The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey

by Walter Mosley

Gail Reid (01/13/14): Even though many readers on this site have already reviewed The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, I am chiming in to say that it was an interesting and original read. Walter Mosley is most well known for his mysteries but this is a drastic departure.

It makes you wonder what it would be like to be 91 years old like Ptolemy and constantly challenged by failing memory. When all of a sudden his memory is restored to crystal clarity thanks to a Faustian bargain, his insights into situations, friendships and family relationships are suddenly sharpened. Ptolemy then applies the wisdom he has accumulated over a lifetime before he must fulfill his end of the bargain. ***+
Rating: ***+

Judy Stanton (07/15/13): I read this book because of the great reviews and am glad I did. It is my first Walter Mosley book, but, undoubtedly will not be my last! His writing is engaging, his language authentic, and his character portrayal detailed and descriptive. I would have liked to read it not knowing the storyline, but even knowing what would likely happen didn't take away from making it a compelling read. Although Ptolemy Gray portrays Dr. Ruben as being the "devil" with whom he made a deal, I found myself wondering whether the doctor, could, in fact, just be doing a clinical trial on Alzheimer's disease, with a drug that was effective but had drastic side effects.....something not unheard of in medical circles. I found the portrayal of life in the lower class African American community to be very disturbing, with families splitting apart, violence being all too common, and children getting caught in the crossfire. Very sad. It made Ptolemy and Robyn's authentic relationship all the more touching.
Rating: ****

Faith Bowers (06/06/13): I continued reading this book because of Dale's and Ricki's rave reviews. I found the first 50 pages very difficult and was ready to put it down. I persevered and the book is good with both Ptolemy's past and current life. I considered it a fantasy because the the devil's medicine does not really exist. Just wanted to share another opinion on the book.
Rating: ***

Dale Israel (05/28/13): Those who know me well know that I'm stingy with my 5 star ratings. A book must really be extraordinary to achieve this distinction. In my humble opinion, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey is one of the few books that truly deserve a 5. Since Ricki already summarized the novel, I will merely say that this is a gem of a book. It touched my heart in so many ways. The author is extremely gifted and I found myself reading and re-reading passages. I loved this book and I think you will too.
Rating: *****

Ricki Brodie (05/10/13): Walter Mosley is best known for his Easy Rawlins mysteries takes on another mystery would you unlock your mind in the throes of dementia for a brief period of lucidity. His hero, Ptolemy Grey is 91, suffering from dementia, somewhat of a hoarder, living a scared existence knowing if he leaves his apartment alone he will be brutalized. He has some things he needs to remember but can never quite bring them to the surface. It is frightening to imagine the frustrations and humiliations people face in old age.

His nephew who took him shopping was killed in a drive-by shooting. Bothered by this and other thoughts, Ptolemy finds a friend in his replacement caregiver, Robin. Here is a doctor who has been experimenting with medications to eliminate the dementia BUT will bring about a quick death. Ptolemy decides to live his last days to the fullest and set his world straight. There is so much depth and understanding of family, love, loss and coping that it makes us look differently at the older generation.
Rating: *****

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