Timoleon Vieta Come Home: A Sentimental Journey
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In this acclaimed novel, Dan Rhodes, one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists, has created a tragicomic work of macabre beauty that both amuses and moves in equal measure.
things through binoculars. She sold paintings of flowers, trees and birds to shops, and occasionally somebody would ask her to paint their pet cat or dog. She always drew them, even the nastiest ones, with their heads tilted to one side and with oversized, yearning eyes that would tug the heartstrings of their owners. The money wasn’t much, but she enjoyed it. Every time she came home after having painted somebody else’s pet, she told her husband how she longed for an animal of her own. A cat or
know you have, you poor girl.’ They talked across the kitchen table. * * * Aurora told her grandmother about how she and the boy had met, what they talked about, how he had promised to find a job, stop swearing and generally behave himself, of their dreams for the future and, of course, the depth of their love for one another. ‘If you could meet him, grandmother, you would see how good-hearted he is, and that he isn’t interested in stealing and fighting any more.’ ‘I’m sure he isn’t. I’m sure
and stapled or pasted into the books. The only things they didn’t write down were the words that didn’t have to be said. Often they would go back and read their old writings, she playfully clipping his ear whenever, in an early conversation, they found a crossed-out expletive. They took turns in looking after the ever-growing pile of books. He found work in his uncle’s scrap yard, breaking and rebuilding old wrecks. He worked hard and learned fast, and his uncle was pleased with him as he
as she had practised. It rose to its apex, and seemed for a split second to hover, completely still, before beginning its descent. It was at this moment that her doubts set in: she went from a state of absolute confidence in her plan to a feeling of wretched stupidity. This is art, she had thought, exhilarated as the stone had left her hand. But she no longer felt that way, and she had no idea what it was, apart from a ridiculous and ill-thought-out thing to do. She had intended to stay silent,
be being careful,’ he said, without smiling. ‘I am not supposed to be being around here.’ They took the bags back to the pick-up, via a cheap barber where Cockroft watched the Bosnian have his head shaved, number one all over. Exhausted, Cockroft suggested they go for a cup of coffee. The Bosnian needed caffeine. ‘I suppose you will be wanting that dog to come with us,’ he mumbled. Cockroft had wanted Timoleon Vieta’s company, but he stalled. ‘No. He can stay and guard our bags. He’ll be fine,