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TOUCHED by Walter Mosley: sci-fi that cuts like a razor, in the vein of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer and Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five.

I do not say that lightly.

Combine Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Ernest Hemingway, Jordan Peele, Ray Bradbury, and you will have an iota of an idea of what the impactful fiction Mosley has put forth is like in TOUCHED.

Not only is this gripping, thrilling science fiction, but TOUCHED also invokes strong philosophical arguments and commentaries on 21st Century America and the earth as a whole.

The tale of Martin Just – who has been abducted by aliens and thrust back into the tumultuous world – pays homage to one of the greatest novels of all time, Slaughterhouse-Five, and its unreliable narrator and fellow alien abductee, Billy Pilgrim.

TOUCHED by Walter Mosley, walter mosley, easy rawlins, sci-fi, sff, vonnegut

The essence of the characters, from the pilgrim to the just, explores deep psychological elements pertaining to their reaction to the most awful circumstances and their ability or inability, at times, to rationally experience the passage of time during the experiences.

Vonnegut examined the brutality and senseless violence and murder that occurred during wartime, WWII, where he was a POW during the bombing of Dresden, Germany.

What Mosley does so well in TOUCHED is to instantaneously transport the reader into the mind and body of the protagonist, Just, so that the reeling man who desperately wants to gain a grip on his newly found mission and alter ego, Temple, is sent sprawling in the bigoted, biased, and insanely unfair American society.

TOUCHED by Walter Mosley is a classic.

For Just returns from the aliens in a dream-state and wanders erect onto his bedroom balcony where the African-American is spotted by white Los Angeles police who also see a child on the sidewalk. And their immediate reaction is to arrest the sleep walker and wage war upon him.

What plays out is a painful coming to terms with what the mission means, what Just’s life means, and also what his alter-ego Temple wants to do to survive and thrive.

Temple is wired to protect that alien mission to cure the peoples of earth, and the universe, of diseases like the racist violence haunting Just and his family, and Temple will go to any lengths to save Martin and his family and comrades.

The police and the criminal justice system in LA play out in a realistic and agonizing manner that tears at the reader’s guts.

The whole while, the mission and Just’s understanding of it evolves and moves rapidly to counter a foe that creepily approaches him in a bid to end all life, to eradicate the diseases, rather than cure them.

If you like action every bit as hard-hitting as Mike Hammer and Jason Bourne, then you will fall in love with the strength of Martin Just, and his vengeful side, Temple, who kicks down all kinds of doors.

There is sexiness in the writing, there are coming-of-age motifs for the middle-aged protagonist, as well as tropes of familial love, and redemption, for even the worst of humanity that Just/Temple encounters.

The Devil In A Blue Dress and Easy Rawlins are rightly hailed, but TOUCHED and every one of Walter Mosley’s works deserve a read.

 

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)!


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TOUCHED by Walter Mosley: sci-fi that cuts like a razor” Was Written By R.J. Huneke.

TOUCHED by Walter Mosley, walter mosley, easy rawlins, sci-fi, sff, vonnegut

TOUCHED By Walter Mosley: Sci-Fi That Cuts Like A Razor

by R.J. Huneke time to read: 2 min
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