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Inside A Silver Box
by Walter Mosley
Tor, $25.99, 300 pp
Published: January 2015

I don’t know what to say about this story other than “it’s complicated.”  As my first Walter Mosley read, it was probably not the best introduction to an author about whose work I had heard great things. 

Ronnie Bottoms, an angry black thief and predator, accidentally kills Lorraine Fell, a privileged white girl, while attempting to rape her.  It had nothing to do with color.  It had nothing to do with race.  It’s just what Ronnie does. 

The silver box, an artifact from an ancient alien race, is buried nearby.  The silver box enables dead Lorraine’s consciousness to inhabit other people until she lures Ronnie back to the scene of the crime.  Here Ronnie resurrects her stinking corpse in an orgasmic exchange of love and anger and power.  When she comes back, she and Ronnie have exchanged certain physical attributes and personalities.  Her skin is slightly darker, he is less angry.  At this point, the story became a bit too weird and confusing for me.  The thug becomes the hero, the educated girl becomes a risk-taking slut.  And together, like an incestuous brother and sister they set out to save the world.   

Yes, it was well-written and imaginative.  But it made me uncomfortable.  In fact, I didn’t really like this story.   ~~  Marie Davis

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