Thursday, May 1, 2014

Jimmy Mender and His Miracle Dog - Angelo Dirks and Leland Dirks

Can a man you've only known for a week change your life?

Paul Young is a writer living in a San Francisco rooming house when his landlady introduces him to a new tenant. The new guy, Jimmy Mender, is an ex-Marine, and a Stetson-wearing cowboy who smells of Old Spice. Paul is instantly smitten, but he's not sure whether Jimmy is gay, too. Still, he invites Jimmy out on a date, Jimmy accepts, and they seem to click.

For a week. And then Jimmy leaves town.

Heartbroken, Paul turns to his writing. He starts a newspaper advice column that he calls, "What Would Jimmy Mender Do?" And he wonders what happened to the real Jimmy Mender and why he left so suddenly.

Months later, Paul receives a package from Alaska. It contains a number of notebooks -- Jimmy's journals -- and a note from a friend of Jimmy's informing Paul that Jimmy has died. The notebooks are Paul's now, as are some of Jimmy's things up there in Alaska, and Paul is welcome to come up and get them.

And so, Paul embarks on a journey. In the process, he learns a lot more about who Jimmy was, and in turn, he learns a great deal about himself.

Jimmy Mender and His Miracle Dog (yes, there's a dog in the book) defies categorization. There's a touch of magic, a fair amount of adventure, and underneath it all, a lot of heart. It's a great read. I recommend it.