Review by Bobbi Reddix
In "Six Easy Pieces," Walter Mosley
takes six short, interconnected stories as a prequel to the
(hopefully) soon-to-be-released and much anticipated next
installment in his "Easy Rawlins" series.
For those readers unfamiliar with this
series, it is one that I recommend you become acquainted with. Easy
Rawlins is an African-American trying to make his way in the
turbulent decades of the late '50s and early '60s. He makes his way
by doing "favors" for people (mainly African-Americans) who have a
fear of the police and a general distrust for people in authority.
Easy's best friend Mouse is his
unofficial partner and brute force on most of these errands, which
consist mainly of finding those who have become lost and, in some
cases, wish to remain lost.
Throughout this series we watch as the
changes in the decades and small advancements made throughout the
years in the civil rights movement allow Easy to become a prominent
citizen, owner of a home and several rental properties, and the head
of the maintenance department at a local school. During the series
Easy has acquired an adopted son and daughter who were rescued (in
two separate books of the series) from unfriendly circumstances.
Easy has also added (in a more recent book) a common-law wife to his
self-made family and finds himself, until this recent book, living
some semblance of the American dream.
Easy is a best friends with Mouse. In
"A Little Yellow Dog," Mouse is shot trying to save Easy's life.
Before Mouse can be pronounced dead at
the local emergency room though, his wife, Etta, takes his body and
disappears from the scene and from the remainder of the novels in
[to top of second column in
In the stories found in "Six Easy
Pieces," we watch Easy's gradual slide from "living the
African-American dream," back to being the doer of favors. We watch
him struggle with the unacceptance of Mouse's death and in one
instance take on the persona of Mouse to handle a hard situation. We
watch as he slowly destroys the carefully pieced together family and
life he has made for himself.
These six short stories allow
first-time readers to get a glimpse of who Ezekiel Rawlins is, what
he's about and why he is the way that he is as a person. It is a
great book to read to become acquainted with the series and will
definitely leave the reader wanting more. Fortunately for first-time
readers, while waiting for the next installment, you can go back and
start with the first book in the series.
Unfortunately for those of us who have been following the series,
this appetizer leaves you wanting more. In the meantime, we will
just have to be satisfied with his second installment in the
"Fearless Jones" series, entitled "Fear Itself," due to be released
Public Library District]