Automotive Holiday Deals Books Holiday Gift Guide Shop Women's Cyber Monday Deals Week Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Black Friday egg_2015 Fire TV Stick Beauty Gifts Gifts for Her Amazon Gift Card Offer mithc mithc mithc  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage Shop Now bgg
The Tempest Tales and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $14.00
  • Save: $0.91 (7%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 11 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
The Tempest Tales: A Nove... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. It may be marked, have identifying markings on it, or show other signs of previous use.
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 all 2 images

The Tempest Tales: A Novel-in-Stories Paperback – June 9, 2009

60 customer reviews

See all 15 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$1.60 $0.01
Audio CD
"Please retry"
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Deals in Books
$13.09 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 11 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Tempest Tales: A Novel-in-Stories
  • +
  • The Right Mistake: The Further Philosophical Investigations of Socrates Fortlow
  • +
  • Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned
Total price: $40.74
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mosley, best known for his gritty Easy Rawlins mysteries, explores cosmic questions of justice and redemption in this odd tale of Tempest Landry, a black man shot dead by police when they thought he was pulling a gun. Landry throws the afterlife into turmoil by refusing to accept St. Peter's judgment that he must spend eternity in Hell. Three years after his death, Landry is returned to Manhattan, with a new face and an angel named Joshua to watch over him. As Landry sets up one morally complex situation after another, Joshua engages him in discussions of situational ethics, trying to get Landry to accept that he is a sinner and deserves damnation. Eventually, Landry recruits Satan himself in his cause. The interesting concept is not matched by its execution, but some readers may find Landry a humorous creation and appreciate his eventual solution to his dilemma. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Tempest Landry, a black man gunned down by white cops in Harlem, finds himself judged by St. Peter at heaven’s gate—and disputes the result. Tempest is returned to Earth in the company of one Joshua Angel, whose job it is to convince the flawed but well-intentioned Landry to admit he’s a sinner. If Landry does that, he goes straight to hell. If he doesn’t, heaven may cease to exist. Readers’ interest in the story, which unfolds as a series of dialogues in different New York settings, will depend on their interest in the underlying message. One of Mosley’s points (that virtue is subjective) won’t enlighten even the most naive college freshman, but another (that the standards for sin may be different for blacks than for whites) provides more food for thought. (The conclusion, that the pain of mortal life is preferable to the perfection of heaven, suggests a Hallmark movie-of-the-week scripted by Anne Rice.) Though the novel sometimes feels thrown together, Mosley is enough of a pro to make this talky allegory fun and even funny—it picks up steam with the arrival of a devilish white man named Basel Bob—but less message-specific fiction might have been more interesting, and pure nonfiction might have been meatier. Mosley is a big name, but his ever-increasing output means that even loyal fans must choose their favorite genres in his ever-growing oeuvre. --Keir Graff --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press; Reprint edition (June 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416599495
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416599494
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,202,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Lonya VINE VOICE on June 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
and a horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup."

Psalms: 11:6

Walter Mosley's latest book, "The Tempest Tales", is "[d]edicated to the memory of Langston Hughes". The story, in form and content, pays homage to Jesse B Semple, the great character created by Langston Hughes in his Simple Stories. The Early Simple Stories (Collected Works of Langston Hughes) and The Later Simple Stories (Collected Works of Langston Hughes)

Set in Harlem, Tempest Landry is gunned down `accidentally' by the police for a robbery he did not commit. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. As the story opens we see him standing in a terminally long line, waiting for St. Peter to pass judgment. Tempest is a bit upset, to say the least, when St. Peter advises Tempest that his sins outweigh his good deeds and he is condemned to damnation. But Tempest does not go quietly. He refuses to accept the judgment and this causes no end of consternation in heaven. No soul has ever refused to accept St. Peter's judgment and Tempest soon finds out that he cannot be compelled to damnation without his consent. The rules, such as they are, require that Tempest accept the judgment that has been passed on him. St. Peter decides to send Tempest back down to earth along with a guardian angel who is is tasked with the job of convincing Tempest to accept St. Peter's judgment. Tempest (now in another soul's body) and the guardian angel end up back in Harlem. The rest of the story focuses on the relationship between Tempest and the guardian angel.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jason Frost VINE VOICE on May 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
First, a short story... I was at the 2008 L.A. Festival of Books just walking around minding my own business and I see a booth that is selling books. Nothing unusual because that is what they are there for. What WAS unusual was the book that they were pulling out of a box. A cover with a silhouette of a Black man with wings, hey I know that cover!! It's Walter Mosley's new book cover. Now I start to wonder... then I look over and there is Walter Mosley signing his new book!!!!

Are you KIDDING ME!?!?! Here I am just enjoying the UCLA campus, being around other book lovers, all the delicious eye candy, and I see a freaking literary ICON!! I. Freaked. Out!! So you know I had to buy and book and get him to sign it and that is exactly what I did!! That was an unexpected treat for me and everyone else that was in L.A. that day. Anyway... on to the book....

`Tempest Tales' was a very short but VERY powerful book. Tempest is a man who is sent to Heaven after he is murdered by the police. Once there St. Peter tells him that he needs to go to Hell. Tempest says "no". Never in the history of Heaven as anyone EVER said "no". Thus begins the tale. Tempest is sent back to Earth with an accounting angel to show him that he is a sinner and therefore must accept the judgment of Heaven. Tempest is pretty hard-headed and uncommonly bright, and gives the angel a run for his halo.

The underlying philosophical question in this book is: are the sins of the poor, oppressed, and Black the same as the White and well off? Tempest says no, the angel says yes, and their arguments really make this book exceptional. There are more than a few things in this book that will raise your eyebrows because you'll be thinking "no way" or "how is that possible".
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tangerine on August 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Tempest Landry was at the wrong place at the wrong time when he was fatally shot and killed by the police. Which was a mistake of identity.

Standing in line to be judged by the man upstairs. Tempest discovers his sins and explains that he did what he did for the love of his family and friends. He is condemn to hell by St. Peter. Not taking his fate lightly he refuses to be sentence to eternal damnation.

Three years later, Tempest reappears back on earth in another body not recognized by his friends and family. Also sent with him is the accounting angel Joshua who is there to monitor his progress and to help reexamine the circumstances of his past life. Constantly, debating over the issues of right and wrong, Joshua tries to get Tempest to admit that he is a sinner and deserves damnation, but he is not giving in. He brings in a 3rd party name Bob who represents Lucifer and the story gets really interesting.

The Tempest Tales is a novel that I couldn't put down. Its gives you a glimpse of the after life and a sense of what you can expect. Also you will get the do's and don'ts of having eternal life and/or damnation. This is my first read of Mr. Mosley's work. He is an excellent writer, and I will be reading more of his books in the future.

Tangerine, Reviewer
Reader's Paradise Book Club
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Allen on May 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is my third Mosley book (I've read both of his science fiction books) I throughly enjoyed this book!!! On the surface you would believe it is just a cute story about a dead man not willing to go to Hell even though St. Peter commands that he go, but as you think about what you are reading you begin to see that it is more about the injustices of Racism, poverty and the overall political scene in America from a Black man's point of view. My only criticism (and it is a stretch by far) is that is is such a small book that I read in 2 days and now I'm left wanting more. One could take the position that the ending leaves much to be desired, but for me I think the ending is purposely left opened ended because there (I hope) will be more Tempest tales.
Walter Mosely is the type of Author that all writers should aspire to write like. He writes with intelligence, purpose and fun all rolled into one. I loved this book!!!!!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Tempest Tales: A Novel-in-Stories
This item: The Tempest Tales: A Novel-in-Stories
Price: $13.09
Ships from and sold by