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White Butterfly Paperback – Jul 8 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Books; New edition edition (July 8 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330330535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330330534
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.6 x 11.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,888,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The third novel in Mosley's acclaimed series starring Easy Rawlins, a black PI who lives and works in the Watts section of L.A. in the 1950s, centers on the investigation of the murder of a white college coed who led a double life as a stripper.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Black detective Easy Rawlins aids his dangerous-but-loyal friend Mouse, accused of killing several bar girls in 1958 Los Angeles. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 2 2002
Format: Hardcover
Though Devil in a Blue Dress and A Red Death are great reads which stand apart from other books in the genre White Butterfly might be the best Easy Rawlins story. Like Ross Macdonald, Walter Mosley weaves a tapestry of pain and heartache and human frailty into White Butterfly. Along the way we get to revisit the friendship of Mouse and Easy and again we learn that there are degrees of right and wrong.
It is only the killing of a white girl which prompts the police to ask for Easy's help. There was no hurry when only black girls were getting murdered in the Los Angeles of 1956. It is the last thing Easy wants as he has a woman named Regina and a child in his life now. Yet he can not give all of himself to them and holds back from telling Regina about his life and his property and where he gets his money.
Mosley has tightly written a character who though good also is flawed and wrestles with his own life and motives as much as he does with the cops and bad guys. We understand why Easy is more comfortable with the amoral Mouse than with the rest of society. You do not have to be black to appreciate the complex moral landscape Mosley paints of Easy's world. You feel Easy's personal loss at the end of this book and it stays with you longer than the mystery.
If Ross Macdonald wrote like a slumming angel then Mosley writes like an angel of the slums. He doesn't try to make us understand Easy's world, only lets us ride along with Easy as he attempts to make sense of it all himself. In the struggle we learn about pain and sorrow and regret, which is to say we learn about life. Reading this book will make you want more of Easy and more of Walter Mosley.
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By A Customer on April 24 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Walter Mosley again demonstrates his incredible ability to recreate hard-boiled detective fiction in a fresh and original manner, but without quite the explosive shock produced by _Devil in a Blue Dress_. Perhaps Easy has simply mellowed a bit with age and marriage, but he seems neither as driven nor as angry as before. The plot twist hinges on sex again, but somehow the revelation is less believable than in Mosley's debut. Fortunately, these problems are counterbalanced by glorious writing and characters. In particular, Raymond "Mouse" Alexander--either the best or worst sidekick a detective could have--is back and in great zoot-suited, woman-chasing, enemy-demolishing form. Mosley's careful depiction of Easy's ambivalent dependence on, love for, and disgust with Mouse is a wonder of characterization. While _White Butterfly_ lacks the edge that made Mosely's previous work soar above all other detective fiction on the market, it's still an addictive, delightful page-turner, and in terms of atmosphere, Mosley is still better than any other writer.
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Format: Paperback
"White Butterfly" is in my opinion Mr. Mosley's best work. This is from a devoted fan of his writing. I've read nearly everything he's written and this work stands out for its intrigue, suspense, character development and its microcosmic journey into the harsh realities of American's fixation on race.
Intelligent, subtle treatment of the tension which can exist given America's juxtaposition of race, sex, and murder on the life of strong black man struggling with his desire to live the American Dream not the American nightmare- even though there are dream ghosts and phanthoms everywhere. Great, classical work.
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By A Customer on March 17 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderfully crafted novel that takes Easy Rawlins into uncharted emotional waters. I give it four stars instead of five only because I felt the resolution to the mystery aspect of the story was a little too pat. However, the moving and unexpected emotional crisis faced by Easy near the end was truly heartbreaking. As with all the Easy Rawlins books, author Walter Mosley has taken the tried-and-true mystery genre and turned it into a commentary on race and class. Taken together, these books constitute an American masterpiece, and White Butterfly is one of the best.
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By A Customer on Nov. 6 1999
Format: Paperback
My first Mosley and still my favorite, though I have enjoyed every single one - through Walkin The Dog, Gone Fishin and the Socrates stories. It's interesting how Devil In A Blue Dress and Always Outnumbered translated beautifully into movie/TV presentations. Perfect actors, perfect ambiance. Mr. Mosley must be gratified. I'm always on the lookout for more Easy Rawlins...and Mouse.
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