Little Green (Easy Rawlins Series #11) by Walter Mosley | Audiobook (CD) | Barnes & Noble
Little Green (Easy Rawlins Series #11)

Little Green (Easy Rawlins Series #11)

4.4 35
by Walter Mosley, Michael Boatman
     
 

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When Walter Mosley burst onto the literary scene in 1990 with his first Easy Rawlins mystery, Devil in a Blue Dress—a combustible mixture of Raymond Chandler and Richard Wright—he captured the attention of hundreds of thousands of readers (including future president Bill Clinton). Eleven books later, Easy Rawlins is one of the few private eyes in

Overview

When Walter Mosley burst onto the literary scene in 1990 with his first Easy Rawlins mystery, Devil in a Blue Dress—a combustible mixture of Raymond Chandler and Richard Wright—he captured the attention of hundreds of thousands of readers (including future president Bill Clinton). Eleven books later, Easy Rawlins is one of the few private eyes in contemporary crime fiction who can be called iconic and immortal. In the incendiary and fast-paced Little Green, he returns from the brink of death to investigate the dark side of L.A.’s 1960s hippie haven, the Sunset Strip.

We last saw Easy in 2007’s Blonde Faith, fighting for his life after his car plunges over a cliff. True to form, the tough WWII veteran survives, and soon his murderous sidekick Mouse has him back cruising the mean streets of L.A., in all their psychedelic 1967 glory, to look for a young black man, Evander “Little Green” Noon, who disappeared during an acid trip. Fueled by an elixir called Gator’s Blood, brewed by the conjure woman Mama Jo, Easy experiences a physical, spiritual, and emotional resurrection, but peace and love soon give way to murder and mayhem. Written with Mosley’s signature grit and panache, this engrossing and atmospheric mystery is not only a trip back in time, it is also a tough-minded exploration of good and evil, and of the power of guilt and redemption. Once again, Easy asserts his reign over the City of (Fallen) Angels.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In 2007’s Blonde Faith, set in 1967, Easy Rawlins drove drunkenly off a cliff in what his creator indicated was likely his last appearance. Now, after two months of sliding in and out of consciousness, Easy begins the long journey back to the living, in Mosley’s superb 12th mystery featuring his iconic sleuth. Saved by Ray “Mouse” Alexander and the ministrations of Mama Jo, Easy is asked by Mouse to find Evander “Little Green” Noon, who went clubbing on the Sunset Strip and disappeared. Weakened but determined to keep moving, Easy is buoyed by Mama Jo’s potent brew she calls “Gator’s Blood” and the support of numerous friends, including Martin Martins and Jackson Blue. Things are changing in L.A., and Easy finds hope in the hippie culture. In the course of his search for Little Green, Easy earns an astonished accolade from Blue, who says he never thought he’d see the day “when Raymond Alexander had to tell Easy Rawlins to hold back.” If there were an Edgar for best comeback player, Easy Rawlins would be a shoo-in. 8-city author tour. Agent: Gloria Loomis, Watkins Loomis Agency. (May)
From the Publisher
Advance Praise for LITTLE GREEN:

“In 2007’s Blonde Faith, set in 1967, Easy Rawlins drove drunkenly off a cliff in what his creator indicated was likely his last appearance. Now, after two months of sliding in and out of consciousness, Easy begins the long journey back to the living, in Mosley’s superb 12th mystery featuring his iconic sleuth…. If there were an Edgar for best comeback player, Easy Rawlins would be a shoo-in.”
Publishers Weekly (starred) 

"Mosley fans were pining for the resurrection of Rawlins.  Their dreams have come true.... Mosley returns here to doing what he does best: setting the pain and pleasure of individual lives, lived mostly in L.A.'s black community, within an instantly recognizable historical moment and allowing the two to feed off one another.... [A] major event for crime-fiction fans." 
—Bill Ott, Booklist

Library Journal
Evander “Little Green” Noon has gone missing, and Easy Rawlins is pulled into the mystery by sidekick Raymond “Mouse” Alexander. The African American PI, who knows the Los Angeles streets, is the go-to guy to find Evander, but a violent car accident leaves him incapacitated. Local shaman Mama Jo hands Easy a weird concoction called Gator’s Blood that provides miraculous strength. Easy then calls on his acute street smarts and embarks on his mission to find Evander. Following the 1967 Watts riots, the City of Angels is flush with hippies and racial tension, making it a challenge for Easy to get straight answers. He learns that finding a lost person is just the beginning of a complicated puzzle that will challenge his deep sense of loyalty.

Verdict Mosley’s latest addition to this series (after Blonde Faith) is a must-have for hard-boiled mystery fans as Easy and Mouse give the late Robert B. Parker’s Spenser and Hawk a run for their money. Street lit staples of betrayal, drug use, and abusive cops are part of this taut tale that rises above other mysteries through its strong African American protagonist. I want Easy Rawlins watching my back. [An eight-city tour.]—Rollie Welch, Cleveland P.L.
(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Reviews
The 1967 Watts riots seem to have slowed down time for Easy Rawlins, who returns only a few weeks after his apparent death at the end of Blonde Faith (2007). That climactic car crash didn't kill Easy, but it left him weak as a kitten and prone to disturbing dreams of past and future. Only repeated drafts of Gator's Blood, the home brew cooked up by healer Mama Jo, allow Easy to escape the ministrations of martinet nurse Antigone Fowler and take to the streets again. As usual, his mission is straightforward--to find Evander Noon, whose mother, Timbale, is a friend of Easy's dangerous best bud Mouse Alexander--but his path is winding. His information takes him to Lula Success' brothel, where Evander dallied before leaving in the company of Maurice Potter. Coco, a prostitute born Helen Ray, leads Easy to Evander, who's been kidnapped by three gangsters and tied to a tree, and the pair, acting swiftly, free Evander and bring him home to his mother. But the conflicts that made those thugs snatch Evander obviously haven't been resolved by his rescue. In order to protect the wayward young man, Easy will have to find the links between insurance giant Proxy Nine, oil company TexOk, and the likes of sneak thief Charles Rumor and all-around nasty operator Haman Rose. Mosley is much more interested in bringing these characters and the social forces they represent to life than in connecting the dots. The result works better as anthropology than mystery, with barely a teaspoon of plot to a monstrous deal of aphorism Whether it's the lingering effects of his near-fatal accident or the infusions of Gator's Blood, Easy sounds less like Watts' signature private eye than one of the visionaries from Mosley's Crosstown to Oblivion novellas (Stepping Stone/The Love Machine, 2013, etc.).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385362306
Publisher:
Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/14/2013
Series:
Easy Rawlins Series, #11
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

1

I came half-awake, dead and dreaming. My eyes were open but I couldn’t focus on anything because I was still falling, as if the nightmare had followed me from sleep into the waking world. I didn’t know where I was or where I’d come from. But the bed under me was turning and falling and I, I was sure, had perished. This sensation was so real, so palpable that I closed my eyes and moaned. The movement of the bed then took on a temporal quality; instead of falling I had become unmoored in time: traveling backward and then forward through a life that was mine and yet, at the same time, foreign to me.

I watched my mother dying in the bedroom of our shanty house in New Iberia, Louisiana. She was laid up in a feather bed, a big woman who was trying to catch her breath but couldn’t inhale right. It sounded like she was drowning. She was so pretty, I thought. I had once loved her but could no longer raise this feeling in my heart. I might have even smiled as she shuddered under the labor of simple breathing.

Then I tumbled into a boxcar peopled by brooding and silent black men. They stared at the boy and he saw from their point of view a scared eight-year-old orphan child looking for companionship in those angry, bloodshot eyes. I was no longer that kid but had become those men who couldn’t care about another defenseless child orphaned and destined, probably, to die. I saw myself and wondered, almost idly, if that young son would live to the end of the line.

I was surprised to see that he had made it to Fifth Ward, Houston, Texas. Stealing oranges, skulking in back-alley corners, asking everyone he met if they knew a name—Martin. “My grandfather,” he said. He’d learned to speak up and stand straight. He already carried scars that would follow him through life but he found his grandfather: a hard man who allowed him to sleep on the outside front porch at night.

Time picked up speed after that. In an instant the boy, Ezekiel, was a young man, a fool who signed up for the army, for the war. He passed through North Africa, then Italy and France. He fought men and killed them out of reflex and fear. He liberated a concentration camp, a killer opening the gates for the dead and the dying and those left with the image of death permanently imprinted on their souls.

I was dying, no, had died.

Returning to Houston, the man, no longer weak or afraid, found that most of his friends in that part of town were deceased. Renfro had been slaughtered by a jealous woman named Theresa who in turn died from alcohol poisoning. Martin killed a white man and then shot himself in the burning shack where the boy had slept on the porch. Minna Rogers, Delphine Montesque, Michael Michaels, Big Boy Sanders, and dozens of others, all died while the boy-turned-man had survived the greatest war in history.

“Easy?”

There was a flood rising in the room that was swathed in darkness. My right ankle was shackled to the floor next to the bed, and the water was already up to my ears. I pulled against the chain but all that did was cause me pain. My ankle hurt like a motherfucker and the chain would not give. I tried to rise, hoping that I could float to the extent of the bond, that maybe I could keep my nose above water, but I knew somehow that my luck had run out, that Death had come in on me while I was distracted by the mountains of evil I had lived through. Just the fact that I could survive such terror made me guilty, and now he was coming up through the floorboards like he did for my mother.

Death. I had followed him through all the years of my life as he dropped bodies in my path as little reminders to me and others that the end of the road was no bed of roses, no kingdom come. It felt as if my whole life was an obstacle course, a slogging journey trying to catch up with Death, trying to get a good look at his face. . . .

“Easy.”

And then, up ahead, on my journey through a past life that no longer belonged to me, I saw his back; the Reaper was right there in front of me, carelessly firing a pistol into the night. I could reach out and touch his shoulder. When I did this he grunted and turned and I realized that I knew this being, this deadly force that had dogged me from the earliest moments of my life.

He was well dressed for any occasion or epoch. Smiling with a gold tooth that had a diamond embedded in it, he was a colored man, not black but light-skinned and light-eyed. A brother who had littered the road I traveled with so many dead that even he had lost count.

“Easy.”

His lips didn’t move but I recognized my name, my true name, not the one my dead father gave me. Raymond Alexander, known as Mouse to his victims and friends alike, smiled at me and I shivered in pleasure and fear.

“Ray,” I said, and his smile slowly diminished.

He stared at me and shook his head. I almost cried but then I remembered who I was and what I’d been through.

“No, man,” I said. “You can’t dismiss me like some schoolkid. You can’t turn your back on me after all these years.”

He smiled again, and even though I was dead I felt elation. This emotion was followed by the sense of falling again. There was a broad ocean rippling gently under a partial moon and the execution of a perfect accelerating arc of plummeting downward. A shackle was affixed painfully to my right ankle but, impossibly, Mouse was still standing there in front of me, his expression daring me to do something about the fix I was in.

“You expect me to fly, motherfucker?” I yelled.

Mouse laughed without sound and nodded at me.

“Easy, wake up.”

The command was feminine, a nuisance that somehow carried weight. The panorama of my hallucinatory journey called to me. I wanted to go off with Mouse, to follow the long line of dead black folks, soldiers, and Jews. I wanted to join the people I killed and the ones I couldn’t save. I wanted to shed my scarred and pain-riddled body. One more breath seemed like too much to bear.

“Easy, it’s time for you to wake up.”

I tried to open my eyes but I was a child again, a slave to sleep, needing just two more minutes of rest. But a hand shook my shoulder and little aches came awake through my upper torso and down my spine.

It was this pain that opened my eyes.

I could see after a fashion but my vision wasn’t proper yet. I couldn’t get a bead on the room I was in, but the beautiful Asian woman sitting beside me on the bed was clear and present as a Catholic priest preparing to give last rites.

Instead of incense there was a mild floral scent of perfume.

“Lynne?” I said. My voice was hoarse and congested, cracking hard enough that I thought my throat might bleed.

“I didn’t think you were ever going to wake up, Easy,” the Chinese bit-part TV actress claimed.

“I died,” I said.

She almost responded but then moved to a chair next to the head of my bed.

Meet the Author

WALTER MOSLEY is the author of more than forty-one books, most notably eleven Easy Rawlins mysteries, the first of which, Devil in a Blue Dress, was made into an acclaimed film starring Denzel Washington. Always Outnumbered was an HBO film starring Laurence Fishburne, adapted from his first Socrates Fortlow novel. A native of Los Angeles and a graduate of Goddard College, he holds an MFA from CCNY and lives in Brooklyn, New York. He is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy Award, and PEN America's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
January 12, 1952
Place of Birth:
Los Angeles, California
Education:
B.A., Johnson State College
Website:
http://www.waltermosley.com

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