Mr. Bones, the heroic dog of Paul Auster's astonishing book, is the sidekick and confidant of Willy G. Christmas, a brilliant and troubled homeless man from Brooklyn. As Willy's body slowly expires, he sets off with Mr. Bones for Baltimore in search of his high-school English teacher and a new home for his companion. Mr. Bones is our witness during their journey, and out of his thoughts Paul Auster has spun one of the richest, most compelling tales in recent American fiction.
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In Timbuktu Paul Auster tackles homelessness in America using a dog as his point-of-view character. Strange as the premise seems, it's been done before, in John Berger's King, and it actually works. Filtering the homeless experience through the relentlessly unsentimental eye of a dog, both writers avoid miring their tales in an excess of melodrama. Whereas Berger's book skips among several characters, Timbuktu remains tightly focused on just two: Mr. Bones, "a mutt of no particular worth or distinction," and his master, Willy G. Christmas, a middle-aged schizophrenic who has been on the streets since the death of his mother four years before. The novel begins with Willy and Mr. Bones in Baltimore searching for a former high school English teacher who had encouraged the teenage Willy's writerly aspirations. Now Willy is dying and anxious to find a home for both his dog and the multitude of manuscripts he has stashed in a Greyhound bus terminal. "Willy had written the last sentence he would ever write, and there were no more than a few ticks left in the clock. The words in the locker were all he had to show for himself. If the words vanished, it would be as if he had never lived."
Paul Auster is a cerebral writer, preferring to get to his reader's gut through the brain. When Willy dies, he goes out on a sea of words; as for Mr. Bones, this is a dog who can think about metaphysical issues such as the afterlife--referred to by Willy as "Timbuktu":
What if no pets were allowed? It didn't seem possible, and yet Mr. Bones had lived long enough to know that anything was possible, that impossible things happened all the time. Perhaps this was one of them, and in that perhaps hung a thousand dreads and agonies, an unthinkable horror that gripped him every time he thought about it.Once Willy dies and Mr. Bones is on his own, things go from bad to worse as the now masterless dog faces a series of betrayals, rejections, and disappointments. By stepping inside a dog's skin, Auster is able to comment on human cruelties and infrequent kindnesses from a unique world view. But reader be warned: the world in Timbuktu is a bleak one, and even the occasional moments of grace are short lived. --Alix Wilber From the Inside Flap:
Meet Mr. Bones, the canine hero of Paul Auster's remarkable new novel, Timbuktu. Mr. Bones is the sidekick and confidant of Willy G. Christmas, the brilliant, troubled, and altogether original poet-saint from Brooklyn. Like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza before them, they sally forth on a last great adventure, heading for Baltimore, Maryland in search of Willy's high school teacher, Bea Swanson. Years have passed since Willy last saw his beloved mentor, who knew him in his previous incarnation as William Gurevitch, the son of Polish war refugees. But is Mrs. Swanson still alive? And if she isn't, what will prevent Willy from vanishing into that other world known as Timbuktu?
Mr. Bones is our witness. Although he walks on four legs and cannot speak, he can think, and out of his thoughts Auster has spun one of the richest, most compelling tales in recent American fiction. By turns comic, poignant, and tragic, Timbuktu is above all a love story. Written with a scintillating verbal energy, it takes us into the heart of a singularly pure and passionate character, an unforgettable dog who has much to teach us about our own humanity.
Paul Auster's novels, including the New York Trilogy, are canonical reading for fans of American literature all over the world. Auster wrote the screenplay for the internationally acclaimed film Smoke. The screenplay of his new film, Lulu on the Bridge (0-8050-5978-4) and his memoir Hand to Mouth (0-8050-5406-5) are available from Owl Books. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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Book Description MacMillan Publishers. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0312428944
Book Description Picador. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0312428944 Brand New Book. Ships from the United States. 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee!. Bookseller Inventory # 4733694
Book Description Picador, 2009. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "[Timbuktuis] held aloft with audacity and brilliant, idiosyncratic language. . . . It's risk-taking and brazen energy suggest a writer on the verge of an even more rewarding leap into the air of his own uncharted territory."--Philip Graham,Chicago Tribune "A novel of haunted love whose themes loop around one another like glowing coils, connecting gracefully beneath Auster's clear prose, eliciting the fanciful and the tragic."--Oscar Villalon,San Francisco Chronicle "A modern parable that invites readers to probe below its deceptively simple surface for deeper truths . . . Auster demonstrates a well-honed talent for illuminating secluded facets of the soul."--Michael Hopkins,Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Lovely . . . Paul Auster is one of our most inventive and least predictable authors."--Jonathan Yardley,The Washington Post Book World. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0312428944
Book Description Picador, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 2. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0312428944
Book Description St Martins Pr, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 2. 13.97 x 20.96 cm. Mr. Bones, the canine sidekick of Willy G. Christmas, a brilliant but troubled Brooklyn poet, accompanies his master on a trip to Baltimore, Maryland, to search for Willy's high-school teacher and beloved mentor, Bea Swanson, in a novel narrated from the dog's point of view. 50,000 . Tour. Our orders are sent from our warehouse locally or directly from our international distributors to allow us to offer you the best possible price and delivery time. Book. Bookseller Inventory # MM-20317815
Book Description Picador USA, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 2nd edition. 181 pages. 8.25x5.50x0.75 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 4-0312428944
Book Description Picador, 2009. Book Condition: NEW. Bookseller Inventory # 9780312428945
Book Description Picador, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110312428944