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Or, life is absolutely not fair and so heaven needs to take that into account. Much food for thought. This is a great way to look at both the issues of right and wrong and the perspective of what is right for one group might not be fairly compared to another group. Mosley is funny, But rather creative Jan 12, Jamie rated it really liked it. A sort of street-wise Screwtape Letters.

Funny and thought provoking! Apr 12, Bonnee Bentum rated it it was amazing. BEtter than his best! Apr 03, Stef rated it really liked it Shelves: I just gobbled this up in audiobook form. This book is a tightly woven collection of short stories not quite a novel, but not really independent stories either. One difference, of course, is that he sets the novel in Harlem with a black male protagonist. Angel" who comes along with Tempest is i I just gobbled this up in audiobook form. Angel" who comes along with Tempest is incarnated looking like a black man, but he has no experience of racism or anything else human for that matter.

So there are some great conversations between them that allow Mosley to explain the world as it looks to his protagonist. Most of the tightly connected stories involve arguments between Tempest and Mr. Angel about the nature of sin. Rolling Stones song gets involved. However, for reasons that are unclear to me, although I'm quite sure it's deliberate, Mosley never mentions Jesus.

There really are a lot of conversations about ethics and they get a little repetitive toward the end, but the book is playful and moving with lots of really funny moments. The audiobook is produced by Griot Audio, a division of Recorded Books that specializes in books by African-American writers, narrated by African-American performers. This book is really well narrated by Ty Jones. So it helps my appreciation a lot to listen rather than read.

May 03, Katy rated it liked it. When I first started reading this book, I came to it defending what I thought would be an attack against religion or against God. This is always a little tough, since I have to sort out the author's views from my views and then see if there is anything left that we have in common. I quickly found that we have nothing in common, but the book is not so much an attack on religion as it is an atta "Who cares about the rules when it comes to doing what's right? I quickly found that we have nothing in common, but the book is not so much an attack on religion as it is an attack on people who judge.

It does that very well. Punishment for sins does come as people accept their sins. I agree with that. But here is where Angel went wrong. If Angel had shown Temest how his actions had hurt others, Tempest would have acknowledged wrongdoing, because Tempest cared about people. He never went that route, though!

That is what the fires of hell truly are -- it will be understanding how we hurt others.

Then we will feel the pain of the people we wronged. It's interesting, too, because, isn't that what we really want when someone hurts us and we want revenge? Tempest was dead on about rules, by the way. When the scriptures talk about the Lord looking on the heart, it is telling us how we will be judged. Tempest would have been judged on his intent and on his own understanding of his actions. The questions will not be, did he follow the rules as outlined whether or not he understood them or even knew them. The questions will be, did he try to do good with the understanding and the circumstances he had available?

Will he continue to do so? What kind of heart do you have? Walter Mosley seemed to believe that is how it should be. The look into life as a black in Harlem was very bleak. Always fighting to survive, but great to continue the metaphor into death. May 04, Robin rated it liked it. I wanted to give this book four stars. I like the story, the ideas, and most of the writing.

However, it claims to be a novel-in-stories, which I don't think it was. Also, there were multiple times that the author repeated himself, as if reintroducing the story each chapter. That was distracting and irritating. It was also a lot shorter than it looked. It was published more like a young adult novel, large print and fewer words per page. If it were printed like a traditional adult novel I don't th I wanted to give this book four stars.

If it were printed like a traditional adult novel I don't think it would be much over pages. But I did like it. I won't go into the religious ideas. They are very different from mine but didn't keep me from enjoying the story. I love seeing a different idea, a different mythology if you will about how everything works in heaven and hell. He had several clever lines and names. It was also so different from anything I normally read. It seemed less about religion than about what it's like to be a black man and how that changes the rules.

Tales From Shakespeare, by Charles Lamb

One of my favorite parts is near the end. Tempest says that when someone else was paying his bills he had time to learn. This addressed an issue I've thought a lot about. Poor people are often thought of as stupid. Those in difficult situations are often seen as not trying to improve their situations, not taking care of themselves. But I believe, as the author seems to imply, that so many people spend so much time and energy just trying to survive that their ability to progress is inhibited.

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How can they become more when they are just trying to maintain what they've got? And if they can't does that mean that they are stupid or lazy? And if we have been born into a relative life of ease then who are we to judge? Just like when Angel realizes that to judge without knowing pain had been quite the presumption.

Jun 12, Christine rated it liked it Shelves: Tempest Landry is a young man trying to make the best of what life in Harlem has handed him. One day, in a case of mistaken identity, he is shot and killed. When he arrives at the Pearly Gates he is held accountable for his acts, turned away and told he is on his way to Hell. Okay, he stole money from the church to do it. Okay, the man was innocent but only of that crime.

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He was a known rapist and murderer and deserved to be jailed. Peter cannot be swayed yet Tempest stands his ground and refuses to make his was to Hell. This has never happened before and the precedent could rock the very foundations of Heaven as we know it if it has foundations to be rocked.

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Peter a compromise Tempest is sent back to his old life albeit in a different body with a different name with a guardian angel so that Tempest can come to realize that no error was made in the Heavenly accounting. As the guardian angel attempts to make Tempest see the error of his thinking, Tempest introduces the angel to the grey areas of being a human with free will. Not only that, but Satan is a little miffed that he has lost a soul so he pays a little visit to Harlem as well. This book was humorous, entertaining and yet thought provoking as well.

It raises so many questions about the nature of good and evil, free will, racism and the difference between bending the rules and actual sin.


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Mosley, as through Tempest, he finds an original and creative solution to a situation that could bring Heaven to its knees. Nov 02, Shirma rated it liked it Shelves: He goes to receive his eternal reward but voices disagreement with St. As he sees it, what heaven might consider sin, is sometimes simply a poor man trying to get by. He is given a chance to return to earth with an accounting angel in tow, the Angel must prove to Tempest that he is a vile sinner deserving of eternal damnation. Walter Mosley is a superb storyteller; this book is written in a sort of raw, straightforward, bold manner.

It was sobering, the way he presented the gray areas between good and evil. The book is really about our inability to really know what drives others to do the things they do since we all have our own separate experiences. This book is in the form of short stories and I found it tiresome to re-read an introduction to the overall story at the beginning of each short story.

Was Mosley making way for a continuation of the story? Was Tempest eternally lost when he was taken away by the prison guards? Is Mosley saying Heaven makes mistakes? So was it a good experience for me if the ending was so dissatisfying? For sure I want to read more of Mosley. Jul 29, Dana rated it did not like it. This book was terrrible. The arguments Mosley raises holds no water and therefore the book ends up lacking in everything. It becomes annoying, stupid and ill-contrived. I can see how this concept would make for a good story but what about personal responsibility.

Not every African American born in Tempest environment becomes a sinner nor to they ultimately end up making the same decisions as him. The character are all weak. Why was Tempest brought back to earth? So he can continue to live the ex This book was terrrible. So he can continue to live the exact same life he led and get into the exact same problems he would have if he'd not died? How can one human bring down the whole divine order? What about God's undying love?


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There's no self-examination going on. The angel becoming human and therefore suffers through human emotions could have been explored better. But once again the author did not to explore this. Instead of presenting an argument Mosley makes this book and its characters very whiny and the reader isn't given the time nor are they interested in investing in their claim. This was a terrible rip-off of I, Lucifer, with poor writing I do not recommend this at all. Dec 15, Kate rated it really liked it. I enjoyed this book. Not as much as some of Mosley's other novels, but the ideas and the concepts explored within were intriguing and thought-provoking.

Below is the summary from the GoodReads site, just to jog my memory Mistaken for another man, wily Tempest is "accidentally" shot by police. Sent to receive the judgment of heaven he discovers that his sins, according to St. Peter, condemn him to hell. Tempest takes exception to the saint's definition of sin; he refuses to go to hell and expla I enjoyed this book.

Tempest takes exception to the saint's definition of sin; he refuses to go to hell and explains that he, a poor Black man living in Harlem, did what he did for family, friends, and love.


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Peter, whose judgment has never been challenged, understands the secret of damnation and heaven's celestial authority -- mortals must willingly accept their sins. Should Tempest continue his refusal, heaven will collapse, thereby allowing hell and its keeper, the fallen angel Satan, to reign supreme. In this episodic battle with heaven and hell for his ultimate destiny, Tempest also takes the reader on a philosophic and humorous journey where free will is pitted against class and race -- and the music of heaven is pitted against the blues.

Mar 03, Nakia rated it liked it. When Tempest Landry is mistakenly killed by the police, he is turned away from Heaven by St. What sets this story rolling? Tempest doesnt agree with St. Peter's judgement, claiming that most of his sins were done out of neccessity. His argument rests on the fact that being a poor Black man in a world designed to keep him down, has forced him to do whatever he must in order to survive.

The saints give him a chance to prove his righteousness, sending him back to earth in a new body, but the When Tempest Landry is mistakenly killed by the police, he is turned away from Heaven by St. The saints give him a chance to prove his righteousness, sending him back to earth in a new body, but the same soul, with Joshua, the heavenly accounting angel on his heels to prove to him that he indeed is a sinner and should be banished to hell.

I love how clever Mosely drew Temple's character. He may have been a hustler and a con man, but he was also extremely smart and philosophical. The scenarios that are presented to back up his plea and convince Joshua Angel to let him into heaven, were very insightful, and can lead the reader to questioning their own faith, pomdering what exactly constitutes a sin. Also, Mosley's decision to bring an angel to earth in the form of man, to experience the worlds temptation and see how he handles sin on his own, was a great idea.

Not one of my favorite Mosley stories, but I did enjoy the concept and the plot. It was VERY thought provoking and entertaining. Not once in my life have I ever come close to imagining someone refusing to accept their fate on judgement day. On numerous occasions I found myself deep in thought saying 'hmmmm'. In my mind this book was kinda twisted on many accounts for lack of a better word , the main one being that Tempest was made to believe and so was I initially that he was being given a second chance when in all actually 'destination hell' was inevitable.

Although I enjoyed this book, I am not pleased with the ending. I would like to know if Tempest chose the long road to hell by serving the life sentence, of someone else, in jail and then going on into the abyss or the short path by simply accepting St. I would also like to know what became of Angel after being stripped of all his celestial powers. This would be an excellent read for a book club as there are so many things that could be discussed. Overall I feel this was an excellent work of fiction! View all 5 comments. Apr 21, Michael rated it liked it. While it isn't always the strongest narrative Mosley has written even at less than pages, it sometimes feels a little repetitive , The Tempest Tales is definitely worth a read just for the ideas behind it.

There are a lot of interesting takes on good and evil, the nature of sin, and how humanity can stand in the battle of higher powers. Tempest Landry is a solid character to have in this kind of story. He is a good man, but the circumstances of life have meant that he's no saint. The Tempest Tales explores the provoking questions: Is sin the same for people of different races? Is sin judged the same for the poor as it is for the rich? And ultimately, who really gets to decide? Your Cart items Cart total. Buy from another retailer.

Free eBook available to NEW subscribers only. Must redeem within 90 days. See full terms and conditions and this month's choices. More Books from this Author. A Little Yellow Dog. See more by Walter Mosley. The Death of Mrs. Westaway By Ruth Ware. Lying in Wait By Liz Nugent. The Outsider By Stephen King.