Categorized | Features

Inside a Silver Box, by Walter Mosley 2015

HERB JOHNSON – GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR
What is the all-time, number one most popular theme in works of fiction? The battle between Good and Evil. Right? Sometimes up front; sometimes under the radar, but always there.
In his most recent novel, Mosley chooses a frontal attack on the subject, with puzzling results. Mosley is an established writer, with a long string of successes in the mystery/crime genre, featuring a guy called Easy Rawlins. Stepping outside what can be considered his comfort zone, Mosley comes up with a plot that verges on incomprehensible.
There are two possible choices. Either Mosley is unable to achieve any semblance of clarity, or, since the universe is infinitely mysterious, he has chosen a plot structure that reflects that sense of mystery. Read the book and take your pick.
Basically, good and evil are represented by the silver box (good) and the Laz (bad). The Laz appear in many forms and have done so for millions of years, wreaking havoc along the way. The silver box is also hard to pin down. It apparently is a giant bug that has evolved from a computer.
There are two main human characters, who undergo miraculous transformations and gain a few insights about the human condition along the way. One of them becomes very strong and one can run fast.
If you want something more accessible, try Dean Koontz’s The Taking, in which extra-terrestrial beings try to take over the world. There are many deaths and the few who survive are those who go to great lengths to protect the children. This simple act of goodness is enough in itself to force the invaders to withdraw. Clean and simple.
Or, if you remember Li’l Abner, go with Mammy Yokum, who said that, “Good will always win, because it is nicer.” She could be right.

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