Kirkus Reviews QR Code
TIMBUKTU by Paul Auster

TIMBUKTU

By Paul Auster (Author) , Julia Goschke (Illustrator) , Julia Goschke (Adaptor)

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-698-40090-0
Publisher: Minedition/Penguin

In a bold if not entirely successful move, Goschke adapts Auster’s adult novel Timbuktu (1999) into a picture book/graphic novel for teens. The combination of the illustrations, most of which are set off in variously sized rectangular panels, and the accompanying text—a very abridged version of Auster’s novel strewn about the pages without regard to the boundaries of the panels—makes for a startling collage. In non-linear fashion, readers get fragments of a canine life story, including Mr. Bones’s life with his homeless master, Willy; his experiences after Willy’s death; his brief, unhappy time as a suburban family dog and his likely suicide by running through traffic. Goschke’s dark and gritty blue-and-gray-toned illustrations are integral to the plot of the story as well as to its melancholy atmosphere. Although likely to confuse even today’s internet-savvy readers accustomed to getting their information in almost random snatches, persistent readers will be rewarded with much to think about, including the nature of narrative, memory, happiness and self-fulfillment. (Picture book. 12 & up)