It’s a dog’s life, and you can thank Rhodes. Timoleon Vieta — call him TV — is a mongrel on a mission; better said, TV’s mission is the creation of the characters around him.
Basic plot: Cockroft is a gay codger who lives in Umbria and falls for the cheerful stray. Courtesy of Rhodes, who plays omniscient narrator and dog-lover, TV sees it all: Cockroft’s Bosnian boyfriend, country life, the hypocrisies of the elderly. Cast out, TV travels the lengths of Europe, playing bard and bittersweet storyteller.
This is a special novel, not quite quaint, not exactly sweet, but very much both. For a book labeled sentimental, it’s remarkable un.