Customer Reviews for

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey

Average Rating 4
( 54 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 54 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted October 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Falling Star

    If you have ever had a loved one touched by the cruel hand of dementia, you need to read this book. It will help you understand some of the torment and struggle that are endured by those afflicted by this disease. If you haven't witnessed the suffering, you may well ask if a person would bargain their time that is left them for a few days or weeks of clarity and sound judgment. I know I would. So did Mr Ptolemy Grey,a ninety-one year old, black man, whose life and dignity are being sucked out of him by dementia. He continues to live by himself in squalid surroundings since the death of his wife many years ago. He has a vague idea that he needs to leave a legacy; to make a difference for some of his remaining family and to Robyn, a beautiful, caring, eighteen year old girl, who has brought a freshness and new life to Mr. Ptolemy Grey. He must decide whether to live a life in which he is afraid to go out on the street or to open his door to relatives or neighbors, lest they beat and rob him or take the devil's medicine that may give him a last chance to fulfill his dream. The book is full of good characterizations and is very insightful in how we treat ourselves and others.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2011

    it stayed with me

    This is a Walter Mosley I've never known. I was touched with the plight of old age and cheered by the salvation of youth. I'm looking forward to a second reading. The first time was for the fun of finding out what happens. The second is to revisit the wisdom of the characters.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2011

    One of my favorites for 2011!

    I have ALWAYS been a huge Walter Mosley fan, pouring through all the Easy, Fearless and Socrates novels - and more recently, those featuring NYC Private Investigator, Leonid McGill. Mosley has an extraordinary capacity to breathe life into his characters. Whenever I'm engaged with one of his books, it's as if the principals leap right of the page into a state of animation that continues to inhabit my imagination.long after I've put away the book or turned off my nook. This was no less true in the case of Ptolemy Grey and his young companion, Robyn. In Mosley's novel, the Old Man and Young Girl are thrust into each other's lives in the midst of a trying and difficult situation, and through their various interactions the author skillfully takes us along for the ride, representing their journey of redemption and validation...as well as the pure and unmitigated love they develop for each another. Under different circumstances or in a different time and place, we're led to believe that their affection would most certainly have been expressed in a more intimate way: "If I was 20 years older, and you were 50 years younger..?" is a question that Robyn initially poses and both characters return to several times. But in spite of the chasm that defines their generational divide, Ptolemy and Robyn are still able to find a true and legitimate expression for how they feel about each other. In time, old fears are conquered and new potential is harnessed and put to effective use. This book is Powerful. The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey was an absolute treat.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2011

    Highly recommend.

    Mr. Mosley does a superb job of capturing the frustration and confusion of an elderly man suffering from dementia and the explosive effect a mind altering "alternative" drug has on his life and relationships. Excellent read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2011

    The one of the best books I've read this year!

    This book drew me in on the first page. I read it in a day- reading at traffic lights, in the car wash, lunch breaks.... It brings back a humanity missing on so many books written today....and I loved how the author ended the book. So many books have left me with an anti-climactic feeling, not so with this piece....I simply shut the back cover and smiled.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great+book

    So+worth+reading+++i+loved+how+the+aurthor+pulled+me+into+the+minds+of+the+characters%21%0A

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2013

    A great book.  I really enjoy his writing.  It is so compact yet

    A great book.  I really enjoy his writing.  It is so compact yet conveys so much.  I’m always surprised at how few pages his stories are but how much I get out of the books.  Very glad I took the suggestion to read this book for Black History Month.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2012

    Great Read

    Great Read

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  • Posted June 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Excellently written

    We get into the mind of an aging person with a remarkable twist at the end. It combines aging, racial tensions and love in a unique way. Very enjoyable!

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  • Posted September 26, 2011

    It is a such a poignant tale that I did not want it to end. I wanted to know such a man as Ptolemy Grey. He was a genuine gentleman, one who understood what was important in life and what wasn't, what were the real treasures in life.

    This is a story about a touching relationship between an old man and the young girl whose kindness and true concern for him reawakens his heart and mind. Her tenderness brings him back to life again so that he can spend his last days "alive" once more, with the memory of his youth, if not the body, so he could settle old scores and protect the ones who were closest to him when he takes his final leave. This sensitive tale of love and loss, humiliation and pride, violence and gentleness, devotion and betrayal, courage and fear, strength and weakness, will stay with you long after you turn the final page. If I had known Ptolemy Grey, he would have enriched my life. Ironically, Ptolemy is a gentle soul, but toward the end of his life, he hopes he has not sold it to the devil. He has a simple but common sense approach to life. He has suffered many tragedies over the years and witnessed the brutality and abuse his race has been subjected to historically. His memories were the "stuff of nightmares." At 91, with his memory and mind beginning to fray around the edges as dementia steals more and more of his thought processes, and with the weakness of age depriving him of his vitality, he easily became prey for those who were stronger and meaner. Not formally educated, he was still wiser than many of those who were more scholarly. He lived by simple truths and wished only to be surrounded by those that seemed sincere and wanted to give back more than they wished to take. He understood how the cruelty of some experiences could color a person's decisions and he forgave them when they chose to do wrong, if they had good reasons for that behavior and really were good inside. The book begins and ends with a tender love letter of sorts, and it sets the mood. The author illuminates the loneliness and frustration endured by the elderly as they lose their independence and must rely on others whom they cannot always trust. He presents his story with a prose using the dialect of the poor black community which at first may be hard to follow and may seem confused, but since the main character is confused, it is probably the author's purpose and is deliberate. A rhythm soon develops and it is no longer a problem to follow the dialogue. Words are spelled phonetically to make it more effective, and it enhances the interaction of the characters as you can hear their conversations in your own mind because of it. He has depicted the black culture perfectly. The descriptions are so vivid that you are sitting in the apartment with Ptolemy as he struggles with his thoughts and as he entertains visitors, as he walks down the street with the fear of being attacked by assailants, and as he feels the strong emotional pull and impact of his love for those dear to him and those in his memories of love long gone. As he travels through his past through his dreams and thoughts, we learn about the highlights of his life. With brief anecdotes, we learn how he perceives the world and we witness the injustices and decline of morality coupled with the decay of societies infrastructure and principles. His apartment, like his mind, is cluttered and unkempt,until 17 year old Robyn enters his life and genuinely cares for him. The book is a gift with a message that will remain with you.

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Thought provoking

    This is the first book I've read by Walter Mosley. The synopsis of the book is an accurate reflection of the storyline and the characters are rich. It is easy from the beginning to become attached to Ptolemy and feel profound sympathy for him. While reading I often wondered, "is this how I will be if I live this long?" To live your whole life and then regress back to a childlike mind as dementia sets in? The helpless feeling of all of it.

    What I do find is that it reinforces the testament of the human connection and the human touch. Ptolemy thrives in the company of his new found friend. They discover a mutual respect and love that spans age differences. Everyone needs to feel needed, yes?

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  • Posted December 7, 2010

    As always

    As always, Mr. Mosley delivers.

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  • Posted December 1, 2010

    A Gem of a book

    I absolutely love any and everything that Mr. Mosely puts out. This book was no different. Ptolemy's character reminded me of my own family members struggling to hold on to their minds and memories. Ptolemy's sheer "common sense" wisdom is what our society lacks today. I smiled throughout the journey of Ptolemy's plight to right any past and future wrongs from his family members and set the soul of his friend to rest at last. Would read over and over again.

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    Posted July 10, 2011

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    Posted December 26, 2010

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    Posted March 19, 2012

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    Posted November 15, 2011

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    Posted February 1, 2011

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    Posted April 17, 2011

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    Posted December 26, 2010

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