Tuesday, January 27, 2009

17 - Julius Winsome; Gerard Donovan

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 I had never married, though I think I came near once, and so even the silences were mine. It was a place built around silences."
It was this woman(whom he almost married) who prior to her departure for good, helped Julius to find a new companion--- his beloved terrier-mix Hobbes. Julius is happy living alone drinking tea and reading Shakespeare, with his loyal companion by his side. Where the weather is warm he works part time to earn a little money. Except for the sounds of occasional gun fire from hunters in the woods abutting his property, everything is peaceful, just the way Julius likes it.

One day all that changes when Julius finds his dog dying from a shotgun blast. The veterinarian tells Julius that whoever shot Hobbes did it up close and probably even patted the dog before firing the fatal shot. But who would do this, and why? As he tries to cope with the loss of Hobbes, he soon becomes obsessed with seeking revenge on whoever shot his dog.

..."What I wanted to say to the man was that I didn't have feeling where I should and too much where I shouldn't. You keep away from men like me and you'll be alright in life".
This is a beautifully written, poignant little novel (just over 200 pages) about the dangers of too much isolation and too little love. This book is highly recommended.

RATING - 5/5 - COMPLETED - 1/27/09


  1. Oh, this one does sound good. I think being out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nothing but books sounds like heaven (at least for a little while).

  2. Jeez, how sad! I must read it, though, now that you've recommended it so highly!


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