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Gone Fishin: An Easy Rawlins Mystery [Large Print] [Paperback]

Walter Mosley
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1997

"God bless the day that Walter Mosley created Easy Rawlins!" Carolyn See of The Washington Post Book World voices the fervor of fans who love the streetwise, accidental detective and his gritty, sexy, violent world. Now, Mosley "opens a treasured window into the past of a very good friend" (Booklist), stepping back to Houston in 1939, where Easy has yet to get mixed up in the worst kind of business: other people's secrets.

In the beginning, there was Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins and Raymond "Mouse" Alexander -- two young men setting out in life, hitting the road in a "borrowed" Ford headed for Pariah, Texas. The volatile Mouse wants to retrieve money from his stepfather so he can marry his EttaMae. But on their steamy bayou excursion, Mouse will choose murder as his way out, while Easy's past liaison with EttaMae floats precariously in his memory. Easy and Mouse are coming of age -- and everything they ever knew about friendship and about themselves is coming apart at the seams....

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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From Amazon

Gone Fishin' actually marks the first appearance of Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins, as well as his homicide-prone sidekick Raymond "Mouse" Alexander. But the story takes place in 1939, when both protagonists are still living in Houston. This is no tightly plotted mystery, but an atmospheric coming-of-age story, which gives the reluctant Easy an education in sex and death, family and forgiveness. As always, Mosley's prose is a marvel: musical, funny, and full of no-frills lyricism. And the unfolding of Easy's character is every bit as gripping as the breakneck plotting of the later installment. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Mosley's sixth Easy Rawlins novel is the chronological first?and less mystery or crime fiction than a powerfully raw, lyrical coming-of-age story. Here is 19-year-old Easy in 1939 before his war experiences and before his departure from Houston for L.A. Here, too, is Raymond Alexander, better known as Mouse, the most colorful and unpredictable series character. It's Mouse ("nuthin' but bad news wit' a grin") who uses a familiar blend of threats and bribes to pry Easy away from his uncertain job in Houston and onto the road in a borrowed '36 Ford. Their destination is desolate Pariah, Texas?Mouse's home once, and still home to his hated stepfather, Reese Corn. Along the way, they pick up a young couple running from trouble?not knowing that Mouse is worse trouble than any they've seen. Easy, drawn along in Mouse's wake, spends much of this novel in such a feverish state that his memories of his father are as real as the extraordinary people of Pariah?Momma Jo, the big, strong woman who lives alone in the swamp; her hunchbacked son, Domaque, whose literacy shames Easy; Miss Dixon, the white woman who owns Pariah. Encountering (sometimes precipitating) violent and unexpected threats, Easy and Mouse forge bonds that will link them in the decades that follow, though they choose very different paths. This late encounter with the early Easy offers an extra dimension to readers who have met, in previous stories, the man he grew to be. 150,000 first printing; author tour. (Jan.) FYI: Mosley, also published by Norton, chose Black Classic Press to bring out this novel to bolster the independent African American-owned press. Publisher W. Paul Coates will tour with Mosley to support this partnership.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Where it all began� April 2 2004
Format:Hardcover
GONE FISHIN' by Walter Mosley is the prequel to the Easy Rawlins mystery
series. Readers are introduced to a young Easy and his fiery friend Mouse in
1939 Houston, Texas. The story opens with Mouse becoming engaged to his
beloved Etta Mae and then going into a funk over his inability to give her the
grand wedding that she deserves. Mouse decides to travel, with Easy as his
driver, to his home town of Pariah, Texas to ask his stepfather, Reese for
help in paying for his wedding. This sounds like a simple task, but it is
complicated by the fact that Reese hates Mouse and has vowed to never give him
anything.
Mosley adeptly paints the journey between Houston and Pariah. Along the way,
he constructs the foundation of the relationship between Easy and Mouse.
Together, the pair confronts life, death, and uncovers some ugly truths about
themselves. More exploratory than mystery, GONE FISHIN' provides the back
story to all of the previous Rawlins mysteries. Mosley's descriptions painted
pictures in my head and allowed me to see these characters as well as feel
their conflict. GONE FISHIN' is necessary reading for all Mosley fans.
Reviewed by Diane Marbury
of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Summer Read! June 30 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
If you're looking for a true summer adventure--and you happen to be a fan of Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins series--don't miss this one. "Gone Fishin'" is a prequel to the other novels--it begins in Houston in the late 1930's where Easy and his murderous pal Mouse are two young black men looking for fortune in a white man's world. That leads them on trip into the dark recesses of the East Texas Piney Woods, where the city boys discover there's plenty of sex, black magic and killing out under the trees. Mosley wonderfully captures the dialect of that region from that era--to me, it had a familiar ring. To others, it may require a bit of concentration, but it's worth the effort. With "Gone Fishin'", Mosley has created a grownup "Huck Finn" style adventure that reads like a movie. If you're like me, after Denzel Washington's portrayal of Easy in "Devil In A Blue Dress", you see Denzel in your head whenever you're reading about Easy Rawlins. Imagine him as a youngster--not yet the cool sleuth he'll become later in LA--and you've got the character Mosley creates for "Gone Fishin'". The only bad thing I can say about this book is that I was finished with it before I wanted to be.
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By A Customer
Format:Paperback
If you have read any of the other Easy Rawlins mysteries you already know what is going to happen with Mouse and his stepfather. If not, you can pretty much guess. However the surprises along the way are still powerful and valid. In all other books, the character of Mouse is the most memorable secondary character. He may be only on about 20-30 pages of a 200 page book, but those are the 20-30 most important pages in the book. In this book he dominates, and his evil ways are not as recognizable as in later books when Easy is certain that Mouse could kill him and anyone else in a moment.
The most interesting portion comes at the last page after the entire book has unfolded, when we realize that Easy is writing this memoir shortly before Devil in a Blue Dress. Here is where he speculates that Mouse has probably been killed or tamed by Etta Mae. I don't know if this was written in the original draft, or after the Mosley knew that this book would be published, but it is one of the most ironic things I've read in a long time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best place to begin is at the beginning! June 4 1998
Format:Paperback
Gone Fishin is the last book received by readers in the Easy Rawlings series. There are to date six books in the series including Devil in the Blue Dress,The Red Death,White Butterfly,Black Betty and A Little Yellow Dog.
Mr. Mosley actually wrote Gone Fishin first but it was published last by Black Classic Press in Baltimore Maryland. I met Mr. Mosley and Mr. Coates, the publisher, in Baltimore at a book signing on January 31, 1997 and I knew that I was witnessing history in the making. Mayor Schmoke was present and admitted that he had read several of Mr. Mosley's works and had enjoyed them. I am honored to say that I have read all of his works and absolutely love them all.
Gone Fishin gives insight into the humble beginnings of Easy Rawlings and Raymond Mouse Alexander. It explains how the initial friendship developed and why Easy decides to leave Texas for California. Easy and Mouse are African American men who are sensual, powerful, very similar and yet very different. Mouse acts and sometimes thinks about his actions. Easy thinks and sometimes acts upon his thoughts. They are both poor Black men who want a better life. There are times when situations are thrust upon both men such that they have to reverse their usual patterns and these times are skillfully presented by Mr. Mosley.
This book, like the others in the series, leaves the reader anxious to know what is going to happen next. I love you Walter Mosley! Keep up the good work.
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