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Walkin' the Dog

Mosley, Walter

Published by Back Bay Books, 2000
ISBN 10: 0316881716 / ISBN 13: 9780316881715
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About the Book

Bibliographic Details

Title: Walkin' the Dog

Publisher: Back Bay Books

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: Collectible: Like New

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Paperback Edition.


Signed by author on title page without inscription. First Edition with full number line. Bookseller Inventory # 14-2-39

About this title:

Book ratings provided by GoodReads:
3.96 avg rating
(1,188 ratings)

Synopsis: In this sequel to "Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned", Socrates Fortlow is back in Watts, trying to leave prison in his past, and confronting the most dangerous emotion of all: hope.

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

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