A masterful, moving novel about age, memory, and family from one of the literary icons of our time.
Coming in March 2022 from Apple Plus , a six-part series starring Samuel L. Jackson
Ptolemy Grey is ninety-one years old and has been all but forgotten-by his family, his friends, even himself-as he sinks into a lonely dementia. His grand-nephew, Ptolemy's only connection to the outside world, was recently killed in a drive-by shooting, and Ptolemy is too suspicious of anyone else to allow them into his life. until he meets Robyn, his niece's seventeen-year-old lodger and the only one willing to take care of an old man at his grandnephew's funeral.
But Robyn will not tolerate Ptolemy's hermitlike existence. She challenges him to interact more with the world around him, and he grasps more firmly onto his disappearing consciousness. However, this new activity pushes Ptolemy into the fold of a doctor touting an experimental drug that guarantees Ptolemy won't live to see age ninety- two but that he'll spend his last days in feverish vigor and clarity. With his mind clear, what Ptolemy finds-in his own past, in his own apartment, and in the circumstances surrounding his grand-nephew's death-is shocking enough to spur an old man to action, and to ensure a legacy that no one will forget.
In The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, Mosley captures the compromised state of his protagonist's mind with profound sensitivity and insight, and creates an unforgettable pair of characters at the center of a novel that is sure to become a true contemporary classic.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Best-selling mystery writer Walter Mosley’s thoughtful novel will have you contemplating aging, memory, and the meaning of life. Ptolemy Grey is 91 years old and living in near isolation when he strikes up an unexpected friendship with a young woman named Robyn. Newly inspired, Ptolemy agrees to take an experimental drug that will fully restore all the memories he’s lost to dementia. One of the side effects of the treatment is that he can’t avoid contemplating the darkest and strangest episodes that he’s forgotten—including a possible murder. Mosley draws us into this fascinating mystery while always keeping the bond between Ptolemy and Robyn at the center. We love how Mosley elegantly deals with the gaps between perception and reality—especially for a Black man in America. Be sure to read this incredible story before you watch the Apple Original miniseries with Samuel L. Jackson.
Mosley (Known to Evil) plays out an intriguing premise in his powerful latest: a man is given a second shot at life, but at the price of a hastened death. Ptolemy Grey is a 91-year-old man, suffering from dementia and living as a recluse in his Los Angeles apartment. With one foot in the past and the other in the grave, Ptolemy begins to open up when Robyn Small, a 17-year-old family friend, appears and helps clean up his apartment and straighten out his life. A reinvigorated Ptolemy volunteers for an experimental medical program that will restore his mind, but at hazardous cost: he won't live to see 92. With the clock ticking, Ptolemy uses his rejuvenated mental abilities to delve into the mystery of the recent drive-by shooting death of his great-nephew, Reggie, and to render justice the only way he knows how, goaded and guided by the memory of his murdered childhood mentor, Coydog McCann. Though the details of the experimental procedure are less than convincing, Mosley's depiction of the indignities of old age is heartbreaking, and Ptolemy's grace and decency make for a wonderful character and a moving novel.
The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey
Intriguing story. Although you may be able to figure out where it's going you keep reading because you want to hear the words.
Read this book for book club and was pleasantly surprised by how well the author depicted each character and formed a very interesting story.
One worth reading several times
What a beautiful tale. I look forward to the gift of finding it in my library years from now and reading it again.