Sunday, December 21, 2008

Julius Winsome

Julius Winsome is Gerard Donovan's third novel, after Schopenhauer's Telescope and Doctor Salt. It tells the story of a man in his early fifties, isolated in the woods of North Maine; at the start of the book, he finds his dying dog Hobbes lying near his cabin and rushes him unsuccessfully to the vet. The ensuing story, voiced by Winsome himself, tells in clear lucid prose how this isolated and lonely man handles this personal disaster. It's a short novel, distinguished by a perfect pace, and a tone which alternately horrifies and moves us.

Michel Faber reviews it here in the Guardian, writing that it is a memorable tale, distinguished by masterful prose, an intriguingly peculiar sensibility, and something hard to define that many great works of art have: a kind of dignity. Such books are rarer than publishers' hype encourages us to believe.


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