Meet Mr Bones, the canine hero of Paul Auster's remarkable new novel, Timbuktu. Mr Bones is the sidekick and confidant of Willy G. Christmas, the brilliant, troubled and altogether original poet-saint from Brooklyn. They sally forth on a last great adventure heading for Baltimore, Maryland, in search of Willy's high-school teacher, Bea Swanson. Years have passed since Willy last saw his beloved mentor, who knew him in his previous incarnation as William Gurevitch, the son of Polish war refugees. But is Mrs Swanson still alive? And if she isn't, what will prevent Willy from vanishing into that other world known as Timbuktu? Mr Bones is our witness. Although he walks on four legs and cannot speak, he can think, and out of his thoughts Auster has spun one of the richest, most compelling tales in recent American fiction. By turns comic, poignant and tragic, Timbuktu is above all a love story.