Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey

The Last Days of Ptolemy GreyThe Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ever read a book that you don't want to end, but that you can't stop reading? Well, that was The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey for me. Mosley's writing is as wonderful as ever and there were some laugh-out-loud moments but this is a deeply moving book about Ptolemy Grey, an old man who had not fought against the dying of the light until the beautiful and very young Robyn comes into his life.

Ptolemy is 92 and has become a recluse surrounded by the usual clutter of a hoarder which has made his apartment almost unlivable. He has a perfectly good bedroom but is sleeping under a table because it's full of the things he can't let go of, including his dead wife's belongings. Life has become somewhat misty for Ptolemy who gets lost in memories of his childhood and his friendship with the amazing Coydog and doesn't have a very tight grip on the present. Then the great-grandnephew who was looking out for him is killed and Ptolemy is taken to the funeral where he meets Robyn who, as he says, is one of those rare people who doesn't look like anyone else he's ever known.

They form the most unlikely of friendships and she becomes like a daughter and yet a chaste girlfriend to me (you'd have to read the book but it's not in the least bit icky). Robyn's interest in him spurs him on to discover who really killed his greatnephew (or whatever he was).

The way Mosley captured Ptolemy's thought processes was wonderful and I believe he got it exactly right.

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