Posted by Book Mavens on March 31st, 2011
Title: The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey
Author: Walter Mosley
Publisher: Riverhead Books/Penguin Audio, 2010
Summary: Ninety-one-year-old Ptolemy Grey is struggling putting his thoughts into words, functioning in daily life, and remembering his past. He knows that he has something to offer his family, if only he can recall what needs to be done. After his great-nephew Reggie, the only one who looked after him dies from a drive-by shooting, Ptolemy spirals further downward. He meets Robyn, a seventeen-year-old family friend (more mature than her years) who not only cleans up his cluttered house and takes care of Ptolemy, but provides light in his tunnel of darkness. Unsure of her agenda at first, she proves more trustworthy than his family. Their bond is that of two lost souls that have found each other. After Ptolemy makes a deal with the Devil (a doctor who supplies him with experimental medicine that helps him regain his memory in exchange for his life), he starts to resemble the man he used to be. Ptolemy has always lived his life through the words and advice of his deceased childhood friend and mentor Coydog; their times together now become more vivid. We see how friendship, love, family, race, and aging affected his life. By stirring up many painful memories, Ptolemy starts reconnecting pieces of his past to the tasks he needs to fulfill. There were moments in Ptolemy’s life when he regretted that he did not do something else, but in the end, he was able to take matters into his own hands. For those who enjoy audiobooks, Dominic Hoffman lends a strong voice to this story.
Recommended by: Sharyn, Circulation