The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$5.17
  • List Price: $15.00
  • Save: $9.83 (66%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In stock but may require an extra 1-2 days to process.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey Paperback – Bargain Price, November 1, 2011


See all 10 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, Bargain Price
"Please retry"
$5.17
$2.97 $2.43

This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but could include a small mark from the publisher and an Amazon.com price sticker identifying them as such. Details

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey + Little Green: An Easy Rawlins Mystery
Price for both: $22.95

One of these items ships sooner than the other.

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Trade; Reprint edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159448550X
  • ASIN: B007SRW434
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Mosley (Known to Evil) plays out an intriguing premise in his powerful latest: a man is given a second shot at life, but at the price of a hastened death. Ptolemy Grey is a 91-year-old man, suffering from dementia and living as a recluse in his Los Angeles apartment. With one foot in the past and the other in the grave, Ptolemy begins to open up when Robyn Small, a 17-year-old family friend, appears and helps clean up his apartment and straighten out his life. A reinvigorated Ptolemy volunteers for an experimental medical program that will restore his mind, but at hazardous cost: he won't live to see 92. With the clock ticking, Ptolemy uses his rejuvenated mental abilities to delve into the mystery of the recent drive-by shooting death of his great-nephew, Reggie, and to render justice the only way he knows how, goaded and guided by the memory of his murdered childhood mentor, Coydog McCann. Though the details of the experimental procedure are less than convincing, 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. (Nov.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Critics described The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey as a remarkable blend of literary fiction, mystery, and fantasy. Most were moved by this story of a man slowly losing himself to dementia and his friendship with the compassionate and pragmatic Robyn. The only exception came from the Entertainment Weekly reviewer, who found the novel too convoluted and bizarre to be enjoyable. And though Mosley’s latest is a pretty big departure from his private detective series featuring Easy Rawlins, the novel stands on its own as an original tale of aging, family, love, and loss. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
104
4 star
32
3 star
10
2 star
2
1 star
0
See all 148 customer reviews
Walter Mosley creates a beautiful story with some... provoking people.
Jason Frost
Even if you think you are getting away with something -- like taking advantage of an old man when no one knows but you and him, it will come out eventually.
NuJoi
This is my first time reading a book by Mosley but I'm glad I started with this one.
Notorious Spinks

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Jason Frost TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
`Last Days' is the story of a ninety-one year old Black man named Ptolemy. He has dementia... of sorts. I'm sure most doctors would diagnose him as that, but I'm not as convinced. Seems to me this man had more life in his "last days" than most people do their seventy-one point seven years on this planet. Walter Mosley creates a beautiful story with some... provoking people. Ptolemy is a walking, dying encyclopedia of his Black experience. And many others as well. The man is dying, he knows he's dying, and he's OK with him dying. What hurts him most is that his mind is going away. His remaining family is like the rest of ours; some good, some bad, looking for a quick come up.

What happens, however, is what makes Walter Mosley one of the masters of this beloved craft. A mahogany colored beauty (Robyn) finds her way into the life of Ptolemy and she is one of the few bright lights to walk hand and hand with him in the end. While Robyn is his chaperone in "real life", the person that guides him is someone we never really meet. Leave it to Mr. Mosley to create a (ghost) character that is more powerful than the (live) characters. Coydog McCann is the character of whom I speak. He's a teacher, he's a guide, he's a mentor, and he's a friend. Together, Ptolemy and Coydog have a deep, deep friendship that borders on the strongest type of brotherly love. This bond grows stronger over the years and Coy needs Ptolemy to help him complete a mission of sorts when he dies, and Ptolemy needs Robyn to do the same.

To help with this Ptolemy chooses to be a guinea pig for an experimental drug that will help him be lucid his final days. In spite of his dementia, this man is far from crazy and the drug doesn't GIVE him clarity... it sharpens it. The name he gives to the doctor is classic. As with all of Mosley's novels the surrounding cast is splendid. Every single one. Even Alfred. This man can not miss. Thank you Walter for yet another.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By NuJoi VINE VOICE on October 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'll warn you now that if you're looking for a plot summary, that's not this review.

To me, a good book is one you finish and you wake up thinking about the story the next day. This book touched me like that. I am a Walter Mosley fan from Easy Rollins days, but I have to say this may be the best I've read.

First, this book takes some sacrifice. I didn't think it was a leisurely read. It is an engrossing story; I wanted to clear the decks so that I could focus on the book and understand Ptolemy Grey. He made me sad. I found his struggle with dementia heartbreaking. I know someone who is in a very similar state. Ptolemy helped me see things from the other side and I thank him for increasing my compassion. This is the blessing in Mosley's storytelling -- his ability to build compassion, sympathy and even contempt for his characters by forcing you to understand their inner motivations.

One of the themes I love in the book is the notion of karma and simple justice. You will get what's coming to you whether it's good or bad. Even if you think you are getting away with something -- like taking advantage of an old man when no one knows but you and him, it will come out eventually. Mosley unfolds the story and reveals the characters in such a way that in the end, you may find it challenging to disagree with the outcome.

Mosley has done a great job in capturing relationships and the underlying feelings that drive them. Special kudos for showing how 'play' uncles and cousins are an integral part of black families. This book is also an excellent example how many black women often open their homes and hearts to children that are not theirs.

The only thing about the book that felt out of place was the Shirley Wring character.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Joseph TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It's hard to describe how much I admire Walter Mosley's writing. His ability to create realistic dialog, characters and actions made his Easy Rawlins detective novels a hit, but even better, Mosley never let himself fall into a rut. He kept writing detective novels, but also branched out into genres including science fiction (like Futureland and Blue Light), modern fiction, and stuff that's hard to categorize (for example, The Man in My Basement and Killing Johnny Fry: A Sexistential Novel). Each time, Mosley's gift for character and dialog lifts the novel to a place you never expected it to be.

"The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey" is a typically ambitious and fearless Mosley effort, and it mostly succeeds. The title character, Ptolemy Grey, is a 91 year old retiree, sinking into dementia. Largely trapped, both physically in his apartment and mentally in his uncontrollable memories, Grey has a series of encounters that motivate him to change his life, confront a variety of deep-set problems, and attack some long-unfinished business.

Ultimately, this novel becomes a powerful mediation on the end of a person's life. Ptolomy confronts what he has accomplished and what he has left undone, balances his love for people long dead with his obligations and connections to the generations left to come, and does his best to put his life and his own memories in order.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?