Monday, February 19, 2007


Walter Mosley is the 54-year-old author of some thirty books ranging from mystery novels to young adult tomes. I’m a big Walter Mosley fan. I met him once a few years ago at one of his book signings here in the NC area. Like most of the women in the room that day I was bowled over by the man’s presence. He has great presence and I won’t lie, I think that Walter Mosley is sexy as hell.

He’s also an author I endeavor to emulate, a man not afraid to push the craft of writing in new directions. It helps that he has an abundance of pure, raw talent that cannot be denied. He is a master storyteller, no matter what the genre and his latest literary offering has left me stunned. My mouth is still hanging open like I’ve lost my mind.

Mosley’s newest book, Killing Johnny Fry is an exceptionally graphic expose of a man’s sexuality and insecurity gone awry. The story is an amalgamation of erotica, pornographic filth, and literary brilliance. It’s the story of a black man named Cordell who one day stumbles upon his longtime girlfriend in the throes of a sexual act with a white man named Johnny Fry. And Johnny happens to be exceptionally endowed. Cordell is so traumatized that he quits his job, takes up drinking, and plots the murder of Johnny Fry. Cordell also spends an exorbitant amount of time trying to satisfy a sudden insatiable sexual appetite. The man’s transformation as he goes in search of himself is based upon much insecurity, fear, and obsession. The writing is raw and brutal as well as totally captivating. Mosley has given us a male character dealing with feelings of betrayal and emasculation and with those feelings we are witness to the behavior and reaction of his mind and his body.

Not everyone is going to enjoy Killing Johnny Fry. Not everyone is going to understand it and every one who reads it is going to walk away with a different reaction to it. It has raised a number of questions for me. Questions I’ve been asking the hubby and other male friends brave enough to answer. It also has me looking at Walter Mosley differently. I still think he’s sexy as hell. But when you consider that he’s truly a writer who writes what he knows, and that he’s a writer who’s been quoted many times saying that he takes events from his own life to fuel his stories, that just sheds a whole other kind of light on the man.

Read the book at your own risk. Keep a fan, some tissues, a bottle of wine, some Barry White and a significant other close by when you do. This book is not for the faint of heart. I'm still breathing heavy and I'm not quite sure if it's because I'm excited to know what I've learned about my boy Walter or if I'm scared to death to know what I've learned about my boy Walter.

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