Excerpt from Fearless Jones by Walter Mosley, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Fearless Jones

by Walter Mosley

Fearless Jones by Walter Mosley
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2001, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2002, 400 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


The man standing there was a study in blunt. His hairless head was big and meaty. The dark features might not have been naturally ugly, but they had been battered by a lifetime of hard knocks: broken nose, a rash that had raged and then scarred over the lower left side of his face. His eyebrows seemed to be different sizes, but that might just have been the product of a permanent scowl.

"Wherethegurl?" he said in a tone so guttural that for a moment I couldn't make out the words. "Wherethegurl?"

He was about six feet tall (I'm only five eight), but he had the chest and shoulders of someone who should have been much taller. He was a volcano crushed down into just about man size. His clothes were festive, a red Hawaiian shirt and light blue pants. The outfit was ridiculous, like a calico bow on an English bulldog.

"I don't--" I said.

"Wherethegurl, muthahfuckah!" He had the build of a fire-plug but moved like a cat. He had me by the arm and in the air before I could invent a lie.

"Where is she?" He looked around the room and saw that the burlap curtain was the only exit besides the front door. He threw me at the curtain, and I tore it down falling into the back room. He came in right behind me, looking at all the corners and then at the bed.

My eyes were on him.

"This your last chance," he said, threat heavy in each word. I dared a glance at the bed and saw that it was empty.

"I don't know, man," I said as bravely as I could. "She come an' asked about a church used to be around here. I told her that they were gone. So then she said she had to go to the bathroom." I gestured with my hand. He saw the door and flung it open with so much force that one of the hinges ripped loose from the wall. All that was revealed was a lidless commode and tin sink.

"Where is she?" He dragged me to my feet with one hand.

"She must'a gone out the back, man. I don't know."

I think he slapped me, but I've been hit by blackjacks that had more give than his fingers. The taste of salt came into my mouth and the lightbulb on the desk multiplied into a thousand stars.

"Wherethegurl?" a parrot somewhere said.

"She must'a gone out the back," I repeated.

"I'll kill you, niggah, no lie."

He slapped me again and I tried to think of what I could say to save my life. But I didn't know anything, not even the frightened woman's name. I decided that, since he was going to kill me anyway, I would go out bravely. For once I would be as brave as my friend Fearless. I had never stood up to a bully in my life. So at least this one last time, in a back room in Watts, Paris Minton would show some backbone. Fuck you, asshole, was on the tip of my tongue.

"Please don't, brother." My trembling words betrayed me. "I don't know nuthin'."

He slapped me again. My head turned around so far that I was sure my neck had broken.

"You a dead man," my attacker said.

A child's voice squeaked, "Mr. Minton, you okay?"

"Who's that man?" another child screamed.

I fell to the floor, noticing as I hit that my killer wore leather sandals on bare feet. As I lost consciousness I thought that if a man was going to kill me, he should at least wear grown-up men's shoes.

Copyright © 2001 by Walter Mosley

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Caught in the Revolution
    Caught in the Revolution
    by Helen Rappaport
    So taken were BookBrowse's First Impression reviewers by the inside look at the start of the Russian...
  • Book Jacket: Hillbilly Elegy
    Hillbilly Elegy
    by J.D. Vance
    In this illuminating memoir, Vance recounts his trajectory from growing up a "hillbilly" in ...
  • Book Jacket: The Dark Flood Rises
    The Dark Flood Rises
    by Margaret Drabble
    Margaret Drabble, the award-winning novelist and literary critic who is approaching eighty and ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Atomic Weight of Love
by Elizabeth J. Church

In the spirit of The Aviator's Wife, this resonant debut spans from World War II through the Vietnam War.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Mercies in Disguise
    by Gina Kolata

    A story of hope, a family's genetic destiny, and the science that rescued them.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Lola
    by Melissa Scrivner Love

    An astonishing debut crime thriller about an unforgettable woman.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Beware the man of one book

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O My D B

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -