Book Review: The Right Mistake: The Further Philosophical Investigations of Socrates Fortlow
Publication Date: Oct 07, 2008
List Price: $23.00 (store prices may vary)
Page Count: 288
Imprint: Basic Civitas Books
Publisher: Perseus Books
Parent Company: Hachette Livre
Book Reviewed by Thumper
I don't need to ask, what did I do to deserve such good
fortune? I stay good. It's my natural state of being. *LOL*
Although I did not ask it, I thought it because
Walter Mosley paid another visit to one of my favorite
characters, ex-con Socrates Fortlow, in The Right Mistake:
The Further Philosophical Investigations of Socrates Fortlow.
The Right Mistake, told in a series of stories,
chronicles Socrates' life as he plans on having a meeting place
where a dialogue of issues that affects the community and the
world can take place. Not only does the book show what a
captivating character Socrates Fortlow is, the book also
reminded me what an awesome writer Walter Mosley continues to
be. I loved it and could not be happier with The Right
During a friendly card game with some of his buddies, Socrates Fortlow has an idea that if people from different walks of life, various occupations and economic stature could have a place where they can openly and freely discuss what's going wrong in the world; change could happen. Socrates soon finds a location and names it The Big Nickel. Every Thursday, a select few come to The Big Nickel; eat a good meal, share stories and voice their opinions on a variety of subjects. As the Big Nickel grows and start performing outreach programs in the community, Socrates will have to face down the police, deal with inner conflicts with the group members and his own personal life.
The Right Mistake is the literary version of a beautifully made Long Island Ice Tea. The book was sweet, cool, refreshing and I was not aware, until I stood up, how powerfull and poignantly intoxicating the stories were. As I began reading the first story, The Right Mistake, I mentally and physically got comfortable and became reacquainted with Socrates. Oh and boy did it feel good! By the time I put the book down to cook my dinner, I kept prolonging the task because I did not want to stop reading. The Right Mistake, for two days, became my childhood rabbit rug that if it wasn't for my mother, I would have taken it everywhere I went. (Yeah, I had a thing for rabbits even back then. *smile*) I took the book to bed. I took the book to work. I read it while I ate. The book became as necessary as toilet paper.
The Right Mistake is as character driven as it is story driven and it shows. Mosley continues to develop Socrates as a character. Mosley exposed Socrates soft spots and sensitivity alongside his brick hard exterior and calm, wise reasoning; forming a real man on the pages. Mosley took the time to develop a few of the supporting cast of characters as well, especially Darryl, Socrates' unofficial adopted son, and Billy Psalms, a gambler. A few new characters were introduced, mainly Luna Barnet, a young woman with a past equally as heartbreaking and violent as Socrates, who plays an important role in Socrates' life.
The Right Mistake is a pleasantly smooth and melodic read. This is easily, one of the best books Mosley has written: definitely one of my Mosley favorites. I am looking forward to more books like The Right Mistake coming down the line from Mosley, so I can be mesmerized, caught up and wowed again and again.