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Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned Paperback – October 1, 1998
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Easy Rawlins fans might initially find themselves disappointed by the absence of a mystery to unravel. But it's a gripping inner drama that unfolds over the pages of these stories, as Socrates comes to grips with the chaos, poverty, and violence around him. He tries to get and keep a job delivering groceries; takes in a young street kid named Darryl, who has his own murder to hide; and helps drive out the neighborhood crack dealer. Throughout, Mosley captures the rhythms of Watts life in prose both musical and hard-edged, resulting in a haunting look at a life bounded by lust, violence, fear, and a ruthlessly unsentimental moral vision. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
At their best the taut writing and uncanny ability to explode the confusion and emptiness at the heart of many people's lives recalls Raymond Carver, but where Carver is content to leave his ethics enigmatic, Mosley is righteous and fierce. This is not to say that the central character, Socrates Fortlow is a judgemental moralist. Far from it. This burly ex-con with his huge rock-crushing hands and terrible past, is searching for truth in a world where truth is no much unfashionable as crushed out of people's souls by injustice. He is a seeker not a saviour.
The stories also form the link between Mosley's crime writing and his outstanding first SF novel, Blue Light, where issues of metaphysics are brought further into the foreground. Through the stories, Socrates acquires a kind of nobility that can only come from a totally honest struggle our own impulses as well as with the environment that surrounds us. There is a sense of place in 'Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned' that is very specific to 1980s Watts, but mythic and resonant and almost timeless at the same time. This only comes from genuine wisdom and understanding, qualities in which Mosley far outshines almost all contemporary authors.
There are one or two weaker stories, notably one in which Socrates gets involved with the courts again, but this is a collection to come back to. And as with Raymond Carver, I felt compelled to stop for quite some time after each one as the subtle but powerful emotional impact percolated through my brain.
However, eight years after his release from the Indiana State Penitentiary, and his relocation to South Central L.A., he has become much more like his namesake. This collection of interrelated short stories together form a remarkable tale of subtle, and perhaps even unconscious, redemption. Socrates becomes a mentor, best friend, and invaluable member of society. In addition, he learns that not all is black and white, whether it be with regard to morality, or as between the races.
The stories and their moral teachings are subtle, like well-crafted fables. I read this in one evening, unable to put down this wonderfully written book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was an amazing book. His fondness for his characters reminded me of steinbeckPublished 4 months ago by Anne Marie Murphy
This was an interesting departure from the other fiction by Walter Mosley that I've read, which is a fairly long list. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Stewart Bushman
its such a good read.. it was for my critical thinking english class.Published 15 months ago by Mzloan1987
Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned Review
For some people like me who do not read, this book is definitely a must read! Read more