Gerard Donovan: Julius Winsome (2007)

What a sad read and yet how true it felt.

If anyone has ever truly loved an animal, this book will get to him or her since the main character finds  his best friend, his dog, shot dead by some unknown person at the very beginning of this novel. Hardly ever have I been so moved by the description of someone´s mourning. But even before this tragic incident Julius Winsome has been grieving for a lot of other reasons.

He´s a loner living in a cabin deep in a forest in Maine, his only companions are the 3000 and some more books his father has left behind. They cover the cabin walls and Julius reads them one by one. He is still not over the loss of his father and is sad about having been left by the girlfriend he had for a few months who, all of a sudden, didn´t turn up any more. Apart from these two facts we hear nothing about his biography. It´s as if his memories were  solely composed of his grandfather´s stories of WWI and his father´s tales from WWII and some odd remembrances linked to his memorizing words found in Shakespeare´s plays and sonnets.

Julius has always been a defender of animals and to find his beloved dog senselessly shot dead triggers something  very dark in him.

In the chapters following the opening scenes we see him take revenge.

Gerard Donovan is also a poet so it is only natural his style should be very poetic and picturesque. You can almost hear the snow fall when it starts to cover  the dog´s grave. You can hear the gunshots from the hunters that so infuriate Julius and you feel the utter loneliness of this gentle man turning into an avenger.

Julius Winsome American edition

Julius Winsome American edition barnes and noble

Julius Winsome (engl.) European Edition uk


Review guardian co uk

4 thoughts on “Gerard Donovan: Julius Winsome (2007)

  1. I’ve never heard of this author/book before, but I’ve requested it at my library. I don’t always do well with stories about mistreatment of animals, but the story sounds so intriguing otherwise I think I have to check it out. Maine is another place I would love to visit, so the setting and period are very appealing to me!

    • This book was highly acclaimed in Germany. And it is truly good. Cruelty to animals always stirs a profound reaction in me. I couldn’t bear any graphic descriptions. He spares us that. The way he describes the loneliness of this man is very touching and he writes beautifully. I’m curious to hear what you will think of it.

Thanks for commenting, I love to hear your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.