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Publisher's Summary

A masterful, moving novel about age, memory, and family that will forever establish Walter Mosley as one of the true literary icons of our time.
Ptolemy Grey is 91 years old and has been all but forgotten - by his family, his friends, even himself - as he sinks into a lonely dementia. His grand-nephew, Ptolemy's only connection to the outside world, was recently killed in a drive-by shooting, and Ptolemy is too suspicious of anyone else to allow them into his life, until he meets Robyn, his niece's 17-year-old lodger and the only one willing to take care of an old man at his grandnephew's funeral.
But Robyn will not tolerate Ptolemy's hermitlike existence. She challenges him to interact more with the world around him, and he grasps more firmly onto his disappearing consciousness. However, this new activity pushes Ptolemy into the fold of a doctor touting an experimental drug that guarantees Ptolemy won't live to see age 92 but that he'll spend his last days in feverish vigor and clarity. With his mind clear, what Ptolemy finds - in his own past, in his own apartment, and in the circumstances surrounding his grand-nephew's death - is shocking enough to spur an old man to action, and to ensure a legacy that no one will forget.
In The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, Mosley captures the compromised state of his protagonist's mind with profound sensitivity and insight, and creates an unforgettable pair of characters at the center of a novel that is sure to become a true contemporary classic.
©2010 Penguin Audio; 2010 Walter Mosley
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Critic Reviews

"Mosley's depiction of the indignities of old age is heartbreaking, and Ptolemy's grace and decency make for a wonderful character and a moving novel." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Jim "The Impatient" on 02-02-13

Old People Turn into Chores For The Young

Most of WM's books speak to me, but this one especially. My mother is 77 and going through dementia. One day she is kicking me out of her house, then next she is calling me begging me to come help her. She is paranoid, nothing is her fault and everybody is out to do her wrong. She tells the same stories over and over. She turns her cable tv to stations that don't exist and thinks her tv is broke. Her tv runs 24 hours a day and the volume is always way up. If anything Mosley did not show how bad dementia can be.

I have never meet WM in person, but through his books, I know that he is a warm loving person. No one can write the books he has, the way he has and not be someone special. I don't love all his books, but I have never hated any of them. This book touched my heart several times. In a neighborhood filled with crackheads and thugs, Mosley found two characters of great value. If you have not read Mosley before, I believe this is a good place to start. He writes in several genres and I first found him in Science Fiction. Most of his books are about the human condition of the black man. Yet none of it is preachy and neither is it a put down of all white men.

My favorite Mosley books are Futureland and The Man in My Basement.

Narrator is excellent.

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful


By Gail on 01-18-12

Great Story- Wonderful Reader

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I could not stop listening.

What did you like best about this story?

Even though the topic was about death and illness, the story was about life and living.

Which character – as performed by Dominic Hoffman – was your favorite?

Of course he did Ptolemy perfectly.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I could not stop thinking about it after I completed it. It made me happy.

Any additional comments?

The first couple of chapters are actually hard to listen to. The writer wants us to feel the frustration Ptolemy has with his confusion, and I did. But the action picks up soon, and never stops until the end.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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