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Timoleon Vieta Come Home: A Sentimental…
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Timoleon Vieta Come Home: A Sentimental Journey (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Dan Rhodes

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3722552,268 (3.35)16
From "the best new writer in Britain" ("The Guardian") comes a first novel of captivating originality. Set in contemporary Italy and focusing on an extraordinary love triangle between two men and a dog, this is a novel of unexpected twists and inspiring humanity.
Member:stephenlang
Title:Timoleon Vieta Come Home: A Sentimental Journey
Authors:Dan Rhodes
Info:Harvest/HBJ Book (2004), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
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Timoleon Vieta Come Home: A Sentimental Journey by Dan Rhodes (2003)

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English (23)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (25)
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Timoleon Vieta is a scruffy mongrel with the most beautiful eyes. He comes to live with Cockcroft, an ex-pat living in Italy, a mixed up elderly gay man. The Bosnian also arrives to stay and does not like the dog and wants him out. In part one we learn about Cockcroft's life and former loves and something about the cruel man called The Bosnian. The second half is a selection of short stories, many of which are charming. Each new character gives Timoleon Vieta a new name. This is a sad novel about lonely people with occasional glimpses of black humour. ( )
  CarolKub | Feb 8, 2017 |
Don't be fooled by the use of the word "sentimental" in the title. Although there is some humor and lightness to some sections of the story, this is actually one of the saddest books I've read. Dan Rhodes is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. ( )
  PagesandPints | Sep 1, 2016 |
This was... not a rewarding book. I wanted to like it -- the writing made me want to like it, mostly -- but I didn't. The promise of a better book was all that kept me reading through the first half and, when, in the second half, the perspective shifted frequently, the book engaged me with depressing, hilarious, gruesome micro-stories. And then, regrettably, I kept reading until the [spoilers, though not really] dismal end. I've heard (well, read) good things about Dan Rhodes, but this experience didn't really encourage me...

(Also, it's hard to rate this. Some bits could stand on their own as five-star stories, but other parts drag down the average. Three stars overall might be charitable, really.) ( )
  bnewcomer | Apr 2, 2013 |
This is the story of a mongrel dog with the ‘saddest eyes in the world’. One day a stray dog turns up at retired British composer Cockcroft’s Italian villa. The dog has beautiful eyes and Cockcroft is very happy to gain a new companion, for he has been lonely since his last lover left. Soon man and dog become inseparable.

Cockcroft hates being alone, and has over the years since his enforced retirement from the UK in disgrace, somehow managed to attract a stream of willing house-guests by offering room and board in return for a weekly blow job! One day, a visitor arrives unexpectedly – a handsome Bosnian, whom it turns out Cockcroft invited him to visit when he was last in Florence. Timoleon Vieta growls at him taking a mutual instant dislike, but Cockcroft welcomes him even though he can’t remember who he is. The Bosnian, who is keen to lie low for a bit, insinuates himself into Cockcroft’s life. He does odd jobs, and performs his weekly service, but he wishes all the time that he could get rid of the dog. His wish comes true on a trip to Rome, when he forces Cockcroft to abandon Timoleon Vieta there.

The second part of the book is then the story of all the people whom Timoleon Vieta comes into contact with as he tries to get home to Tuscany and his beloved master. All these people are falling in and out of love, and Timoleon Vieta passes through their lives briefly, but their love is no match for his master’s.

This novel was Dan Rhodes’ first, and having read and loved one of his later ones, Gold, which was like a twisted version of Last of the Summer Wine, I was hoping to really enjoy this book. Timoleon Vieta come home is much more savage in its humour and darker throughout than the later novel. With some graphic descriptions you need to be rather broad-minded too. I didn’t engage with the stories within the story of the second half much though – they were full of emotion and exquisitely crafted but some were quite extended, and I was itching to find out what was happening with Cockcroft and the Bosnian.

Rhodes has created some memorable main characters: Cockcroft is a silly old fool, and the Bosnian, although not nice, turns out to be quite complex – but what of the dog? Sorry, I can’t tell you – you’ll have to read it yourself. (7.5/10) ( )
  gaskella | Apr 2, 2011 |
I read this book after a work colleague recommended it, and after reading another Dan Rhodes novel (Little Hands clapping). My colleague raved about the book, which I unfortunately found very disappointing.

In the opening chapters I was angered and infuriated with the British ex-pat Cockroft and the awful vile character of the Bosnian, who Cockroft let walk allover him and eventually cow-towed to and abandoned his dog Timoleon Vieta, in order to keep the Bosnian at his house. I found Cockrofts obession about not wanting to be alone very ironic, since he had a loving dog who would give him unconditional love, whereas his constant lovers did not. And after all that, he still abandoned him. Perhaps it was because I am a dog lover myself, but I found his behaviour towards not only the dog, but in pandering to the Bosnian really rather pathetic. I had no sympathy for either of these characters or what happened to them - I cared more about the dog, which is presumably Rhodes' intent.

The second part of the book tells many shorter stories about people who have come into contact, even in a very small way, with Timoleon Vieta, and how this may, or may not, have affected their lives or the lives of those around them. By the end though, when the dog was nearly home, I knew what was going to happen, and found this quite predictable and disappointing. I understand that the ending was written to shock and upset, but to me it was obvious. I only wished the Bosian could have gotten his come-uppance.

An interesting, but disappointing read. ( )
2 vote djfifitrix | Nov 6, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Rhodes, although one of the Granta Best of Young British Novelists and an acclaimed short story writer, has perhaps not mastered the novel form altogether, and the second half of the book is a series of fairly picaresque anecdotes about people who encounter Timoleon Vieta, however tangentially, during the dog's long walk home.
 
Simply put, this short novel is a delight, a masterpiece of beautifully unforced comedy. That the story has such potential to fall into grotesque caricature and never does is testament to the sureness of Rhodes's understated tone and deft turns of phrase; sharp, contemporary observations sit comfortably alongside a sense of fairy-tale.
 
But, overall, this is an amusing and exhilarating ragbag, at its best when the heroic stray is inspiring cautionary tales. It may be too eccentric, too diffuse, for those accustomed to conventional storytelling. I have to say that I rather loved it.
 
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..dogs are owned by men, and men are bludgeoned by fate.

From Lassie Come-Home by Eric Knight
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Timoleon Vieta was the finest breed of dog. He was a mongrel.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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From "the best new writer in Britain" ("The Guardian") comes a first novel of captivating originality. Set in contemporary Italy and focusing on an extraordinary love triangle between two men and a dog, this is a novel of unexpected twists and inspiring humanity.

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