Nine years after his release from prison, Socrates is still living in a two-room shack in Watts, now with a lover and a steady job. Having responsibilities and people he cares about makes acting morally even jharder now he has so much more to lose. Socrates Fortlow, first introduced in Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, is one of the essential fictional characters of our times. In Walkin' the Dog, the philosopher with 'rock-breaking hands' has come in from the cold and has to decide at which point an individual must make a stand against the brutality and corruption that surrounds him.
Mosley returns to character Socrates Fortlow (debuted in Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned) in this follow-up collection of short stories. Fortlow is an aging ex-con, having spent more than half his life in an Indiana state penitentiary for a long-ago killing. Now, living in Los Angeles, working a menial supermarket job, Fortlow still subscribes to a prisoner's code of ethics: he is suspicious, vengeful and--above all--uncannily wise. For him, "Everything seemed to have reason and deep purpose." He's testing himself as he edges his way back into society. His boss offers him a better job, but he feels strange taking it. Meantime, he is questioned by police for a murder he didn't commit. Conversely, he kills a mugger in a confrontation and is never questioned. Serving as a role model, he fosters a young prot g , Darryl, a boy whose simmering violent nature seems all too familiar to him. Actor Winfield richly brings Fortlow's trials and triumphs to life, his voice imbuing a sense of the ex-con's heroic fatigue as he struggles to carry the weight of the world each day. Simultaneous release with the Little, Brown hardcover.