Tommy's nickname is Lucky, but no one would think this crippled boy was blessed. Cursed with health problems and drawn into trouble more often than not, Tommy is the recipient of pity rather than admiration. He is nothing like his stepbrother Eric.
Eric, a Nordic Adonis, is graced by a seemingly endless supply of good fortune-he is charming, a star athlete, and a magnet for anyone in his sphere. Yet in spite of these differences, Eric and Tommy are as close as two humans can be.
After tragedy rips their makeshift family apart, the lives of these boys split. In a powerful story of modern-day resilience and redemption, Tommy and Eric forge their separate ways in the world, each confronting the challenges of his sphere. For Tommy this means dropping out of school, selling drugs, living on the streets, and somehow creating a family of his own. Motherless, African-American, and impoverished, Tommy has nothing but feels lucky every day of his life. For Eric, the golden youth, life means athletics, sexual attraction, excellent grades, prosperity, and the uncertainty that comes with prizes won too easily. Given everything, he trusts nothing.
Eric and Tommy's parallel lives are an astonishing story of self-determination and the true measure of fortune. The ties that bind this Adonis and his sickly counterpart, however, are thicker than blood, and when circumstances reunite Eric and Tommy after years apart, their distinct approaches to life may be the only thing that can save them from forces that threaten to destroy them for good.
Written with unique insight into the hidden currents and deeper realities of modern life, Fortunate Son is a tour de force by theauthor the Boston Globe calls "one of this nation's finest writers."
Toussaint's honeyed voice, flecked with the slightest undertone of grit, is lovely but forbidding, the sound of effortless social grace underscored by the threat of steely authority at the slightest provocation. Sounding much like actress Alfre Woodard, Toussaint reads Mosley's novel of two stepbrothers, brought together as part of an unlikely family yet separated by wildly divergent fortunes. Tommy and Eric, joined by their respective parents' meeting at Tommy's hospital bed, are inseparable as boys, but their differing natures and fates tear them apart as they grow older. Toussaint's performance is flawless, superbly mimicking the vocal patterns of characters both large and small, varying the texture of her reading by altering speed, style and vocal depth to provide Mosley's book with texture and subtle power. She is the rare reader who allows the words of her text to dictate the tone of her reading, rather than imposing a vocal style on the book; as a result, her reading is more pleasurable than run-of-the-mill audiobooks, staying true to the spirit of Mosley's tart, occasionally sentimental prose with admirable tenacity.
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Little, Brown and Company
August 21, 2007
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