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Walkin' the Dog Audio, Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook


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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio; Abridged edition (November 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570427100
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570427107
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,867,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Once he had dreamed up the Easy Rawlins series, with its colored-coded titles and suave protagonist, Walter Mosley could have coasted for the rest of his life. Instead he delved into impressionistic fiction (RL's Dream) and sci-fi (Blue Light)--and came up with his own variant on Ellison's invisible man, a forbidding ex-con named Socrates Fortlow. The author first introduced this inner-city philosopher in Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, allowing him to vault one ethical hurdle after another. Now Socrates returns in Walkin' the Dog, still operating out of his tiny Watts apartment, still figuring precisely what to make of his freedom.

Like his dog, Killer--a spirited mutt who's missing his two hind legs--Socrates has to contend with a number of severe handicaps. Forget the fact that he's a black man in a white society. He's also the fall guy for every crime committed in the vicinity, a scapegoat of near-biblical proportions:

The police always came. They came when a grocery store was robbed or a child was mugged. They came for every dead body with questions and insinuations. Sometimes they took him off to jail. They had searched his house and given him a ticket for not having a license for his two-legged dog. They dropped by on a whim at times just in case he had done something that even they couldn't suspect.
Yet Socrates is no poster child for racial victimization. Why? Because Mosley never soft-pedals the fact that he is, or was, a murderer. "He was a bad man," we are assured at one point. "He had done awful things." Deprived of any sort of sentimental pulpit, Socrates makes his moral determinations on the fly. Should he admit that he killed a mugger in self-defense? Can he force his adopted son Darryl to stay in school? Should he murder a corrupt cop who's terrorized his entire neighborhood? His answers are consistently surprising, and that fact--combined with the author's shrewd, no-nonsense prose--should make every reader long for Mosley's next excursion into the Socratic method. --James Marcus --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Mosley returns to character Socrates Fortlow (debuted in Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned) in this follow-up collection of short stories. Fortlow is an aging ex-con, having spent more than half his life in an Indiana state penitentiary for a long-ago killing. Now, living in Los Angeles, working a menial supermarket job, Fortlow still subscribes to a prisoner's code of ethics: he is suspicious, vengeful andAabove allAuncannily wise. For him, "Everything seemed to have reason and deep purpose." He's testing himself as he edges his way back into society. His boss offers him a better job, but he feels strange taking it. Meantime, he is questioned by police for a murder he didn't commit. Conversely, he kills a mugger in a confrontation and is never questioned. Serving as a role model, he fosters a young prot?g?, Darryl, a boy whose simmering violent nature seems all too familiar to him. Actor Winfield richly brings Fortlow's trials and triumphs to life, his voice imbuing a sense of the ex-con's heroic fatigue as he struggles to carry the weight of the world each day. Simultaneous release with the Little, Brown hardcover.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, 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

Makes you feel as if you actually are there and know the characters on a personal level.
John Canty
Walter Mosely has been highly recommended to me, so I am on a missin to read/listen to more of his books.
Anne M. Beggs
The way you develop these characters in such descriptive tones, always keeps me on the edge of my seat!
P. Maddox

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Socrates Fortlow is one of the great creations in American fiction. A man still living out his sentence even though he's been out of prison nine years, he struggles to be a good man, a decent man, a man who makes a difference. He takes care of his two-legged dog, his adopted son Darryl, and tries to defend his neighborhood from the depredations of a bad cop; but Mosley, a writer whose prose is poetic, does not romanticize him. There is life in this collection of scenes set in LA's South Central.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By T. Martin on November 11, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Walter Moseley is a rare gem of a writer and thinker in an age of relativism. He uses his magnificent character Socrates Fortlow to ask the big questions--what does it mean to live a moral life? What's more, Moseley uses inner city LA to ask if such a life is possible in a setting of poverty and crime. Socrates Fortlow is one of the most compelling literary characters I've encountered in a long time and while I enjoyed "Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned" more, "Walkin' the Dog" finds a more complicated Socrates than the first time around. Moseley is a wonderful writer with an omniverously curious mind. It's a rewarding read.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on September 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
After residing as a guest of the State of Indiana for half of his life, sexagenarian Socrates Fortlow has gone straight for the past decade, living in Los Angeles. However, once convicted as a murderer-rapist, always convicted by the police. Any violent crime in the neighborhood means Socrates is one of the usual suspects. In his brave barren world, Socrates is becoming a champion of the underdog (human and canine), but has no idea where his new role will lead him.
WALKIN' THE DOG is actually an interrelated short story collection that works because Walter Mosley makes each story show growth in Socrates. Nothing is sacred especially society's major social, political, and racial issues as the star of the book lives up to his more illustrious namesake with a street corner philosophy. Readers will enjoy this anthology and want to read the first Socrates story (see ALWAYS OUTNUMBERED, ALWAYS OUTGUNNED) as well as demand from Mr. Mosley a follow-up tale that shows what happens to the lead protagonist at the crosswalk of life.

Harriet Klausner
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Customer on January 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I've never read any other Walter Moseley titles before, so I can't compare this to his other works. But I loved this book. The characters were well drawn and represented an entertaining and realistic cross section of L.A. types. I thought the device of putting the characters in a discussion group was wonderful... a setup to let Mosely voice his own internal arguments, but done in a way that still seemed natural. I liked hearing the complex, paradoxical, conflicting and human mix of views that these characters hashed out in their meetings.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By owl@hockinghills.net on October 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
when i received always outnumbered, i devoured it without getting up. everyone to whom i suggested it loved it as well. there aren't many characters in literature like socrates fortlow. i facilitate a group in a local prison and the book spurred much discussion. it also showed me that mosley is right on with socrates' feelings. walkin' the dog is just as powerful as the first collecton. socrates is changing due to his conscious efforts to address the world with integrity. these twelve stories continue his quest. my only complaint is the dust cover in which the man with the sandwich board doesn't match my image of socrates. usually, when you know an author is planning a sequel (like mosley does here, i hope), i feel manipulated. this time i am anxiously awaiting the next collection.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lev Raphael on August 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Walter Mosley's black, 60ish, ex-convict Socrates Fortlow is a unique hero. To start with, there's his stature: he's an enormous, powerful man with "killer hands" that are "weapons trained from childhood for war." Socrates is "more often than not the strongest man in the room" and his laugh sounds "like far-off explosions, a battery of cannon laying siege to a defenseless town."
Then there's his past: 27 years in prison for murders he committed in some kind of daze. He's not just haunted by the evil he's put into the world, he's possessed by it. He'll always carry prison inside of him--even his dreams return him to a claustrophobic cell--but he's determined to do right and teach others likewise.
He has to "see past bein' guilty" and that includes taking care of those who are helpless, guiding others with probing, Soctratic questions, and in effect nurturing a young black boy he works with. Fortlow may have lost his moral compass, but he's determined to fly right (as he sees it) and not let others do what he's done.
It's the combination of simmering rage and brutality with a hunger for redemption that makes Walter Mosley's new collection of stories about Fortlow edgy and at times profound.
The obstacles are enormous, because for the cops, this murderer is just "a prisoner-in-waiting." They come after him whenever there's a crime committed nearby and even "on a whim . . . just in case he had done something that even they couldn't suspect." Socrates has an ex-con's ability to sink into silence and out wait his oppressors, but in the end he'll take a very bold step--knowing "he had to stand up without killing--in his search for justice.
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