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Fortunate Son: A Novel by Walter Mosley
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Fortunate Son: A Novel (edition 2007)

by Walter Mosley

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3611330,087 (3.38)13
Member:AmCorKragujevac
Title:Fortunate Son: A Novel
Authors:Walter Mosley
Info:Back Bay Books (2007), Paperback, 336 pages
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Fortunate Son by Walter Mosley

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This was my first Mosley book, but it won't be my last.

I found myself thinking a lot about Eric's character when I was away from this book. Mosley is good at magic, and both Thomas and Eric are treated like museum pieces with wings.

In the end, though, when it just turns out Eric was afraid to love for fear of doing harm, and was saved from himself, essentially, by Thomas' practicality, I found them both a lot less interesting. I prefer my characters at the hands of gods they don't understand, and won't. But props to Mosley for the ending, which is troubling and gorgeous. ( )
  usefuljack | May 17, 2013 |
This was my first Mosley book, but it won't be my last.

I found myself thinking a lot about Eric's character when I was away from this book. Mosley is good at magic, and both Thomas and Eric are treated like museum pieces with wings.

In the end, though, when it just turns out Eric was afraid to love for fear of doing harm, and was saved from himself, essentially, by Thomas' practicality, I found them both a lot less interesting. I prefer my characters at the hands of gods they don't understand, and won't. But props to Mosley for the ending, which is troubling and gorgeous. ( )
  usefuljack | May 17, 2013 |
Eric, white, and Thomas, black, are born at around the same time, Eric's mother dies in childbirth, Thomas' father left when he learned his wife was pregnant. Eric's father is a doctor at the hospital where they were born, he takes an interest Thomas' case, and it's not long before the two families are living together, and Thomas and Eric are 'brothers'.

The two boys' differences go far beyond black and white. Eric is big, strong, fair and handsome, intelligent and wins friends easily, Thomas has by comparison little going for him, but as brothers they love and depend on each other. All goes well until a tragedy tears the family apart, and the boys do not see one another for ten years when circumstance reunite them, and their bond is confirmed.

I so wanted to love this book, the basic premise is beautiful, two very different boys brought together in a friendship that is thicker than blood, Eric for all his popularity cares only for Thomas. The story of the two boys' could have offered so much.

But I struggled with this book. A quote on the fly leaf describes Mosley as "one of this nation's (US) finest writers" - I find this hard to believe on the evidence of this book. I kept asking myself 'is this written for pre-teens' - but the sexual content gave me the answer there - I found the writing patronising and pedestrian. I have not read anything else by this author, but I can only assume that his other work is far better than this - I hope so.

As for the development of the story, it is unconvincing, unbelievable. Too many improbable events occur, some crucial events are not fully explained - what was the cause? People behave out of their otherwise two-dimensional character or in a manner other than we should expect - the characterisation is poor, it's not just to two main protagonists that are black and white!

Add to that an unsatisfactory, flat and uninspired conclusion, I was thoroughly disappointed with this novel. I would give this just one star, but as I rather skimmed through much of the second half of the book (I really could take little more of the unimaginative writing an unbelievable plot, but I did want to see how it ended) I begrudgingly give it two stars.

I note that on Amazon.com there are a few other reviewers who feel the same way as I while others are impressed by this book, obviously it has its fans, but I feel the discerning reader will find little here. ( )
  presto | Apr 22, 2012 |
Not a bad book, but I wouldn't recommend it unless a reader is already familiar with some of Walter Mosley's other books, as he's got many much better better writings out there. Both the plot and characters were a bit too stereotyped and the novel focused way too much (to the point of being unbelievable) on race. Having enjoyed several other books by Mosley, I expected a lot more from him. ( )
  davidpwithun | Sep 16, 2011 |
The story is about two boys brought together by fate and torn apart by fate. Thomas is a young boy man born to a single mother who meets a white, widowed doctor with a young son of his own, Eric. Thomas and Eric become very close growing up in the wealthy doctor's home in California, but when Thomas's mother dies unexpectedly, Thomas's father comes to take him away from the only family he had ever known. From there Thomas's life is sad and lonely while he drops out of school at a young age and sells drugs on the street. Ironically, Eric's life is also sad and lonely in that he cannot seem to love anyone like he loved Thomas and his mother even though he excels in everything he does and attracts people he love him dearly. Eventually, Eric and Thomas brought together again in a shocking reunion.

I admire the character, Thomas, for his love of life despite his terrible experiences, but this book is pretty depressing starting when Thomas is taken away from the doctor's home.

The book tells us that luck is irrelevant. Thomas was lucky that he still believed in love even though his life negated that feeling, and ironically, Eric was lucky in his life status, but unlucky in love. ( )
  sherton | Feb 8, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316066281, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:29 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Sharing a close bond in spite of very different backgrounds, Eric, a handsome white man of privilege, and Tommy, an impoverished black youth with poor health, are separated by tragedy and reunited by a common enemy years later.

(summary from another edition)

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