Sunday, December 11, 2011

Timbuktu by Paul Auster

I had somehow almost made it through the year without even thinking about reading something by Paul Auster and then a patron returned Timbuktu.

Timbuktu is told from the perspective of a dog, Mr. Bones. Mr. Bones lives with Willy, a down on his luck man who spends most of his time homeless. Willy has suffered from a terrible cough that is only worsening and the two make their way to Baltimore in an effort to find an old English teacher of Willy's.

Willy knows his life will be ending soon and tries to prepare Mr. Bones for his departure. He calls the afterlife Timbuktu. Mr. Bones is worried about whether or not he'll get to see Willy again in Timbuktu.

Willy passes on and Mr. Bones is left to fend for himself. He strikes up a friendship with an Asian boy but has to leave him once school starts. Mr. Bones is then adopted by a family in Virginia where he spends the rest of his days until he is reunited with Willy.

Typical solid effort by Auster. The story being told from the dog's point of view is really interesting, especially dealing with things like the afterlife. Never mind the idea of smells, the vet, getting fixed, and a host of other concepts. Definitely a fun book and far less bizarre than most of Auster's works.

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