Cockroft, a composer and socialite in the mode of Quentin Crisp, lives in self-imposed exile and fantasises of true love and extravagant suicides. Rattling about his dilapidated farmhouse in the Italian countryside, subsisting on a trickle of royalties from past successes, his only constant source of company is the ever loyal Timoleon Vieta - a ...
Cockroft, a composer and socialite in the mode of Quentin Crisp, lives in self-imposed exile and fantasises of true love and extravagant suicides. Rattling about his dilapidated farmhouse in the Italian countryside, subsisting on a trickle of royalties from past successes, his only constant source of company is the ever loyal Timoleon Vieta - a mongrel with the most beautiful eyes. When a handsome but surly individual - known only as The Bosnian - arrives on the scene, the strong bond between Cockroft and Timoleon is put under strain. Cockroft, forced into a choice between the two, abandons Timoleon outside Rome's Coliseum ...from where the dog begins the long journey home ...a journey of broken hearts, broken minds and broken spirits. In a tragicomic work of macabre beauty, Rhodes amuses and moves in equal measure. One of Britain's most promising and original young writers has produced a novel of unexpected twists and inspiring humanity.
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This is a very well written, extremely touching, yet devastating novel. I knew something tragic would have to happen in the end. Every character whose life Timoleon Vieta makes a brief appearance is a tragic character dealing with horribly tragic love related situations. This is not a cliched warm fuzzy feel good Lassie Come Home book so if you're a sap for happy endings and can't handle tragic realism in your reading materials then steer clear of this. The story of Cockcroft and the Bosnian ended too soon and should have been revisited and fleshed out a bit more. I was also expecting the various stories to add up or include more Timoleon than just a brief glance or encounter. However, I didn't expect Timoleon Vieta to conclude the way it did. The end came out of left field and hit me like a bag of bricks. When I read the last chapter while on a plane ride home, I gasped aloud and found myself sobbing so much afterwards that the stewardess wound up giving me a complimentary cocktail. What I liked the most is this novel makes you FEEL! You're angry, you're frustrated, even a bit disappointed. You might not like how you feel after finishing it however you strongly feel something whether it's disgust at the writer or sorrow at the story. This novel makes you FEEL! It is what I would call a true reading experience. Read this only if you're emotionally sound, don't mind tragic realism and can separate fiction from reality. After all, it's only a novel.
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