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Fortunate Son: A Novel [Paperback]

Walter Mosley

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Book Description

Aug. 22 2007
In spite of remarkable differences, Tommy and Eric are as close as brothers. Tommy, a delicate black boy, is cursed with health problems and drawn to trouble more often than not. Eric is a Nordic Adonis, graced by a seemingly endless supply of good fortune. When tragedy rips their makeshift family apart, the two boys are set on courses that diverge astonishingly. In a riveting tale of resilience and redemption that traces their parallel lives, Tommy and Eric ultimately reunite after years apart and draw on their childhood bond as they confront together the forces that threaten to destroy them.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books; 1 edition (Aug. 22 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316066281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316066280
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,024,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Toussaint's honeyed voice, flecked with the slightest undertone of grit, is lovely but forbidding, the sound of effortless social grace underscored by the threat of steely authority at the slightest provocation. Sounding much like actress Alfre Woodard, Toussaint reads Mosley's novel of two stepbrothers, brought together as part of an unlikely family yet separated by wildly divergent fortunes. Tommy and Eric, joined by their respective parents' meeting at Tommy's hospital bed, are inseparable as boys, but their differing natures and fates tear them apart as they grow older. Toussaint's performance is flawless, superbly mimicking the vocal patterns of characters both large and small, varying the texture of her reading by altering speed, style and vocal depth to provide Mosley's book with texture and subtle power. She is the rare reader who allows the words of her text to dictate the tone of her reading, rather than imposing a vocal style on the book; as a result, her reading is more pleasurable than run-of-the-mill audiobooks, staying true to the spirit of Mosley's tart, occasionally sentimental prose with admirable tenacity.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* At a Los Angeles hospital, African American single mother Branwyn Beerman sits vigil at the side of her fragile infant son, Thomas, born with a hole in his heart. White heart surgeon Minas Nolan sees her and is instantly attracted to the dark-skinned beauty with the radiant smile. A recent widower, Dr. Nolan has a healthy son, Eric, a week younger than Thomas. The four are soon living together. Branwyn is the mother Eric desperately needs; Minas is a far better role model than Thomas' biological father, Elton, who abandoned Branwyn soon after learning she was pregnant. Though the boys love each other as brothers, they couldn't be more different. Sensitive Thomas finds joy in simple things, a blossoming flower, a bird in flight. Eric, blessed with good looks and good luck, takes his charmed life for granted. The makeshift family is wrenched apart when Branwyn dies, and Thomas is forced to move in with unpredictable Elton. The boys live out their separate lives (Eric fathers a child at age 16; Thomas survives a stint in jail and several years on the streets), until dramatic circumstances reunite them more than a decade later. Mosley, best known for his acclaimed Easy Rawlins mystery series, weaves the themes of race, destiny, and redemption into an astonishing tale of unlikely siblings and unconditional love. Allison Block
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  73 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book Oct. 19 2006
By Jean Claude - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I absolutely loved this book! I was into it from the beginning. From Thomas' problematic birth to the end of the story. What a life Tommy and his brother lived. I felt like a fly on the wall imagining everything happening. What a tough, but inspiring life Tommy led. His trials were tremendous and yet he overcame them all. Eric's love and need for his brother was unexpected with his fortunate life. This book brought tears to my eyes. I cannot imagine the trials that Tommy experienced. What astounds me is that there are many Tommy's in "real life". I really look at homeless people differently now because of this book. I could go on, but I'll end by saying: "You owe it to yourself to read this book".
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who's Fortunate? Aug. 15 2006
By Marian E. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"His heart was as disconnected as hers," expresses it all. "Fortunate Son," is a story of the disconnected. Brothers by fate, Thomas Beerman and Eric Nolan are two beings in contrast. For everything Eric is, Thomas is not. There stands Eric in all of his glory taking things in stride. While early on, Tommy's life takes a harsh turn, as he is ripped from the bosom of his loving adopted family and it seems that he is alone in a world bent on bringing about his demise.

With each page that I turned, my heart grew heavier with worry and sorrow. What was to become of Tommy? He was an innocent and life was so unfair. Was a break just beyond the next page? Faring better in the world, Eric does not realize how good he has it and through the years there is always something missing, a void, he is incomplete and reaches for Tommy, the brother from his past, only Tommy cannot be there.

Reading "Fortunate Son" is like studying the brush strokes that comprise a powerful painting. Each word is stated with purpose and takes on a message of power and deliverance. Based on his or her perception, experiences and mindset, each reader will take away something different. This is a sorrow-filled read of substance. Walking with Tommy through his trials and tribulations forces one to pause and appreciate what is within reach. We remember that each day we rise is a glorious one and with inner strength, we can overcome and make it to the next if we dare to press on.

Marian E.

APOOO BookClub
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best by Mosley Dec 30 2006
By C. Henderson - Published on Amazon.com
A moving, emotional and captivating story about family. You know that saying blood is thicker than water, its not true. For a long time I've known that family is what you as an individual define it as, not who you are born to or how you are born. This story is about a family, truth, knowing who you are and that your future and how you live it is all up to you. This story about two brothers, who are not brothers, shares with us the true meaning of brotherhood and what it really means. I haven't been touched by a book in a very long as I've been moved by this, Mr. Mosley's finest piece of literature. Mr. Mosley has penned a narrative that says who ever in this life, you decide to call family, its a very good thing. Take it, keep it and be proud of it. Just read it and you'll understand.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fortunate Son Sept. 3 2006
By P. Saunders - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I think it is one of his best yet. It took me day and a half to read. It told you how a young male child was able to make in this crazy world. You ask your self could I, have done all the things that Tommy, did and make it. Read it for your self you will have tears in your eyes.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A study of Yin/Yang; dark/light;black/white;right/left-brain;artist/activist July 24 2006
By hawthorne wood - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Mosely is an inventive, creative writer in the best sense of the word: he creates unique, new worlds in his books. Here he has made something of a fable, what feels like an other-worldly tale of two "brothers"- the dark and the light. Thomas: the intuitive one, the nearly saintly, passive one. He accepts, surrenders to life's most horrible twists of fate. Stolen,abandoned, beaten, imprisoned, raped - he cannot hold a grudge. He is "brilliant"- literally - there is a light around him. I associated him with the archetypal artist, the true artist, for whom everything - the good, the bad and the ugly - is grist for his mill. He's also something of a saint, in the tradition of Dostoevsky's Mishka - "The Idiot." Seemingly simple and guileless, everyone who is around him for any length of time is influenced by his goodness - everyone falls in love with him and never forgets him. That includes his high-octave white "brother" Eric, his exact opposite. Eric seems blessed from the start unlike Thomas, who had a hole in his heart at birth. Rich, gorgeous, a sexual dynamo, athlete - people fall at his feet; a god, "lucky." As the book progresses, however, it becomes apparent that Thomas is the lucky one, because he has a beautiful soul that allows him to understand life on a far deeper level than the "golden boy" Eric. I found the novel a bit too grim for my taste in parts, and then too magical for me in others. But still - I could not put it away - and when it was over, I missed Thomas especially. "Fortunate Son"is a great contribution to

contemporary literature.

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