Paula's Reviews > Timbuktu

Timbuktu by Paul Auster
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's review
Mar 27, 2012

it was amazing
Read from March 27 to 29, 2012

Using third-person omniscient narrative voice but through a point of view of a dog Auster gives us an account of a personal tragedy of a dying vagabond schizophrenic poet Willy G. Christmas and his only friend and confidant Mr Bones, his old faithful.

The novella opens with Willy's imminent death and a struggle to find his old schoolteacher to entrust her with his writing and to ask her to find Bones a new home.
None of his efforts, however, yields success; Willy passes on leaving Bones on his own.
In this both funny and heartbreaking story we see Bones wandering about streets, change homes, adopting new owners.
Auster's honest and authentic doggy's voice offers a sharp depiction of society, its cruelty and hypocrisy.
It is a masterfully written fable that reads like a social drama where dog is really the underdog, a happy family a utopia, and true friends a rare commodity.
Will Bones trade his freedom for a comfort of a home or join Willy in Timbuktu “Where the map of this world ends, that's where the map of Timbuktu begins”?

I enclose a passage from the book that tickled my linguistic appetite:

“Mr. Bones understood. He always understood what Willy said to him. This had been the case for as long as he could remember, and by now his grasp of Ingloosh was as good as any other immigrant who had spent seven years on American soil. It was his second language, of course, and quite different from the one his mother had taught him, but even though his pronunciation left something to be desired, he had thoroughly mastered the ins and outs of its syntax and, grammar.”
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Quotes Paula Liked

Paul Auster
“That's all I've ever dreamed of, Mr. Bones. To make the world a better place. To bring some beauty to the drab humdrum corners of the soul. You can do it with a toaster, you can do it with a poem, you can do it by reaching out your hand to a stranger. It doesn't matter what form it takes. To leave the world a little better than you found it. That's the best a man can ever do.”
Paul Auster, Timbuktu

Reading Progress

03/29/2012 "I finished it."

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Marion Very nice review, Paula! I loved this book so much!. I've read it twice and will probably read it again - maybe every couple of years. Il want to visit with Mr. Bones again and again. I love Paul Auster's writing - so creative! I plan to read more of his books.

message 2: by Paula (last edited Sep 25, 2012 03:09AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paula Thank you Marion, and thank you for accepting me as a friend here. I am glad you like both my review and Paul Auster's writing. Have you read the Book of Illusions? I wish I had more time to read now. I have slowed down a bit with too much work and some out of the house hobbies of mine ;). I will check your reading list later. My best to you!

Marion Yes, I've read the Book of Illusions. It was not my favorite - though I haven't read all of Auster's books yet. I hope to! Recently finished Man in the Dark. It was extremely powerful, even shocking. But, I thought it was great.
All my best to you too, Paula!

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