Enter your mobile number 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.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

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

Buy Used
$4.24
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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 Gift of Fire and On the Head of a Pin: Two Short Novels from Crosstown to Oblivion Hardcover – May 8, 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$4.99 $0.01

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Review

“One of this nation's finest writers.” ―The Boston Globe

“A writer whose work transcends category and qualifies as serious literature.” ―Time

“Mosley is one of the most humane, insightful, powerful prose stylists working today in any genre. He's also one of the most radical… Immerse yourself in the work of one of our national treasures.” ―The Austin Chronicle

“Walter Mosley delivers the goods...explosively distilled prose as powerful as homemade booze.” ―Chicago Tribune

About the Author

WALTER MOSLEY is one of the most versatile and admired writers in America today. He is the author of more than thirty-four critically acclaimed books, including the major bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins. His short fiction has been widely published, and his nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and The Nation. He is the winner of numerous awards including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy, and PEN America's Lifetime Achievement Award. He lives in New York City.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Crosstown to Oblivion
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765330083
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765330086
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By loce_the_wizard VINE VOICE on May 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I just finished The Gift of Fire / On the Head of a Pin: Two Short Novels from Crosstown to Oblivion by Walter Mosley. In the first short novel of the two, The Gift of Fire, Mosley imagines a different outcome for the Titan Prometheus, who escapes his fate of being chained to a rock and tormented by the eagle eviscerating him, to deliver "fire" to mankind a second time. The first part of the tale recounts Prometheus' adventures in modern Los Angeles and his rather abrupt quest to find a worthy caretaker of his gift to man, knowledge and power that, to me, conjures the idea of kundalini being released and uncoiled.

The story then shifts to the viewpoint of Chief Redd, the bedridden boy who gains, for a time, a new life and sets out to awaken mankind (or at least a portion of it as Mosley paints with a wide brush when he depicts good vs. bad) to a more enlightened existence. The supporting characters flounder as stereotypes, and the story stumbles to, for me, a less than satisfactory conclusion that makes little sense.

I liked the concept and characters in On the Head of a Pin more, and this science fiction morality tale of magic mirrors, debased motivations, and Avatar-like interactions across time-space dimensions seems, at first, like it could be a fun story. However, Mosley takes us on a strange ride, focusing on how racism, interstellar genocide, and corrupt power sharply shift the life course of Joshua Winterland (am I reaching too much looking for some link to the Winterland Arena and Josh's ability to see and interact with the Sail?) who ends up being party to the strange goings-on at Jennings-Tremont Enterprises that lead to what is postulated as the greatest discovery by mankind ever.
Read more ›
Comment 16 people found this helpful. 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
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Mosely is a skillful writer, one who writes with energy, style and verve. He can create good characters, a sense of urgency, and a fast moving plot, all of which kept me turning the pages. I enjoyed reading both of these short novels, although I was slightly dissatisfied after finishing, because the author uses them to promote a worldview that I do not accept. Whether you agree with that view or not, these are entertaining stories.

Mosely has written several series of detective novels, but these stories are something different. They concern themselves with the same general topic: a sudden expansion of human consciousness, one that puts the main characters into contact with beings, dimensions, and possibilities to which humans have been blind, due to the malign influences around us. Those influences include false religions (every mainstream religion is guilty and false), big government, white people, the police, or the power structure in modern society. Mosely does not dwell for too long on the negative, spending more time and energy on the possibilities of growth and change. One tale concerns the Gods of Olympus, and the Titans of Greek legend, when Prometheus comes to the Los Angeles County jail system. The other concerns an advanced technology that has some unexpected capabilities, putting humans in touch with beings from another time and place. The characters love, hate, experience joy and sorrow, I a way that affects the reader deeply. That is what I look for in a novel, and that is what I found.
Comment 17 people found this helpful. 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
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I did not know what to expect from this book, so I was pleasantly surprised when I started each of the two stories within this book. I do not want to reveal the stories, but I assure you that the realistic settings are accurately described and that the allusions are amazing and plentiful.

Every time I thought I knew what was going to happen next, the stories seemed to take ingenious turns. I look forward to reading interpretations of the stories as I am sure there is plenty of subtext that I missed in the rush to find out what happens next.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. 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
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Walter Mosley is a skilled writer in the sense that he can wield a tale with the best of them. I have been a fan of his writing for years and his mysteries are some the best tales I've ever read. I still miss the Easy Rawlins character and hope that one day he comes back, better than ever. The two short novels presented in this book are very well written. They take the reader on a journey through the writer's imagination and return you to Earth wanting more. I think Mosley has a gift for using his style to keep you turning the pages. I did feel like I was left hanging at the end of the stories, like there was much more to be explored, but unfortunately wasn't. They are good stories, indeed, but not nearly up to the level of his Easy Rawlins mysteries.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. 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
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm a huge fan of Walter Mosley's non-mainstream work (such as R.L.'s Dream). I absolutely loved "On the Head of a Pin." His writing, as always, is crystal clear with amazing details. I'd put this in the "Magical Realism" genre. An incredibly intelligent premise full of surprises. I couldn't put this one down.

"The Gift of Fire," however, wasn't quite as accessible. I kept feeling like I was just missing what he was trying to say. Mosley is a master. His writing is so powerful. I'm glad that I read "The Gift of Fire," and might read it again. I think it's kindof growing on me, the more I think about it. I'd love to talk to Mosley to see what was going on for him behind this one. He is so brilliant. You really should read something by him.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. 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