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Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned

de Walter Mosley

Sèrie: Socrates Fortlow (book 1)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
6811727,217 (4.14)79
An ex-con moves to L.A. to find work and creates a disturbance by fighting for a position. More importantly he touches the lives of many of his neighbors including an older man dying of cancer, a young married couple whose husband is too proud to accept a lesser position which causes strife with his wife, and a young boy on the verge of getting in trouble with street gangs.… (més)
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» Mira també 79 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 17 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Shockingly, I think I’ve only read two other Walter Mosley books. The first was the Easy Rawlins prequel ‘Gone Fishin’’, which I read years ago. The second was ‘Down the River Unto the Sea’, which I read earlier this year and reviewed here. Neither of those books came even close to preparing me for the brilliance of ‘Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned’. It’s a staggeringly good book.
What makes it great is hard to put your finger on. Partly, it’s the structure: it’s a series of short stories about the same character that come together into a book that doesn’t necessarily have the narrative arc of a novel, but is just as satisfying a whole.
Partly, it’s the protagonist: Socrates Fortlow is fantastic character. An ex-con determined to go straight and make a new life for himself in Los Angeles after decades of incarceration. He strides through the stories like a force of nature. His moral code is unshakeable and the violence within him constantly feels in conflict with his zen-like calm and wisdom. He reminded me a little of Ogami Ittō, the vengeful but strangely peaceful samurai hero of the ‘Lone Wolf and Cub’ manga series. Fortlow is far from innocent, but his struggle for redemption is inspirational.
And partly it’s Mosley’s searing analysis of racism in America. He covers the LA riots, the inherent bias of the justice system, the civil rights movement and the casual bigotry of the dominant society. Fortlow and the other characters represent the struggling underclass of the modern world. Living hand to mouth in a city famous for its millionaires, and pulling themselves through each day through sheer force of will.
Taken together these parts make for an incredibly good book. The prose has the terse punchiness of the best crime fiction, the sense of place is superb and Socrates Fortlow is the most memorable hero I’ve met in years.

( )
  whatmeworry | Apr 9, 2022 |
Socrates, ex con works to survive and help other blacks
  ritaer | Jul 7, 2021 |
Socrates Fortlow, is an ex-con, who had spent nearly 30 years in prison for murder. Working on his eighth year of freedom, he is still struggling to make ends meet and to keep his volatile temper in check. Living in a tiny run-down apartment in Watts, he is surviving by collecting aluminum cans.
Told in a series of vignettes, we follow Socrates, as he tries to pull himself forward, while doling out useful life advice, to those around him.

This is the first in another series, for Mosley and I thought it was very well done and Socrates is a great character to follow.

**It was also excellent on audio, with the late Paul Winfield narrating. ( )
  msf59 | Jun 17, 2018 |
Definitely one of the best books I have read this year. This was a true page turner that I never wanted to put down! I would wake up in the morning, yearning to pick it back up and see what Socrates was up to today. The main character is relatable, especially to those times (mid 90s Watts/South Central). Without giving anything away, I will say that this book is about regret and redemption and finding your way when the way seems lost. I am already more than a 1/3 of the way through the 2nd in the series. I can't WAIT to see what happens next! ( )
  rsalley76 | Mar 13, 2018 |

I've always tried to shy away from Walter Mosley. I'm not sure why. I've always thought I wouldn't read anything worthwhile and different from the rest of the pack. This time I've decided to give it a go. I'm glad I did.

Mosley fully captures the rhythms of people's lifes in South Central LA, resulting in a haunting look at a life bounded by lust, violence, fear, and a ruthlessly unsentimental moral vision.

I was also impressed with Mosley's efforts to bring philosophy back. The book is also full of moral dilemmas.

In spite of the bleak vision Socrates' character ultimately offers, he represents a vital moral wisdom. His role far surpasses the expectations for an ex-convict or anyone with his childhood background.

After finishing the book, I got the feeling John Ford could have directed it, changing the western landscape for the urban jungle, but using instead a gun-slinging mythology of street justice.

While this is a collection of short stories, it's not a straightforward anthology. Each of these stories builds on the events of the previous story, and certainly reads as well as any constructed novel. Socrates (aka Socco) is a fascinating character, and it's revealing to see the directions that his wounded pride takes him.

This was a very unpredictable and satisfying read, with moments where it got really sad and touching.

NB: Walkin' the Dog", the follow-up, is already on my TBR list... When my reading stack whittles down a bit, I'll read it." ( )
  antao | Dec 10, 2016 |
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An ex-con moves to L.A. to find work and creates a disturbance by fighting for a position. More importantly he touches the lives of many of his neighbors including an older man dying of cancer, a young married couple whose husband is too proud to accept a lesser position which causes strife with his wife, and a young boy on the verge of getting in trouble with street gangs.

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