15 March 2011

Paul Auster, Timbuktu, 1999

Mr. Bones is the canine companion of homeless Willy G. Christmas, the rather unhinged son of some Polish immigrants to New York and someone whose dreams exist far beyond the reach of his abilities. Timbuktu is a small marvel of empathetic writing: Auster puts the reader right inside Mr. Bones head and, anthropomorphism notwithstanding, you see the world through his senses, filtered through his panicky and slightly desperate nature as well as his unswerving devotion to the humans who show him love when he needs it. John Berger later did a similar thing with King – viewing homelessness through the eyes of a dog – and although this may not be a typical Auster novel it’s still a very rewarding distraction.  PY


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