bad Boy Brawly Brown; the Fearless Jones series, including Fearless Jones, Fear Itself, and Fear of the Dark; the novels Blue Light and RL's Dream; and two collections of stories featuring Socrates Fortlow, Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, for which he received the Anisfield-Wolf Award, and Walkin' the Dog. He lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

The characters are well developed and the story line is interesting.
hrhnase
Dealing with adult themes of race, love, belonging, shame and death, the story shares secret wisdom, sadness, and joy.
Neal Smith
I think I have read every Walter Mosley book, but this one took my breath away.
Joseph Sams

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jean Claude on October 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely loved this book! I was into it from the beginning. From Thomas' problematic birth to the end of the story. What a life Tommy and his brother lived. I felt like a fly on the wall imagining everything happening. What a tough, but inspiring life Tommy led. His trials were tremendous and yet he overcame them all. Eric's love and need for his brother was unexpected with his fortunate life. This book brought tears to my eyes. I cannot imagine the trials that Tommy experienced. What astounds me is that there are many Tommy's in "real life". I really look at homeless people differently now because of this book. I could go on, but I'll end by saying: "You owe it to yourself to read this book".
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Marian E. on August 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"His heart was as disconnected as hers," expresses it all. "Fortunate Son," is a story of the disconnected. Brothers by fate, Thomas Beerman and Eric Nolan are two beings in contrast. For everything Eric is, Thomas is not. There stands Eric in all of his glory taking things in stride. While early on, Tommy's life takes a harsh turn, as he is ripped from the bosom of his loving adopted family and it seems that he is alone in a world bent on bringing about his demise.

With each page that I turned, my heart grew heavier with worry and sorrow. What was to become of Tommy? He was an innocent and life was so unfair. Was a break just beyond the next page? Faring better in the world, Eric does not realize how good he has it and through the years there is always something missing, a void, he is incomplete and reaches for Tommy, the brother from his past, only Tommy cannot be there.

Reading "Fortunate Son" is like studying the brush strokes that comprise a powerful painting. Each word is stated with purpose and takes on a message of power and deliverance. Based on his or her perception, experiences and mindset, each reader will take away something different. This is a sorrow-filled read of substance. Walking with Tommy through his trials and tribulations forces one to pause and appreciate what is within reach. We remember that each day we rise is a glorious one and with inner strength, we can overcome and make it to the next if we dare to press on.

Marian E.

APOOO BookClub
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. Henderson on December 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A moving, emotional and captivating story about family. You know that saying blood is thicker than water, its not true. For a long time I've known that family is what you as an individual define it as, not who you are born to or how you are born. This story is about a family, truth, knowing who you are and that your future and how you live it is all up to you. This story about two brothers, who are not brothers, shares with us the true meaning of brotherhood and what it really means. I haven't been touched by a book in a very long as I've been moved by this, Mr. Mosley's finest piece of literature. Mr. Mosley has penned a narrative that says who ever in this life, you decide to call family, its a very good thing. Take it, keep it and be proud of it. Just read it and you'll understand.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By hawthorne wood on July 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Mosely is an inventive, creative writer in the best sense of the word: he creates unique, new worlds in his books. Here he has made something of a fable, what feels like an other-worldly tale of two "brothers"- the dark and the light. Thomas: the intuitive one, the nearly saintly, passive one. He accepts, surrenders to life's most horrible twists of fate. Stolen,abandoned, beaten, imprisoned, raped - he cannot hold a grudge. He is "brilliant"- literally - there is a light around him. I associated him with the archetypal artist, the true artist, for whom everything - the good, the bad and the ugly - is grist for his mill. He's also something of a saint, in the tradition of Dostoevsky's Mishka - "The Idiot." Seemingly simple and guileless, everyone who is around him for any length of time is influenced by his goodness - everyone falls in love with him and never forgets him. That includes his high-octave white "brother" Eric, his exact opposite. Eric seems blessed from the start unlike Thomas, who had a hole in his heart at birth. Rich, gorgeous, a sexual dynamo, athlete - people fall at his feet; a god, "lucky." As the book progresses, however, it becomes apparent that Thomas is the lucky one, because he has a beautiful soul that allows him to understand life on a far deeper level than the "golden boy" Eric. I found the novel a bit too grim for my taste in parts, and then too magical for me in others. But still - I could not put it away - and when it was over, I missed Thomas especially. "Fortunate Son"is a great contribution to

contemporary literature.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. Saunders on September 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think it is one of his best yet. It took me day and a half to read. It told you how a young male child was able to make in this crazy world. You ask your self could I, have done all the things that Tommy, did and make it. Read it for your self you will have tears in your eyes.
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23 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Brown on April 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Rebeccasreads highly recommends FORTUNATE SON: A NOVEL as a riveting, raw story of modern-day resilience & redemption. It will stretch your mind about racism, privilege, contentment, fate & loyalty.

Two boys, born within hours of each other from different families, are raised, for the first years of their lives, together. Eric is white, handsome, takes his privileged life for granted & is cursed with a vile attitude. Tommy is black, unwell, good natured & feels lucky for every day of his life.

When tragedy strikes their makeshift family, the boys must separate. Years later, they get back together & face down an enemy that will test their different natures.
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