Friday, June 4, 2010

Walter Mosley Book Tour Review

Walter Mosley April 2 2010 Seattle Public Library

Never had I been so excited to see an author reading when I heard that Walter Mosley was coming to town and he couldn’t have been more disappointing.

So many fans attended the sold out event (three hundred plus) that they were standing in the stair way breaking every fire code in Seattle.

Mosley has written many novels including the suburb debut novel “Devil in a Blue Dress” not to mention an underrated how to book called “This year you write your novel” and yet as the time goes having read more of his I could not help but feel his writing had changed for the worse as he moved away from his earlier works with the Easy Rawlins novels. Still I remained a fan.

Maybe it was the vast size of the audience that allowed Mosely to act the way he did or perhaps it was fatigue of a long book tour or maybe he didn't feel well. Give me an excuse: any excuse. Mosley lectured the audience rather than talked to them and the thing that really put me over the edge was his commandment to the audience “I like answering questions. I may not answer your question. I may instead answer a question that I would rather answer”

I can appreciate that feeling having cringed deeply with the amount of inane audience questions over the years but these were his people, his base and to talk down to them did not serve Mr. Mosley in selling more books or winning any new fans. I may have been in the minority among those who worship this man’s work and were willing to accept anything he had to say as nothing less than brilliant.

At the end of the lecture (let’s not call it a reading) a representative from Elliot Bay books jumped out of her seat and gushed over Mosley to the degree that I thought I might offer him a towel to wipe the praise off his ego.

There were good things. Mr. Mosley's humor was dry and at times he was humorous but as an honest fan of a author who made hero's of flawed men I wish had never seen Mr. Mosley’s flaws.

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