Tuesday, January 14, 2014

'Odyssey' by Walter Mosley

eBooks have taken on a few different faces.  There is the "I'm going to publish my book digitally because I don't want to deal with a traditional publisher" face.  There is the "I'm going to publish my book in print form and digital form because I want people to read my work" face.  There is the "I'm going to put out an eBook in-between my major releases because I need to make money" face.  There is the "I'm going to put out an eBook because I want my fans to have something to read until my major release" face.  There there are the authors like Mosley who (in my opinion) publishes eBooks because, if they don't get their story out, they will simply and grotesquely explode.  Nothing ruins your day like seeing the entrails of your favorite author on the floor of Starbucks. 

Some people write to live, other live to write.  Mosley, it seems, writes in order not to die.  'Odyssey' has all the strength and literary of Mosley, in a shorter story.  I really HATE some of the book synopsis they have on Amazon.  They way this one is written it makes you think that this story is only about Sovereign and his blindness.  Yes AND no.  His blindness plays a part but I submit that the meat of this story are the lives lived before Sovereign, the lives lived with Sovereign, and the lives lived around Sovereign.  Mosley is one of the (very) few authors who has the talent to make his supporting characters as interesting as the main characters.  Drum-Eddie, the shrink, and Toni.  Oh my sweet lord Toni!  Even now I'm thinking back to that gorgeous, beautiful, mocha skinned female.  I know we're told that another incident cause Sovy's sight to return for a bit... but in the recesses of my mind I believe it's Toni.  Who needs a doctor with a blue pill when you have a woman in black panties?

But Toni's charm doesn't stop at her perfect palm sized curves, her part in this story will confuse you.  Oh her presence makes sense IN the story, but her presence in Sovy's life is the the confusion... actually that's not a good word to use... let's try... disorientation.  Yeah, that's a better word.  Sovereign's life is menu of disorientation.  Childhood, adulthood, Toni-hood.  

Another interesting aspect to this story is Sovy's view what race should be hired and HOW they should be hired.  Weird interjections throughout the story with that but with the prevalent disorientation in this story, Mosley makes it work.  Throughout Mosley's books you always have this strong underlying current of street, or rather, real life philosophy.  Not all philosophy is born chanting on a mountain surrounded by clouds.  A lot of it is born in the gutter surrounded by filth.  The child of philosophy making love to reality is truth.  Sovereign's truth must have had parents who were first cousins. 

And then there's the ending... if you only read it once then you are a fool.  I'm three days removed from finishing this book and I'm STILL re-reading it!  This story is awash in disorientation so it only makes sense that the ending would paramount. Not sure how many times I can, or need to say it, but Walter Mosley is the man.  Not only is he a writer among writers but he's the author that writers read when they want to read something great.  If you think I'm kidding, ask them.  If they smile... there's your answer.  

No comments:

Post a Comment