Timbuktu – Paul Auster

A little while ago I read my first Paul Auster. You may recall that it didn’t really hit the spot.  So I began Timbuktu with more than slight trepidation.

This is a story about a dog.
Mr Bones is the long time companion to sometime writer, sometime tramp, Willy G.Christmas.
Considering the deuteragonist’s name it’s rather fitting that I read this book leading up to the holiday season.
In theory Mr Bones should be the second character and Willy the first as Bonesy is Willy’s sidekick in the story, but the book is written from the dog’s perspective.  A very bright dog, all things considered.

We follow the story of Willy’s last trip to find his old high school English teacher.  Willy is on his last legs, as Mr Bones is well aware.  It is through Mr Bones’ reminiscences while contemplating Willy’s imminent departure for Timbuktu* that we learn how William Gurevitch becomes Willy G. Christmas.

It is quite a touching story.  I really enjoyed it.  Perhaps it says a lot about how we view dogs and their place as our companions.  The subsequent people Mr Bones meets reflect the differences in a dog’s life and the care or lack of it handed out.
The ending was slightly unexpected, but very touching.

I’d give it a 3 star rating.  It is a quick, easy and straightforward, light summer read.


* Mr Bones views the afterlife as Timbuktu.

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