Jessica's Reviews > Mr. Timothy

Mr. Timothy by Louis Bayard
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Feb 28, 2009

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Read in May, 2009

It's fascinating that Mr. Bayard took a literary character known to us as a good, pious young cripple, and created a character in his twenties who was fairly far removed from the "And God bless us, everyone" goody-goody that closed out the story for us.

I loved the descriptions of Tim's London, the places he wandered and the people he encountered. Gully was strange but encouragingly lovable. Colin the Melodious more than made up for Tim's staid, ploddingly slow mind and actions. Philomena was resourceful and brave for such a young one, and Mrs. Sharpe had her own issues, but managed to keep those in check.

The thing with this story was that it read long. I felt like so much of what had happened could have been condensed to slim the book down a bit, without compromising the plot. Speaking of the plot, it was more than a little predictable, frustrating, and unbelievable. Can Tim really be that dense? Can he also really be that lucky? How many narrow escapes can he and his bum leg make?

And that was the point at which you began to lose me, or rather I began to be lost. That bit of Tim's bit of soliloquy spoke to this reader more than it spoke to his dead father.

The things that I enjoyed most were the allusions and direct parallels to Dickens' London and stories. Seeing a different side of the Cratchit clan, their reaction to Scrooge's generosity, the fate of the children and Tim's parents, as well as Uncle N's reaction to Tim's off-hand remarks of ghosts - all those elements were a welcome addition to Tim's trials, but also added to the girth of the book.

All in all, I was happy with the way things ended for Colin and Philomena, even if their endings were a little too perfect (and I had thought up the ending for Philomena right after her character was first was just a long time coming...) I wasn't all to pleased with Tim's ending, feeling that it was entirely too unraveled to be a true ending, but maybe that's what Mr. Bayard was going for.

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