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The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter…

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey

by Walter Mosley

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5565725,687 (4.19)98



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91-year-old recluse Ptolemy Grey lives forgotten by the world and suffering from increasing dementia. He’s offered a chance to engage in an experimental drug test that will clear his mind, but cause his death within one year.

Publishers Weekly says: “Though the details of the experimental procedure are less than convincing, Mosley’s depiction of the indignities of old age is heartbreaking, and Ptolemy’s grace and decency make for a wonderful character and a moving novel.” I agree.

4 stars ( )
  ParadisePorch | Feb 7, 2018 |
Think Flowers for Algernon. Think black Rip-van-Winkle waking in drive-by city. Think yet another strangely drawn woman-child in a man's mystery. And enjoy the book. It works. Hard to believe, but Mosley pulls off another one. ( )
  kerns222 | Aug 24, 2016 |
I read this for my local library's book club and was impressed with the quality of the prose in particular. The colloquial language was at first hard to read, but it was so consistent and not overdone, so added to the experience in a positive way. I fell for Ptolemy by page three.

I will not spoil it for those who have not read it but the ending did come as somewhat a surprise, giving what could have been an overall depressing conclusion a triumphant yet tragic undertone.

Glad it was on our list. Not a book I would have picked up otherwise. ( )
  Frances.S.Brown | Apr 26, 2016 |
Read this one for my Tomball library fiction group. This is a stand alone and not part of Mosley's Easy Rawlins series of mystery books. Our group had a great discussion over the book: from Alzheimer's, medicine to help with the effects to helping to restore memory even if it for a brief time, hoarders, the poor african american community, family manipulation, and crime. A couple in our group listened to the audio version, which I chose to pick up and listen. I would recommend the audio it is very well done they chose the perfect reader for this book.

Mosley novel came about from caring for his own mother who was lost to Alzheimer's. In the story 92 year-old Ptolmey suffers many aging issues from memory loss , dependence on others, and being preyed upon by family and others who inly wish to take until he meets Robyn. Robyn is a friend of the family who only wishes to belong and to protect Ptolmey and give him the dignity he deserves as his life comes to a close. Before Robyn, Ptolmey's existences was a a small area of his kitchen and a small area in his front room of his home and weekly trips to the bank, McDonalds to bath because his bathroom did not function and the grocery store for supplies. The first time he meets Robyn is shortly after his nephews funeral, she is in a dress and high heels. She comes to his home and sees the disaster that he calls home but also understands she cannot steamroll her way through cleaning his home she must do it slowly and with care. It is this care that Ptolmey begins to open up to and to find his way to going to a doctor a local social worker recommends. What he offers is short term gain of memory but at a cost.

Great book for a group to read and discuss many issues to confront.

( )
  yvonne.sevignykaiser | Apr 2, 2016 |
Ptolemy Grey is a man who "sold his body to the devil, but not his soul." He believes he outwitted the devil, and he's proud of the accomplishment. Too, he is pleased by the exchange because it's allowing him to complete his life as he has wanted and to settle a few scores as well.

Grey is an elderly, widowed black man living alone in a rent-controlled apartment in LA. While he seems to have the money he needs to survive, he knows he's losing the mental clarity required. His apartment is extraordinarily cluttered. The bathroom is virtually unusable—the toilet clogged and stinking, the bathtub full of cartons and stacks of papers. Both his television and a radio are on. All the time. He gets confused