Doc's Codicil: A Novel

Doc's Codicil: A Novel

by Gary F. Jones


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781939371836
Publisher: Boutique of Quality Books
Publication date: 10/21/2015
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Gary Jones says his life has been a testament to questionable decisions and lost opportunities. However, his wife of many years says she knows of nothing in the record to justify such unfettered optimism. Gary is one of the last generation of rural veterinarians who remembers working with cows that had names and personalities and dairymen who worked in the barn with their families. He's also a part of the first wave of Baby Boomers, crusty codgers who are writing their wills and grousing about kids who can be damned condescending at times. He practiced bovine medicine in rural Wisconsin for nineteen years, returned to graduate school at the University of Minnesota, earned a PhD is microbiology, and spent the next nineteen years working on the development of bovine and swine vaccines.

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Doc's Codicil 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
heavenisabookshop More than 1 year ago
This is a very fun read that I enjoyed very, very much. It was thoughtful and funny and excellently written. I can’t remember the last time a book really made me think. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I very strongly recommend it. See my full review:
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite Doc’s Codicil by Gary F Jones is a humorous tale of inheritance. Doc has died and all the family are called together to see what they inherited, only to find that Doc has added a codicil to his will. If they want the money, they have to work for it, and they must do that by working out what the codicil actually means – “Take Doofus Squirrel Fishing.” The family must pull together on this one and work as a team if they want to inherit; and the only way they can work out what Doc meant is to read the story he wrote of what happened one Christmas season many years before. They must talk to his friends, they must go through his paperwork, and they must solve all the clues that lead to the answer. The inheritance may not be what it appears at first glance though, and sometimes people just need to learn a lesson they didn’t know they needed to be taught. Doc’s Codicil by Gary F Jones is one of those laugh a minute books. It is a wonderfully written tale with plenty of clues that even the reader can jinx in trying to solve the mystery. It is actually in two parts, both intertwining neatly. The first part is, of course, the codicil and the hoops that the family has to jump through to work it out, and the second is Doc’s memoirs of that Christmas when he met Doofus. I won’t say any more because it will spoil the plot for other readers but Doofus is the central character to all of this. I thought this was a cleverly written tale, full of humor and some life stories that anyone can learn from; stories of insecurity, stories of not having any courage, of realizing that failure is always an option. Thoroughly enjoyable read, one that would suit any age group from young adult upwards.
ReadingFury More than 1 year ago
The Joy of Squirrel Fishing To anyone who has had an unspoken dream to create or accomplish something that seems too chancey or likely to fail, Doc’s Codicil is a wonderfully relatable book in which personal insecurities and lack of courage battle with opening oneself up to the possibility of failure and realizing a dream. The novel offers readers a story of fun mystery with riddles and clues, a late-blooming coming of age story, and a life lesson that most of us could benefit from regardless of whether we are 20 or 70 years old. In short, it is a thoroughly charming and enjoyable read that will change the way you consider your life choices, and may even make you face your inner “Doofus.” We all can manifest a Doofus if we allow ourselves to be imaginative and hopeful. The Doofus character anchors the book by appearing in both plot time frames and affecting character actions. Initially Doofus is a sort of Ghost of Bad Advice past, present, and future. He is behind the mystery that Doc’s heirs (his adult children and their cousin) must solve by acting upon the directive to “take Doofus squirrel fishing.” Both plots/time frames neatly twine to build the overall theme and advance our understanding. The first plot is set in 2014 and involves the heirs’ attempts to solve the mystery in Doc’s codicil while trying to live their own lives. Doc's manuscript is the second plot, set in winter 1987-88, and involves Doc’s first meeting Doofus during a troubled time when he is trying to meet the needs of his family, his dairy animal veteran practice, and his desire to go into research. He doesn’t feel he is living up to anyone’s expectations, including his own. Enter Doofus to play upon Doc’s fears and spur him into action. The problem is that Doc has evidence that Doofus’ “help” to others has led to some hysterical but disastrous results. Without giving away too much plot, Doofus’ help with a Nativity Pageant leads to the Jesus character being lowered into the scene via a crane and bungee cord, resulting in the second through eighth coming of Christ on stage. Over time, Doc is able to understand what he needs to do: open up to risk and the possibility of failure. Given how long it took him to learn this lesson and find real satisfaction in life causes him to write the codicil for his family. One subtle goal of the codicil is for his children and future generations to commit to the family and remain close, even when economics require that the offshoots be spread across the country. This is a real issue for many of us. Jobs and economics have fractured our familial support system and all but destroyed the joyous intimacy of shared history and companionship unique to family members. The codicil openly advises the heirs, and by extension the reader, to “laugh and sing, loudly and often. Be kind to others, help your fellow man, love those close to you, study for the sheer joy of learning, seek out difficult tasks, and go at them. Do not fear failure; it happens.” The intertwined plots show us how it can be done, not easily, but it can be done. In the end, materialism via the inheritance takes a back seat to the shared experience of trying to make sense of the codicil and re-evaluating what makes one truly happy. Listening to our inner Doofus may be scary but worth the risk. The book is not tediously moralistic. The author builds an engaging plot, while the reader builds a belief in dreams.