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Extended Audio Sample The Man in My Basement, by Walter Mosley Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,946 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Walter Mosley Narrator: Ernie Hudson Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2005 ISBN: 9781594831720
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The man at Charles Blakey’s door has a proposition almost too strange for words: he wants to spend the summer in Charles’ basement. Charles cannot even begin to guess why. The beautiful house has been in the Blakey family for generations, but Charles has just lost his job and is behind on his mortgage payments. The money would be welcome.

But Charles Blakey is black, and Anniston Bennet is white, and it is clear that the stranger wants more than a basement view. There is something deeper and darker about his request, and Charles does not need any more trouble—but financial necessity leaves him no choice.

Once Anniston is settled in his basement, Charles is cast into a role he never dreamed of. Anniston has some very peculiar requests for his landlord, and try as he might, Charles cannot avoid being lured into Anniston’s strange world. Charles’ summer with a man in his basement turns into an exploration of inconceivable worlds of power and manipulation—and unimagined realms of humanity.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The novel, written in adorned prose that allows the ideas to breathe, will hold readers rapt; it is Mosley’s most philosophical novel to date, as he explores guilt, punishment, responsibility, and redemption as individual and as social constructs…the author again demonstrates his superior ability to tackle virtually any prose form, and he is to be applauded for creating a rarity, an engaging novel of ideas.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The book’s timeliness is irrevocably established. This is fine, provocative writing from the prolific Mosley, whose gifts extend well beyond his excellent mysteries.”

    Booklist

  • “Walter Mosley presents a fascinating, if disturbing, look into the human soul.”

    AudioFile

  • “Mosley is a kind of jazz musician…his themes subtly, obliquely, quietly stated, almost imperceptibly bubbling up from the rhythms of ordinary life.”

    New York Times

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alex | 2/18/2014

    " This book is weird, discombobulating and tense. While it may lack traditional suspense in a "Alex Cross/Michael Crighton" kinda way, it harkens back to the sultry writing of Ralph Ellison and Richard Wright, while taking on a conversational philosophic tone of Daniel Quinn's "Ishmael". I was completely engrossed and kept struggling to make sense of what was happening (and not happening), but the sort of eerie dreaminess kept luring me back in. I think the main character isn't fully realized, at least not in the beginning, but I do feel that this books concept works quite well and is executed perfectly. Read this! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judith Yeabsley | 2/18/2014

    " This was an ex-Rich book. We traded a few choices. It was different and interesting enough to want to get to the end but strange and a little pointless. A no hoper AA guy who has inherited a substantial house is in danger of losing it because he is a loser. A mad multi millionaire wants to rent the basement - with a twist - for $ 900 per night. It's an offer he can't refuse ...... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cephas Martin | 2/17/2014

    " Great book. Mosley is one of my favorite authors. Thought provoking. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Walter O'Bryant | 2/15/2014

    " This is one of the best books that I've read in my adult life! I read it from cover to cover in less than 24 hours! I could not put this book down! I wish I could become one tenth of the writer that Walter Mosely is! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Bob | 1/29/2014

    " Walter Mosley is one of my favorite authors, but he misses the mark here. The plot may have had some merit, but the execution of it failed. This is one weird little novel and is not up to Mosley's Standards. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Neena | 1/23/2014

    " I've mixed feeling about this book. I found this book interesting enough to finish reading in one sitting. But I could not understand the whole concept fully. Bennet's character was hard for me to understand. To the extent he did evil things in his life, it was difficult for me to absorb the idea of his repentence. There is a difference between being bad and being evil. He knew in advance he had to die so what was he trying to do in those last days? Being punished for his evil deeds by getting locked himself, so he could attain absolution? go to heaven or what? That's what I could not understand. And then Blakey's character left me confused too. In what ways Bennet's presence changed him?( if there was any change). Surely it's mentioned in the book that Bennet's presence brought all the change in Blakey's way of looking at things. But how? It was beyond me. It might have something to do with my intellectuall capacities then I think. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 D. Simmons | 1/12/2014

    " I was disappointed with this novel by Mosley. I got maybe a third of the way into it and couldn't bring myself to read anymore. So, I can't really offer any insight into what happens from cover to cover but ... the title. I'm not sure if Mosley is being ironic or overly simplistic on purpose but it doesn't work for me. It's actually kind of funny. What's the novel about? A man in the basement. What does this man do? I have no clue. Why is he important? I have no idea. But ... he lives in a basement. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Neil | 1/10/2014

    " Another great Mosley book that will keep you on edge. Just read it and you can put yourself in their shoes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Broadsnark | 12/16/2013

    " Good story and meditation on "success" and how the world works. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Artslyz | 12/14/2013

    " creepy and tense "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christy | 12/8/2013

    " Read it for a neighborhood book club. It was ok. I was looking forward to an amazing ending, which didn't happen. A disappointment. Too much inappropriate content for my taste as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 11/12/2013

    " You're not quite sure where Mosley is going with this one. The main character is in need of money and the proposal given to him by this stranger is too intriguing to deny. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth Desole | 11/4/2013

    " Definitely an odd little book. Sometimes it hammers too much on the same points and has too many false revelations. But interesting and thought provoking "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Zoom | 7/5/2013

    " I found the premise intriguing, but not the implementation of the story. Frankly, it made me feel kind of dumb. Like it was over my head, and I wasn't insightful or philosophical enough to derive any benefit from the dialogue and dynamics that developed between the main characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eric | 5/7/2013

    " I liked it. Entertaining and given me a lot to think about. A bit strange but a page turner nonetheless. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Andrea | 7/13/2012

    " read the first chapter and did not identiyf with the characters. the writing was poor and juvenile. dont think i'll finish it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rose Bailey | 2/2/2012

    " Interesting concept. A man pays someone loads of money to keep him locked up in his basement in order to "self punish" for grave sins of the past. THe owner gets uppity and makes weird decisions. I think it could have been better. Hated the ending. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cody Roche | 12/13/2011

    " Some good concepts were explored and interesting ways. However, overall the book doesn't pull everything together and many parts felt too forced. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keesha | 9/11/2011

    " This book was a quick read. I actually read this book in less than 48 hours. The ending was a little quirky im not sure what the lesson was but I am at least sure there may have been one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 4/11/2011

    " Interesting book, and quite different. Not sure exactly what the author was trying to say, though, but I found it a fascinating story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rita | 3/23/2011

    " This book was really amazing on so many levels. The characters were strong and full, the plot was completely new and intriguing and the philosophy very tender and human. It was exactly what I needed to read right now, which made me love it all the more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Azzizah | 2/13/2011

    " great book, the title is intriguing and the book shocks and the ending doesn't disappoint. This book will linger in your mind, and make you question what you think you know about power, or the lengths people will go to keep it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Akilah | 1/31/2011

    " I am starting to think I just don't get Walter Mosley when it's not a detective novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peggy | 1/13/2011

    " Hard to read, disturbing puzzler. But if you like books that REALLY make you think and you like fine writing - give it a try. Mosley never disappoints. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cathy | 12/22/2010

    " Read this while waiting to be picked for a jury. good juxaposition of claustaphobia. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brook | 12/21/2010

    " This falls somewhere between two and three stars for me. For all its discussion of evil and redemption, the book was philosophically disappointing compared to, say, Invisible Man or Crime and Punishment. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suzanna | 12/2/2010

    " I wish this was a movie! I can see Kevin Spacey as the 'Man in the Basement' so clearly! The pacing of the novel just flows over you as you read. "

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