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Julius Winsome

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  918 Ratings  ·  124 Reviews
From the author of "Schopenhauer's Telescope" comes a beautiful and haunting novel of vengeance, literature, love, isolation, and man's tenuous grasp on reason.
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published October 19th 2006 by The Overlook Press (first published 2006)
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Mike (the Paladin)
Feb 04, 2010 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is a difficult book for me to rate. I can't say it's "enjoyable" yet it is compelling.

Also for me, I found it a little disturbing how easily I could identify with some things in the protagonist. While I don't share many of his traits, in a couple of ways I identified with him...a lot.

There is a pivotal event in the book, the primary catalyst for climatic events is one I identify with quite a bit (though it didn't effect me quite as shatteringly as it did Julius). (view spoiler)
Feb 20, 2016 Claudia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Für Liebhaber einer spannenden Geschichte und der leisen Töne

Julius Winsome lebt in einer Hüttte in den den Wäldern von Maine. Belesen, intelligent, sensibel hat er sich eine Bibliothek mit 3282 Büchern eingerichtet. Einzig sein Hund Hobbes leistet ihm Gesellschaft in der Einsamkeit Maines, wo sonst nur vereinzelt Schüsse von Jägern zu hören sind.

Eines Tages, er ist gerade wieder beim Lesen eines Buches, hört er einen Schuss. Normalerweise nichts Außergewöhnliches. Als er "Hobbes" nicht finden k
Oct 27, 2011 Tony rated it really liked it
Shelves: irish
There is something wrong with Julius Winsome. But we’re not sure what. At least, we’re not sure what made him what he is. Which is a loner, first of all; a man isolated in the Maine woods. He lives in a cabin with his dog Hobbes. His father, who was ‘damaged’ in the Second World War as his own father was in the First, had lined that cabin with 3,282 books. And there is his grandfather’s Enfield rifle, completing his legacy.

And then someone shoots Hobbes. So much for the Social Contract.

Armed wit
Mar 10, 2008 Donna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-fiction
This is an amazingly beautiful book about a lonely, sensitive man who lives in the woods by himself in a cabin lined in several thousand books. It is a love story, a mystery of sorts, and perhaps the most violent argument for nonviolence I have read in a very long time. Donovan is a master story-teller interweaving strong characters with an unpredictable plot. Deceptively simple in both story and language, this is as book that crawls inside your mind and keeps you awake far into the night rethin ...more
Jan 20, 2010 Lena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010
It's not easy to rate or talk about this book. I don't think I've ever read anything like it before. Some say it'll become a modern classic one day in the future and I can sort of see that happening.
It's so beautifully written... Donovan manages to draw you in right away and I read 70% of the book in one go. You're sort of thinking "Why do I feel for this character?" - and on the same hand it makes perfect sense.
It's timeless.

Make sure to read it in wintertime, the German title is "Winter in Mai
Sep 16, 2012 Tina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
If you want to see a likeable villain, meet Julius Winsome. I've never wrestled with hating a bad guy so much because... he isn't quite a bad guy. He isn't mean. He doesn't have a tortured backstory. He has a great library, will use Shakespearean vocabulary in everyday conversations, and loves his dog. Yet he is the antagonist.
I don't want to spoil any of the plot, but this book completely changed how I look at narrators and intent in novels. It asks how much readers will forgive a character fo
Jan 19, 2017 WortGestalt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ein intensiver Roman, der mit seiner schönen, klaren Sprache eine Art distanzierte Nähe zu dem Geschehen aufbaut, die fast hypnotisierend wirkt. Dazu die Atmosphäre der Wälder im nördlichsten Zipfel Maines, die Kälte, der Schnee, die Stille, das Weiß, das alles umgibt einen beim Lesen wie eine Glocke. Im Plot hat mir am Ende noch das gewisse Etwas gefehlt, ansonsten war "Winter in Maine" aber ein wunderbar andächtiges wie konzentriertes Leseerlebnis.
Jan 27, 2009 Diane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: a-favorite-read
I picked up the book Julius Winsome, by Gerard Donovan at the library quite by accident. The picture of the woods on the outside, made me curious. The book is set in the cold woods of Maine where Julius Winsome, a lonely man lives with his dog Hobbs in an isolated log cabin which was left to him by his father. He is surrounded by over 3,000 books formerly belonging to his father, many of which are rare first editions (doesn't this sound wonderful?).

....."Except for my dog I lived on my own, for
Feb 17, 2010 Oscar rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: míos, mainstream, drama
Julius Winsome es un ser solitario que ha permanecido toda su vida en el bosque, en una cabaña llena de libros. Excepto por esporádicos trabajos de jardinería y la compra de víveres, apenas sale de los límites de su territorio. Su única compañía toda su vida ha sido su padre, que murió hace unos años, y que le enseñó el placer y el poder de la palabra escrita, cómo disfrutar de un buen libro al amor de la lumbre en los días fríos del invierno. Durante los últimos cuatro años, su verdadero y únic ...more
May 15, 2015 Natalie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2015
Osvetnik koji je volio čitati.
Odlična karakterizacija lika kao i osjećaji koje u tom trenutku proživljava.

Roman u dva dijela u kojem je
prvi bio očeva smrt i izoliranost u ocevoj kolibi duboko u sumi u kojoj ima vise od 3000 knjiga za citati i gubitak psa kojeg mu je netko ubio. Drugi dio prati prekid ljubavne veze s lijepom Claire, mladom ženom iz obližnjeg gradića koja je zaslužna za to što je u Juliusov život stiglo malo štene koje mu je od tada nesebično pravilo društvo. No, Claire je poput
Jun 05, 2013 Tvtowerbaby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Julius Winsome lives in a cabin in the woods alone. Alone after the death of his father. Alone after a brief love affair with a woman who stepped out of the woods onto his porch. And alone after his dog Hobbes is deliberately shot.

Driven - ostensibly - by the loss of Hobbes, he embarks on a course of action surely wrought of madness yet penned as if it were the most rational response.

A beautiful depiction of loneliness - no that word is too trite. Of almost utter solitude. Of a life hemmed in
Aug 07, 2008 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: recentreads
This was a beautifully written and poignant book but the story is disturbing on many levels. A man lives a peaceful existence by himself in the wilds of Maine, until someone deliberately kills his dog. This act of cruelty sends him on a spree of revenge killings. It's hard to follow his thought processes as he seeks to avenge the death of his dog, but I guess that is the point of the story. The writing in this book is exquisite--I stopped to re--read several passages. The author captures the per ...more
Dec 25, 2011 Katharina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
Like pretty much ever other review for this book says, this is incredibly hard to rate. I can't say it was exactly "fun" to read, but it's so compelling, it completely draws you in. And the language is gorgeous. I think you will either click with this book and completely fall into it or you won't and you'll end up hating it.
Sep 11, 2013 Kkneen rated it it was amazing
I keep coming back to this book. It is one of the few books I re-read on a regular basis. If I could write a book as good as this I would die happy.
May 12, 2010 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals, fiction
This is a short, sparse, lonely novel. It seems empty yet full. Emptiness in the insolated, snow-covered landscape of a Maine winter, in it’s minimal cast of characters and the emptiness of a life lived alone in a cabin when Hobbes, a beloved companion is cruelly shot. Julius Winsome wastes no time in methodically, calmly and expertly seeking revenge, but perhaps not solely for the loss of his dog.

The story however is full of perfect language and beautiful descriptions. One of the things I love
Ellen Dunne
Apr 23, 2016 Ellen Dunne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Loved and feared this book. Dark and tragedy-bound from the start, the writing is so beautiful and deceptively simple, I couldn't help but follow educated loner Julius Winsome's descend into a cold and deadly rage after his dog is shot. Intense, impressive, and very recommendable.


Der belesene Einzelgänger Julius Winsome läuft nach dem gewaltsamen Tod seines Hundes Hobbes Amok. Von der ersten Seite an konnte nicht anders als emotional Anteil zu nehmen am persönlichern Drama des nahezu psychop
Feb 10, 2013 Christina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I have ever read. Never thought that it is actually possible to make me feel sorry for a serial killer, but in this case I did. The book depicts the inner feelings of Julius in a way that is just incredible. You can feel the cold winter wind on your skin while reading this book.
Plot: Julius is a man who lives in a small cabin outside of a town surounded by woods. His only company is his dog and a woman who, for a short while, was part of his life. He is very quiet and self
Rachel Sargeant
May 08, 2016 Rachel Sargeant rated it it was amazing
This is a perfect study in solitude. Since the death of his father years earlier, Julius has lived alone in their log cabin, with only his Shakespeare books and his dog for company. He would have probably seen out his days there, but then someone shoots his dog. As Julius says: "Before this I knew the normal happiness in being alone disturbed suddenly by one absence: the sheer hardness of it, you become a stone, a wood, a splinter in the ground, wind with splinters in it."
Gerard Donovan makes be
May 18, 2012 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book really surprised me, I loved it but it was not what I was expecting when I first picked it up. I love stories of vengeance and this really appealed to me, the story of a lonely guy looking to punish those responsible for the death of his beloved dog. However, whereas most books of this nature would perhaps be brutal, sudden and leave a trail of violence in their wake, this story is a lot more subtle. The central character almost just gently slips onto his path to vengeance without even ...more
Xenia Oktogon
Oct 17, 2012 Xenia Oktogon rated it it was amazing
kakva je ovo prosječna ocjena prosječnih čitača? pih. barem pedeset rečenica za pedeset puta peticu.
Dec 21, 2009 Lillian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written but very bleak!
Feb 24, 2013 Ellen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorieten
Stel je voor, je woont in het noorden van Maine, in de bossen, in een blokhut omringd door 3282 boeken en in het gezelschap van Hobbes. Hobbes is een pit bull terri���r, die je als jong dier uit een asiel hebt gehaald, in het gezelschap van de enige vrouw die een tijdlang in je nabijheid heeft vertoefd. Je moeder is bij je geboorte overleden en de enige mensen met wie je in de blokhut hebt geleefd, zijn je grootvader en je vader. Beiden liefhebbers van boeken, beiden getekend door ervaringen in ...more
Mar 06, 2012 Maria rated it really liked it
Mooi, zeer mooi. Al na het lezen van 20 bladzijdes wilde ik het in mijn top 10 zetten.
De woonplek van Julius in het bos, de natuur, het weer, de liefde voor zijn vader, zijn boeken, Claire en zijn onmacht om zijn liefde voor haar te uiten. Maar bovenal natuurlijk de liefde voor zijn maatje, de hond Hobbes, het wordt allemaal zo prachtig beschreven. Het vreselijke verdriet wat Julius heeft, zijn eenzaamheid,zijn gemis, nadat hij Hobbes begraven heeft is ook voor iemand die nooit een hond heeft ge
Mary-Ellen Lynn
May 12, 2015 Mary-Ellen Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When your favourite author calls a book ‘a memorable tale, distinguished by masterful prose [and] an intriguingly peculiar sensibility’, you take note; especially when that author is Michel Faber.

Not since Faber’s Book of Strange New Things have I found myself entirely drawn into a novel. In Julius Winsome, Gerard Donovan gifts the reader a tale so compelling that you want to take your time over every beautifully crafted sentence.

Set in the intimate wintry landscape of Maine, Winsome lives alo
Meli Gruber
Sep 28, 2014 Meli Gruber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Basically it's about a man who gets mad because his dog "Hobbes" gets shot by a hunter - at least that's what I was thinking.

With quite a little of enthusiasm I started reading the first chapter of the book, simply because I had to. I've never had a pet and maybe that's why I couldn't really relate or sympathise with the main character but nevertheless I somehow started to understand him and his actions. I'm not saying that everything he does is comprehensible and if you have a healthy common s
Aug 26, 2016 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Der Winter in den Wäldern von Maine ist kalt und einsam. Bisher hat das Julius Winsome nicht gestört, er lebt schon lange allein, und er hat einen treuen Gefährten, seinen Pitbullterrier Hobbes. Als sein Hund eines Nachmittags offenbar absichtlich erschossen wird, bricht Julius' Welt zusammen. Und er fasst einen unerhörten Entschluss...

Da das Buch viel gelobt ist, waren meine Erwartungen vielleicht etwas zu hochgeschraubt. Kurz und kurzweilig ist es in jedem Fall und im ersten Drittel auch wirkl
Nov 02, 2011 Roxy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Schwer, hier ein Rating zu setzen. Ich vergebe 3 Sterne. Ich hab leider viel zu viel über das Scharfschützen-Leben, die Arten zu schießen usw gelernt. Überhaupt sind verdammt viele Details zum Schießen in dem Buch. Komisch, das ist das erste was mir dazu einfällt wenn ich an das Buch denke.

Ich widerspreche aber Elke Heidenreich, deren Aussage "Das könnte ein Kultbuch werden" auf der Umschlagrückseite aufgedruckt wurde. Nein, so doll muss man das Buch nicht umjubeln.

Es ist scharf gezeichnet und
Jul 31, 2013 Denny rated it really liked it
i found myself reread or reading to connie so many of the sentences (when his {father} spoke he "was so sparing in his words you had to add water to them before they swelled into a sentence you could understand".) julius was one of those characters that you rooted for to get away with horrific events, i guess it is because he had so many admirable traits. his life was one of too much isolation and not enough love or human contact. i loved his remembrances of his father and the irony of his lovi ...more
Shawn Davies
Another over educated loner in the woods, abstracting all of human existence so that when someone shoots his dog his random killing spree elicits no guilt. Some people need to get out more, then they would realise that such abstractions are the purview of serial killers and state despots and that all the innocent deaths are just more suffering. Only in the rough and tumble of intimate human relations, where ground is given, compromises made and forgiveness and love flourish are truths created.

May 06, 2008 J rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemp-fic
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Gerard Donovan is an acclaimed Irish-born novelist, photographer and poet currently living in Plymouth, England, working as a lecturer at the University of Plymouth.

Donovan attracted immediate critical acclaim with his debut novel Schopenhauer's Telescope, which was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2003. His subsequent novels include Doctor Salt (2005), Julius Winsome (2006), and, most rece
More about Gerard Donovan...

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“The pink petals hung raw and shook with the cold and wind. How they hung on out of season, the struggle of it, the strength it took. Not long now, and they'd be brown stains on a stalk.” 0 likes
“If love leaves an echo, I said, she is still with me.” 0 likes
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