The Wave

The Wave

3.6 15
by Walter Mosley

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The "New York Times" bestselling author of "Blue Light" returns to the realm of science fiction. Errol is awakened by a strange prank caller claiming to be his father, who has been dead for several years. Curious, and not a little unnerved, Errol sneaks into the graveyard where his father is buried. What he finds will change his life forever.  See more details below


The "New York Times" bestselling author of "Blue Light" returns to the realm of science fiction. Errol is awakened by a strange prank caller claiming to be his father, who has been dead for several years. Curious, and not a little unnerved, Errol sneaks into the graveyard where his father is buried. What he finds will change his life forever.

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The Barnes & Noble Review
What would you do if a naked madman accosted you in a graveyard, introduced himself as the reanimated form of a deceased loved one, and knew intimate details of your life? That's exactly the dilemma facing Errol Porter, an unemployed computer programmer turned pottery assistant who begins a bizarre journey of self-discovery that includes the dearly departed brought back to life, a godlike million-year old communal organism, and roving bands of fanatical homeland security death squads.

When Porter begins receiving strange phone calls in the middle of the night from someone claiming to be his dead father, he tracks the calls to a security shed located in the cemetery where his father is buried. Overcome by curiosity, Porter visits his father's grave, coming face-to-face with a younger version of his dad. Refusing to accept that this stranger is his father, yet somehow knowing that he is, Porter takes him home to clean him up -- and becomes involved in a quest to stop humanity from essentially killing God.

Although he's known primarily for his bestselling Easy Rawlins mystery saga, Mosley has also made his mark in science fiction (Blue Light and Futureland), and this is arguably his most provocative -- and sublime -- effort in the genre. Equal parts visionary science fiction and psychological thriller, The Wave will appeal to fans of deeply probing and profoundly moving genre works like Kim Stanley Robinson's The Years of Rice and Salt and Stephen Baxter's Manifold trilogy; it will also satisfy those who enjoy authors like Koontz, King, and Straub. A brilliantly understated gem of a novel. Paul Goat Allen

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Grand Central Publishing
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The Wave

By Walter Mosley

Warner Aspect

Copyright © 2006 Walter Mosley
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-53363-7

Chapter One

"... naked, naked ... I don't have any clothes ... so so cold ..."

"Who is this?" I asked.

"So cold," the voice said again.

"Who is this?"

"... cold and naked. Sleeping in the trees."

He hung up then. It was the fourth evening in a week that he'd called. The first night he only grunted and moaned. Two days later, he spoke in single words. Those words were cold and naked. The voice was definitely masculine but strained and frightened. The next night he used the same two words, but he doubled up on them from time to time, saying, naked, cold, cold, naked. He was pleading, but I didn't know what he wanted. He didn't seem threatening, just desperate and crazed.

When I told Nella about it, she said that I should call the police.

"There's no telling what psychotic notions he might have in his head," the buttercream-colored, dreadlock-wearing ceramicist warned. "He might be working up to coming in there and slaughtering you and everybody in your whole house."

"He doesn't even know my name," I said.

"He knows your number," the lovely young Jamaican reasoned.

"He probably dialed it once, and now it's on his redial or something."

"Better be safe," Nella said, "than dead."

I wasn't worried about a few crank calls. In my head, I had worked outthat the poor guy was already in a mental institution. That he was on the honor plan or something like that. At night he got confused and hallucinated that he was naked and cold, living in the woods. That's how it was with my grandmother before she died. During the day she was perfectly lucid, talking about old times in Atlanta before she and my grandfather moved to Los Angeles. She had all kinds of great stories about her wild days as a young girl and then, after she was married, about her friends in the church choir. She was also a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

"Back then Martin Luther King stood down the whole Old Boy system-and beat 'em, too," Grandma Angeline used to say.

Those talks were during the day. But after the sun set, she experienced night terrors. Her husband returned from the grave and blamed her for poisoning him. She would run away from the assisted-living home and wander Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles looking for the bus to Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta. Sometimes she bullied older male patients in the residence, taking their desserts or pushing them down when their backs were turned. For years the administrators were on the verge of moving my grandmother to a facility that offered more restrictive care.

Then I would go in and talk with her about members of our family whom I'd never met, about whom my father never spoke. There was Albert Trellmore, for instance, the bookkeeper and arsonist. Every Fourth of July, he set fire to one of the big corporations or production companies around Georgia. He loved fires and hated what big businesses did to the poor.

"He burnt lumber companies, banks, loadin' dock warehouses, and big department stores for over twenty-seven years," my Grandma Angeline told me one gray June day. We were sitting on the first floor of the residence, near a glass wall that looked out on Pico. "He woulda kept it up for twenty-seven more if it wasn't for that train-yard fire he set."

"What happened then, Grandma?"

"He didn't think that some'a the hoboes might have been sleepin' under the depot. One of them men died, and it broke Albert's heart. He never set another fire, and died just two years later."

"Why'd he set those fires in the first place?" I asked my eighty-eight-year-old gram.

"White people," she said. "Some of 'em used to refuse to hire black. Some would abuse the ones they had workin' for 'em. Now and then there was a Klansman had all his money wrapped up in one'a them places."

"But why do it on the Fourth of July?"

"Called it his patriotic duty," she said, and we both got a big laugh out of it.

After one of my visits, Grandma Angeline would calm down during the evenings. For a few weeks, we wouldn't get any complaints at all from the residence.

I liked visiting my grandmother. My father, when he was still alive, never wanted to talk about the old days down south. He rarely visited his mother, because she insisted in talking about all that old shit, as he used to say.

But I liked her stories, and I didn't care if she went crazy at night and wandered the streets of L.A. looking for Atlanta landmarks.

My mother was from an Orange County WASP family that didn't have many good stories. She cooked the meals and made sure that my sister and I were healthy, but she didn't know how to have fun-at least that's what I thought. And so, when the crazy man who was naked and cold and living in the trees called, I had a soft spot for him like I did for my grandmother and my cousin Albert Trellmore.

That night I dreamed about my father. He was emaciated, as he had been during the last months of his cancer. He had sunken black cheeks and big eyes that seemed to belong to an inquisitive infant rather than a sixty-year-old man. In his last days, he insisted on sitting up and then standing to greet me every morning when I came over to see him. He'd always utter some word that would speak a whole volume in our personal history.

"Kangol," he said on the last morning I saw him.

We both loved those hats. Actually, I didn't care much about them, but I wore one because my father had bought it for me.

I made up my mind to go out and buy him a blue Kangol and to bring it as a surprise the next day. I had to go to three different department stores before I found the right one. But when I brought it to my parents' apartment the next morning, they were gone. Their absence could only have meant that my father had died in the night. I sat at the kitchen table until my mother returned. She told me that everything was better now because at least he was no longer in pain.

In the dream, he was just as skinny and still on his deathbed. But he was flexing his muscles and sitting up against a pile of pillows.

"How are you, Dad?"

"Much better, Errol. I'm doing those exercises the nurse gave me. She said if I keep it up, I'll beat this cancer in three months."

An elation spread through me that was so powerful I woke up rising out of the bed. I paced around the onetime garage that was now my home, hoping to find some clue to the dream in my waking world.


Excerpted from The Wave by Walter Mosley Copyright ©2006 by Walter Mosley. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
Walter Mosley fans are in for a surprise with The Wave - no more Easy Rawlins or Fearless Jones, but for the third time this author ventures into the world of science fiction. It's his 19th novel, and I've lost count of his awards, an O. Henry, a Grammy, a Sundance Institute Risk-Taker Award. There seem to be few writers who can switch genres as flawlessly as he does. Simply goes to prove what we've known all along - Walter Mosley is one terrific wordsmith. With The Wave we meet Errol Porter who is receiving what he believes to be crank phone calls. Perhaps, he thinks, someone in a mental institution has gotten his number and put it on redial. With the first call all he heard were moans and grunts. It was a man's voice. With the second call he heard single words - cold, naked. There's cause for concern when the caller claims to be Errol's father who died and was buried in 1996. It is only when Errol visits the site of his father's grave that he begins to learn of `the wave,' an incredible force that can bring corpses back to life in great good health with their minds and memories intact. What then would happen to our world as we know it? To further complicate matters Errol is grabbed by a psychotic scientist and taken to a frightening underground world. Narrator Tim Cain's deep, resonant voice is particularly appropriate for this tale of suspenseful horror. With pacing and nuance he carries listeners along to a shocking conclusion. - Gail Cooke
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good with interesting plot and great twists!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Okay, Walter has talent that's for sure. This book though, was really crazy! It wasn't his best but It did keep you turning the pages, just to see what's happening.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Unemployed system administrator Errol Porter thinks nothing of the calls except for the inconvenience as they wake him up every night. He assumes someone is pranking him with the insistence that the caller is his father. Errol¿s dad died in 1996. As the calls keep coming, Errol begins to wonder if he might be a bit deranged as the person on the other end is beginning to speak and sound just like his father and more frightening the man knows insider information that only he and his father Arthur Bontemps Porter III could know....................... Unable to resist Errol agrees to meet Arthur, but is stunned when he sees his dad¿s face, albeit a much younger Arthur than he remembers. He wonders if GT (¿Good Times¿) is a con, but has no idea what the person would benefit from this ruse or could he be a ghost? US Army officer Dr. David Wheeler places Errol under house arrest until he can figure out how to persuade his superiors that we have been invaded by 'demons from hell' and how to combat them. While David expects the invasion of the body snatchers, Errol trusts no one especially the Feds or his so-called dad, but admits while he ponders what next as the sex with David¿s wife is good.................. As he did with FUTURELAND, Walter Mosley displays his vast skills with this superb science fiction thriller. The story line focuses mostly on Errol who keeps digging one step at a time only to find that next stride even more convoluted and confusing. Like the hero, readers will wonder what is going on until suddenly the 200 plus page novel is finished in one delightful sitting. Sci Fi fans will see why mystery readers find it easy to give THE WAVE to the great Walter Mosley................ Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very strange book for me. I usually like sci-fi, King and Kuntz books. This one was very hard to get into and a bit hard to understand. The ending was better than I thought it would be but I don't expect that I will read it again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the ¿Wave¿ Mr. Ross starts a club with the students to communicate easier with each other. But he has a secret plan in the club that no one knows but him, not even his wife. Some students don't like the club and they get beat up for that. Eventually a girl and boy try to stop the club and every one learns a horrible lesson in the end of it. Mr. Ross, a history teacher, is telling the class about world war 2 and Hitler. Eventually he tries an experiment that seems to get out of hands. I would recommend this book to people who like history, mystery, and/or detail.