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Fear Itself: A Fearless Jones Novel Hardcover – Jul 2 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Little Brown and Company (July 2 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316591122
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316591126
  • Product Dimensions: 24.5 x 15.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,292,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In this eagerly anticipated follow-up to Fearless Jones (2001), Watts bookstore owner Paris Minton and the dangerous but principled Fearless Jones tread the familiar territory mapped so successfully by Mosley's original detecting duo, Easy Rawlins and Raymond "Mouse" Alexander. The author depicts 1950s Los Angeles with his usual unerring accuracy, but a somewhat different dynamic drives his heroes. When Fearless drags the reluctant Paris into helping him look for Kit Mitchell (aka the Watermelon Man), their quest turns quickly murderous. Timid bookworm Paris gets caught in a deadly game of hide-and-seek whose players deal in lead, money and lies and include members of the fractured and fractious family of millionaire black businesswoman Winifred L. Fine. Neither Fearless nor Paris is sure who or what the various seekers are after-the missing Mitchell, a fabulous emerald pendant or a family diary-only that it's valued more than the lives lost trying to find it. A desire to aid his friend Fearless initially motivates Paris, but his journey becomes a voyage of self-discovery. While Paris possesses a narrative voice that's more literate and middle-class than that of the street-smart Easy, it should still resonate with Mosley's legions of fans.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

There's a fun conceit in the name of Mosley's Fearless Jones series: its namesake is not the protagonist but the protagonist's best friend. Simplifying the stability-versus-chaos dichotomy of Easy Rawlins and his friend Mouse (heroes of Mosley's most popular series), narrator Paris Minton is the brains to Fearless' brawn. Even more interesting, the deadly ex-soldier Fearless is good-natured and generous, while Paris, a scrawny bookseller and self-admitted coward, can be abrasive and self-serving. In the second installment, a nighttime knock on the door begins a complicated caper that starts with a missing person and ends with a half-dozen parties fighting over a valuable book. Fear Itself is infused with Mosley's typical thoughtfulness and telling details, although it's not quite as successful as his previous mysteries. Readers who love Mosley for his politics, settings, and characters may feel stinted by the generous plot machinations, which unfold largely in dialogue and employ so many characters that we don't get to know many of them well. And there's a central paradox that's addressed but not solved: if Paris is such a scaredy-cat, why does he keep plunging further into danger? After a slow beginning, the ending just misses being great when a last twist softens what would have been a perfect noir judgment on Paris. Not Mosley's best, but still plenty good. Keir Graff
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on April 19 2007
Format: Audio CD
Fear Itself wonderfully lives up to the superb quality of Fearless Jones, which began this series. If you haven't read Fearless Jones, I recommend reading that book first.

Fearless Jones is the finest new mystery I have read in decades. Its qualities place it alongside classics like The Maltese Falcon, while its deep exploration of human nature causes it to transcend the mystery genre. The story's subtle psychology reminds me of an ancient Greek drama. This book represents a new peak in the imagination and the writing of the immensely talented Mr. Walter Mosley. You have a rare treat in store. Start this book early in the day. You probably won't want to put it down.

Like the frozen expressions on Greek tragedians' masks, Fearless Jones considers three kinds of human motivation: The self-interested satisfaction of the senses; the rational mind assembling the pieces of a puzzle; and good character that comes the heart. The narration builds from the rational mind and conveys all of the classic elements of the best noir mysteries. Mosley's point is that good character will naturally triumph because of the finer emotions and responses it will evoke in others. I suspect that you will agree with him, and feel uplifted by this tale despite the plot's pathway through many dark alleys of depravity.

Few writers can take you inside the mind and body of the characters like Mr. Mosley. In both Fearless Jones and Fear Itself, you will think and feel along with Paris Minton, the owner of a used bookstore in Watts in the mid-1950s. Minton is a largely self-educated black man from Louisiana who came to California to find libraries that were open to all. His store's books are discards from local libraries.
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on April 19 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Fear Itself wonderfully lives up to the superb quality of Fearless Jones, which began this series. If you haven't read Fearless Jones, I recommend reading that book first.

Fearless Jones is the finest new mystery I have read in decades. Its qualities place it alongside classics like The Maltese Falcon, while its deep exploration of human nature causes it to transcend the mystery genre. The story's subtle psychology reminds me of an ancient Greek drama. This book represents a new peak in the imagination and the writing of the immensely talented Mr. Walter Mosley. You have a rare treat in store. Start this book early in the day. You probably won't want to put it down.

Like the frozen expressions on Greek tragedians' masks, Fearless Jones considers three kinds of human motivation: The self-interested satisfaction of the senses; the rational mind assembling the pieces of a puzzle; and good character that comes the heart. The narration builds from the rational mind and conveys all of the classic elements of the best noir mysteries. Mosley's point is that good character will naturally triumph because of the finer emotions and responses it will evoke in others. I suspect that you will agree with him, and feel uplifted by this tale despite the plot's pathway through many dark alleys of depravity.

Few writers can take you inside the mind and body of the characters like Mr. Mosley. In both Fearless Jones and Fear Itself, you will think and feel along with Paris Minton, the owner of a used bookstore in Watts in the mid-1950s. Minton is a largely self-educated black man from Louisiana who came to California to find libraries that were open to all. His store's books are discards from local libraries.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on April 19 2007
Format: Paperback
Fear Itself wonderfully lives up to the superb quality of Fearless Jones, which began this series. If you haven't read Fearless Jones, I recommend reading that book first.

Fearless Jones is the finest new mystery I have read in decades. Its qualities place it alongside classics like The Maltese Falcon, while its deep exploration of human nature causes it to transcend the mystery genre. The story's subtle psychology reminds me of an ancient Greek drama. This book represents a new peak in the imagination and the writing of the immensely talented Mr. Walter Mosley. You have a rare treat in store. Start this book early in the day. You probably won't want to put it down.

Like the frozen expressions on Greek tragedians' masks, Fearless Jones considers three kinds of human motivation: The self-interested satisfaction of the senses; the rational mind assembling the pieces of a puzzle; and good character that comes the heart. The narration builds from the rational mind and conveys all of the classic elements of the best noir mysteries. Mosley's point is that good character will naturally triumph because of the finer emotions and responses it will evoke in others. I suspect that you will agree with him, and feel uplifted by this tale despite the plot's pathway through many dark alleys of depravity.

Few writers can take you inside the mind and body of the characters like Mr. Mosley. In both Fearless Jones and Fear Itself, you will think and feel along with Paris Minton, the owner of a used bookstore in Watts in the mid-1950s. Minton is a largely self-educated black man from Louisiana who came to California to find libraries that were open to all. His store's books are discards from local libraries.
Read more ›
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