ever have someone tell you to stand up straight? look you in the eye when they're talking?

Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned

Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned
Walter Mosley
Washington Square Press
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“Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned,” Walter Mosley’s novel told in short stories about the post-penitentiary existence of the conflicted and haunted Socrates Fortlow. Socrates is a living paradox, a man of esteemed principles yet he did 27 years for murder and rape, someone quick to offer another a helping hand and just as quick to use those hands to knock the living shit out of a person should he be crossed.

Socrates, so named because his mother couldn’t afford an education and hoped that by naming him after someone smart, maybe he’d be smart too, is part demon part guardian angel to those that live and scheme and hustle around him in the neighborhood of Watts. Stories like “Crimson Shadow”, “Firebug” and “Double Standard” have Socrates himself as the harsh lesson to a misguided boy, an tortured arsonist and a two timing husband which allows life and circumstance to be the instructors and hopefully redeemers. While Socrates may not be a good man, he does have a code and an unyielding sense of right and wrong. If he can use his battle scarred wisdom to help even one, then perhaps Socrates can find a little redemption too.

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