Six Easy Pieces: Easy Rawlins Stories Hardcover – Jan 7 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Fans of Mosley's Easy Rawlins mysteries received a bonus when Washington Square recently reissued in trade paper the six novels that preceded the latest one, Bad Boy Brawly Brown (2002). Each reprint contained an original short story featuring Easy. Now, those stories and a seventh never before published have been gathered together in a volume that's something of a patchwork but still vintage Mosley. In his mid-forties, with a makeshift but tight family and a respectable and responsible job, Easy no longer needs to depend on trading favors to earn a living. But these stories reflect a more restless and reckless man-one who finds himself being drawn to the street life he thought he had left behind. Energized and unsettled by rumors that the dangerous and unpredictable Raymond Alexander, better known as Mouse, might still be alive, Easy undertakes to determine the truth. That extended search also finds Easy undertaking a number of jobs that recall his forte of being a black man more capable than most of dealing with the volatile intersection of blacks and whites in Los Angeles. In short order he investigates arson, murder, a missing person and other crimes. The linked stories form an extended search not only for Mouse but also for answers as Easy confronts the familiar demons of mid-life crisis. Easy occupies center stage, surrounded by a stellar cast of both new and familiar characters, while the spirit of Mouse hovers enticingly nearby.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Easy Rawlins is 44 and working a steady job as head custodian at Sojourner Truth Junior High School; mourning the death of his friend Mouse; caring for his adopted children, Jesus and Feather; and pining for his live-in girlfriend, Bonnie. But this "guy who trades in favors"--really an unofficial detective who helps those who can't go to the police--isn't ready to live the quiet life. As he works a variety of cases involving theft, blackmail, and usually murder, the ghost of his violent alter ego Mouse seems to be flitting about the periphery--Is he really dead?--and Easy's sense of unease is compounded by deep insecurity in his relationship with the woman he loves. This collection of related short stories has an unusual lineage: all but the last, "Amber Gate," were first published in Washington Square Press reissues of all six classic Easy Rawlins mysteries this year (Six Easy Pieces picks up just after the time of 1996's A Little Yellow Dog). Collecting them so soon would feel more like a marketing ploy if they didn't work so well together; despite periodic recaps of the action-to-date, the book reads like an episodic novel. Mosley is as fine as ever, offering compelling commentary on black-white relations in 1964, writing in a style so simple that it deceives us into thinking writing great fiction is as easy as putting one foot in front of the other. It's not, but turning these pages is. Keir Graff
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top Customer Reviews
These seven short stories capture Easy in transition while he tries to settle down at 44 in 1964. The first six stories were added to the reprints of Gone Fishin', Devil in a Blue Dress, A Red Death, White Butterfly, Black Betty, and A Little Yellow Dog in 2002. The seventh story is new with this volume.
These stories deeply explore Easy's relationship with his friend, Mouse, Easy's family, his work, and a number of his friends. As background, Easy had asked Mouse to help him a year earlier. That help had led to Mouse being shot and carried off with no pulse by his wife, EttaMae.Read more ›
As an easygoing man, he likes to help others, and when trouble comes knocking, he answers. The latest trouble surrounds a bomb that explodes at the school where he is employed. Easy's love for the children makes him determined to get to the bottom of things. But the bombing has a domino effect and as the events unfold, he is continuously placed in harms way. Easy faces a cast of original characters and some new shady and interesting ones, all of whom keep him on his toes.
SIX EASY PIECES: EASY RAWLINS STORIES, Mosley's latest book, treats readers to seven different Rawlins' adventures, with Easy as the common thread. Mosley has a way of taking readers along on the adventures and this makes his stories even more interesting, and this one comes highly recommended.
Reviewed by Simone A. Hawks
THE RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
The "six pieces" in the title are short stories revolving around the same setting. It's 1964 Los Angeles and Easy must take on cases the police disdain because they occur in a dangerous part of town. The first story "Smoke" deals with a smoke-bombing of Sojourner Truth, which Easy eventually traces to a gambling debt.
Throughout the first several stories, Easy is haunted by his friend Mouse's murder. Easy feels responsible since Mouse was helping him on one of his cases. Easy has a feeling the notorious Mouse is still alive. Easy is also upset about his live-in lover Bonnie, a stewardess who may have had an affair with a black politician she met during a tour of Africa. Easy feels inferior to the man.
Outside of Easy, Mosley doesn't have much of a flair for character development. Jesus works on his sailing boat; that's about it. Bonnie tries to convince Easy she still loves him. The plot lines of the various stories are rather pedestrian. "Amber Gate" is about the murder of a young prostitute; Easy takes the case as a favor for his shoemaker who promises him a new pair of shoes (worth $200) if he'll help prove a friend of his is innocent. Easy traces the crime to a hobo who hated black prostitutes who mess with white men.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Six Easy Pieces is the second book of Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins mysteries that I have read. I know that I am late in the series, but I love the character Easy Rawlins. Read morePublished on June 14 2004 by Detroit RAWSISTAZ
A powerful statement about being a black guy in 1955 when the law treated you as either irrelevant or guilty. Read morePublished on July 6 2003 by R. Platten
This was a much welcomed gift to us Easy fans from Walter Mosley, Even though the stories were all published in reissues of his previous works, they seem to flow smoothly. Read morePublished on April 2 2003 by rorich
The seven short stories are definitely easy to read, and it's a pleasure to once more be in the company of Easy Rawlings. Read morePublished on March 18 2003 by Booked4Life
I love me some Easy Rawlins! When Walter Mosley let loose another round with Easy I was there to pick up the pieces; Six Easy Pieces. Read morePublished on March 14 2003 by K. Kimbrough
Six Pieces is a must get for any true Easy Rawlins fan. It has suspense Is or Isn't Mouse alive? It has drama What's going with Bonnie? This is a true wonderful book. Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2003 by Rosa
Fans of the Easy Rawlins Series will be thrilled with this collection of seven short stories, six of which were culled from previous works and one that is original. Read morePublished on Feb. 17 2003 by Bonita L. Davis
This collection includes one new and six previously published longish short stories featuring one of Walter Mosley's most fascinating characters, Easy Rawlins, a man who grew up... Read morePublished on Jan. 26 2003 by J Scott Morrison