Monday, 27 December 2010

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey

Finished Dec 27
The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley
Another wonderful novel from Mosley. Ptolemy Grey is 91, and lives alone in a small apartment. He has a young relative who comes from time to time to help him with the basics, but mostly he is ignored. His memory is also deteriorating, and he has trouble remembering the words for what he wants. He is set upon by one of his drug-addicted neighbours who steals from him every chance she gets. When he goes to the funeral of one of his relatives, he meets a young woman who is different. She actually listens to him and she helps him while still respecting his wishes. This proves a turning point for Grey, and help with his memory issues will also lead him to remember the one secret he still has to act on.
This novel has elements of magic realism, and characterization is very important. Grey himself is a complex character and not simply a forgetful old man. A tale of hope as well as reality.

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