Cover image for RL's dream
Title:
RL's dream
Author:
Mosley, Walter.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First Washington Square Press trade paperback edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Washington Square Press, [1995]

©1995
Physical Description:
267 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780671884284
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Call Number
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Status
Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Library
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Frank E. Merriweather Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Soupspoon Wise is dying on the unforgiving streets of New York City, years and worlds away from the Mississippi delta, where he once jammed with blues legend Robert "RL" Johnson. It was an experience that burned indelibly into Soupspoon's soul -- never mind that they said RL's gift came from the Devil himself. Now it's Soupspoon's turn to strike a deal with a stranger. An alcoholic angel of mercy, Kiki Waters isn't much better off than Soupspoon, but she too is a child of the South, and knows its pull. And she is determined to let Soupspoon ride out the final notes of his haunting blues dream, to pour out the remarkable tale of what he's seen, where he's been -- and where he's going.
Winner of the 1996 Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Award in Fiction


Author Notes

Walter Mosley was born in Los Angeles, California on January 12, 1952. He graduated from Johnson State College in Vermont. His first book, Devil in a Blue Dress, was published in 1990, won a John Creasy Award for best first novel, and was made into a motion picture starring Denzel Washington in 1995. He is the author of the Easy Rawlins Mystery series, the Leonid McGill Mystery series, and the Fearless Jones series. His other works include Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, 47, Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, and Twelve Steps toward Political Revelation. He has received numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, the Carl Brandon Society Parallax Award, and PEN America's Lifetime Achievement Award.

(Bowker Author Biography) Walter Mosley is the author of the acclaimed Easy Rawlins series of mysteries, the novels "Blue Light" and "RL's Dream", and two collections of stories featuring Socrates Fortlow, "Always Outnumbered", "Always Outgunned", for which he received the Anisfield-Wolf Award, and "Walkin' the Dog". He is a member of the board of directors of the National Book Awards and the founder of the PEN American Center's Open Book Committee. At various times in his life he has been a potter, a computer programmer, & a poet. He was born in Los Angeles & now lives in New York.

(Publisher Provided)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This searingly eloquent requiem for a bluesman tells the story of Soupspoon Wise, a 70-year-old guitar player and singer from the Mississippi Delta, who once played with Robert Johnson and now faces the horror of a lonely death in New York City. Thrown together with a young southern woman with problems of her own, Soupspoon is rejuvenated as the unlikely pair share their pain and keep their demons at bay, at least momentarily. Fans will enjoy comparing Soupspoon's take on Johnson's death with Atkins' version.


Publisher's Weekly Review

After four increasingly well-received crime novels starring Los Angeles PI Easy Rawlins, Mosley has moved strongly ahead to a more searching and deeply felt style and subject. He writes here of Atwater ``Soupspoon'' Wise, a battered, failing relic of a man who once played backup to legendary Delta jazz guitarist Robert ``RL'' Johnson and who is now barely surviving on New York's Lower East Side. When we meet him, Soupspoon, who has cancer, is being evicted from his tiny apartment. Enter Kiki Waters, a hard-drinking, profane redhead who fled a life of horror and incest in Arkansas and now ekes out an uneasy living at a Wall Street insurance firm. With her tough street smarts, she stops the eviction cold, uses her office know-how to fake lavish health insurance for Soupspoon and moves him in with her. They cling together, these two outcasts from hard times, Soupspoon with a gentleness born of deep resignation, Kiki with a protective desperation fueled by booze and rage. Gradually, Soupspoon's life begins to mend: someone he knew as a kid in the South offers him a gig at his after-hours drinking place; a pretty young girl is drawn to his sweetness. But for Kiki, the only way out is through violence and flight. Mosley has always been a vivid writer, but here his work achieves a constant level of dark poetry: he flawlessly integrates Soupspoon's and Kiki's past harsh lives and memories with the keenly observed contemporary New York slum scene as the bittersweet blues constantly sound somber chords beneath. There is no false sentimental note anywhere in the book, just a deeply moving creation of two extraordinary people who achieve a powerful humanity where it would seem almost impossible it should exist. Author tour. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Atwater "Soupspoon" Wise, an aging bluesman in New York City, is evicted from his apartment. Kiki Waters, a young white woman, takes him in, nursing him back to health and forging the necessary health insurance information to get him treated for cancer. The two form a strange friendship; both are from the South, and both have left behind pasts that demand to be dealt with. Soupspoon knew the legendary Robert "RL" Johnson in his youth and is haunted by the desire to learn the secret of Johnson's music; Kiki was abused by her father and ran away in her early teens. Mosley's swirl of characters, locales, and memories is intoxicating, and the plot moves forward relentlessly, taut as the mystery novels (e.g., Black Betty, LJ 5/1/94) for which he is renowned. Highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/95.]‘David Dodd, Univ. of Colorado at Colorado Springs (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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