Meredith's Challenge 2.0

52 books, one year. Stay tuned for more details.

Monday, May 23, 2005

#13 Little Scarlet by Walter Mosley

I've never read any Mosley before this. I've heard that his books are really good, especially Devil in a Blue Dress (it is Bill Clinton's favorite book afterall). I jumped into this series without any previous knowlege of the characters which left me feeling a little left out. There were also some bits that reminded me of the crappy series I read in elementary school, namely The Babysitters' Club and (gulp) Sweet Valley books. It was mostly the quick way he explained events from previous books. I understand that that is the way with series books and that it is the easiest way to get something across, but I wish that it would be dealt with more finesse. For instance, instead of saying "This is my son who I adopted because he was abused as a child", maybe somehow work it into what's going on instead of having this disconnect between the action and internal business.

I ran hot and cold about Little Scarlet. I really liked the parts when Easy internal monologues about race relations in L.A. I thought the history of the city was interesting. As an aside, I realized that last two books had race riots in them, which is an interesting pattern. However, I have no patience whatsoever for stilted dialogue or hokey language. I am a horrible critic if anything includes the above. For instance, I still think that The Matrix is a bad, bad movie because it has the worst ending ever. (You can't die; I love you!) So, I was really irritated when an interesting bit was followed by a cliched conversation. Argh!

Related to the series issue, I was frustrated by the sudden resolution of the murder. I think that Mosley had to do more leg work regarding Easy's quick discovery of the murderer and how pat the explanation was. Just because the book is part of a series doesn't mean that everyone has read all the previous titles, case in point. I just felt that like Little Scarlet couldn't stand alone as its own story and that it should. What do I know though, I adore the Harry Potter and A Series of Unfortunate Events, which I'm pretty certain don't work separately. What do the people in my computer think about Mosley? Maybe I just don't get it? Explain, please.


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