Timbuktu by Paul Auster

Timbuktu is the place you go when you die. Or so it is in the world of a Willy G Christmas and Mr. Bones.

Willy Christmas is a poet, living on the streets, and spreading the gospel of Santa Claus. He’s the kind of person who can see the genius behind the invention of a suitcase on wheels; a person who will go to great lengths to compose a Symphony of Smells for the pleasure of his dog companion; a person who can find the land of his forebears on the steps of Edgar Allan Poe’s house.

Mr. Bones is a dog, clever and well versed in the ways of the world. After all, he has spent all his life, ever since his days as a pup, in the company of Willy G Christmas. The poet had talked to Mr. Bones as his equal, sharing his wisdom and adventures, and so Mr. Bones acquired a better than average command of Ingloosh and understanding of the universe. He knows about Chinese restaurants that sell dog meat disguised as chicken in moo goo gai pan dishes, and he knows why the fact that dogs can read is one of the best-kept secrets in the country.

But without his master, a dog is the loneliest creature, exposed to hardships unthinkable before. Only a dog knows how difficult it is to catch a pigeon. Only a dog knows how much good-nature it takes to overcome one’s pride when one is being renamed to ‘Sparky’. Only a dog knows how much courage it takes to play the dodge-the-car game across a six-lane superhighway. But that’s what a dog has to do, to join his beloved master in Timbuktu.

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