Reviews

A Red Death by Walter Mosley, Jane Chelius

dandandanno's review against another edition

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4.0

Comrade Easy ⚒️

stevenyenzer's review against another edition

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4.0

I just really love Mosley's storytelling and characters. They all behave in such human and unexpected ways. A Red Death threatened a clichéd start but quickly turned interesting, and stayed enthralling through the end.

tittypete's review against another edition

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2.0

Easy Rawlins really wants to have sex with his murderer friend's wife. And he really doesn't want to pay taxes. This puts him in a bind and bodies start dropping. Turns out. It was whitey all along.

saroz162's review against another edition

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3.0

More of the same from the author of Devil in a Blue Dress. In many ways that's good, because Mosely continues to spin a very effective and engrossing portrait of Black people living in Los Angeles, this time in the early '50s, with lots of complex layers. The novel has a great pace and as others have mentioned, it's really interesting to read Easy code-switching back and forth between different vernacular based on his audience and what he wants. Easy's a bit less honorable in this book than the last one, which I'm okay with, and he sleeps around a lot, which is fine but starts to get a little tedious when we get a long, descriptive sex scene in a story that's under 300 pages. There's a lot of sex, a lot of blood, a lot of dirt in Easy's world, and for the reader, that makes a compelling environment for a story.

Unfortunately this book's story, like its predecessor, doesn't quite work. Devil had an excellent premise that fell down by the end in a combination of too much exposition, coincidence, and confusion. This story isn't quite as hard to follow, but it also isn't as interesting. Moseley also has a bad habit of putting too many characters in the mix, and even if you read the book in a couple of sittings, as I did, you'll start confusing some of the tertiary figures for each other. That leaves it all much less satisfying than it should otherwise be. I also wasn't completely convinced that Mouse needed to be in this story - or at least, that he needed to get involved in Easy pushing back on those who tried to kill him. It felt, if not coincidental, a little too timely; I even found myself entertaining a brief theory that Mouse wasn't even real, just a schizophrenic incarnation of Easy's rage, Fight Club-style. (I don't think that's Moseley's intention, but...)

Criticisms aside, I still find the series immensely readable, and I'm looking forward to the next one. I'm just hoping the author tightens up his narrative a bit.

colorfulleo92's review against another edition

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4.0

Not as good as the first one and didn't really hook me like the first one but still an enjoyable series and I'm interested in what will happen next.

nich0le's review against another edition

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3.0

I like the Easy Rawlins character, but there's a bit too much violence in the series for my taste.

lgpiper's review against another edition

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4.0

It seems that the IRS are wondering why Easy Rawlings seems to own property. He has never appeared to have had enough income to justify his buying the property. An IRS agent, Reginald Lawrence, is threatening to throw Easy in jail muy pronto, unless Easy can come up with proper documentation, documentation that Easy doesn’t actually have. In reality, Easy pretends someone else owns the properties, and that he’s just a janitor.

But, before the IRS agent can get too far, the FBI grabs Easy and says they will delay the IRS audit if he’ll work for them, trying to uncover the perfidy of a den of Reds...or something. It seems they’re interested in a Jewish survivor from the German death camps who is preaching Socialism. It wasn't necessarily the Russian version of Marxist/Leninism, but in the 1950s, many in America couldn’t tell the difference. Actually they can’t now, given that many pretend that Bernie Sanders is the second coming of Stalin.

Whatever, Chaim Wenzler is working with an African-American church and Easy becomes the guy’s driver on various acts of charity, mostly delivering clothes to needy folks and the like. Easy and Chaim become friends and Easy is hard pressed to see his way to turn the guy in. But he investigates here and there and finds out things, some folks end up mysteriously dead, Easy is shot at, and so forth. Pretty typical Easy Rawlings, but a pretty GoodRead all in all.

annaavian's review against another edition

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2.0

This was few steps back from [b:Devil in a Blue Dress|37100|Devil in a Blue Dress (Easy Rawlins, #1)|Walter Mosley|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1336545202l/37100._SY75_.jpg|1344080]. It was an okay story but nothing significant or thrilling overall. Easy was more of an observer in this plot, stumbling upon dead guys and women who were throwing themselves at his feet a little too much. The IRS agent portrayed as the racist antagonist didn’t feel very convincing either.

axmed's review against another edition

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emotional funny reflective

4.5

It almost looked friendly from the outside, not like the government at all.But once you got past the front door all the friendliness was gone.
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“When I had given up everything,” Chaim said, “men came and saved me. They helped me to take vengeance. And now it is my turn to help.”

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There was dirt in that house that had been there before her; it would be there after she had gone.

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I could have talked like him if I’d wanted to, but I never did like it when a man stopped using the language of his upbringing. If you were to talk like a white man you might forget who you were.

muck0009's review against another edition

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mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.0