Thursday, October 24, 2013

Book Review: Tinkers by Paul Harding

Book: Tinkers by Paul Harding
Genre: Literary Fiction
For: Community Read event
From: Free from the library

I can see why this book won the Pulitzer. It's very artistic. It's kind of like all the movies that win the Oscar, you know? Artsy and... kinda confusing. But who cares, because it's so pretty!

This book is a very poetic look at the thoughts of a dying man. As he lays there with his family around him, his thoughts go back to his own father who was a Fuller Brush man (do you know of which I speak?) and thus known as a tinker. He remembers several stories his father told, and he remembers how his father suffered from epilepsy and how is mom could not deal with it very well, and he remembers what happens in the end.

Then, his thoughts turn to his grandfather, someone he wishes his father had told him more about. After they die is not the time to think this! You know what I'm saying? Talk to your old people now! I have a very strong passion about this subject!

Anyway, so then we get a bit of the story from the dad's point of view.

In between are excerpts from several books that I'm assuming meant something to this guy, George, the one who is dying. And then, there's lots and lots of beautiful poetic stream of conscious passages that are actually pretty amazing. And so true to real life experiences. Nice when a book does that... tells the truth and all.

I'm sure a ton of it went right over my head, but I enjoyed most of it. And being such a small and tiny book, the bits I didn't get were fast and quickly over!

Bottom line: A beautiful ode to the end of a life.

P.S. If you missed it, I posted about hearing the author speak at the library last week. Come and see what I thought! His second book, Enon, has just been released and tells the story of Charlie, one of the grandsons who was watching over George in Tinkers.

Other Reviews:

Three stars for plot, but five stars for prose – for an average of four stars. From The Bluestocking Society

Tinkers is a language lover's novel. Harding wowed me with his words. From Nomadreader

This beautiful, spare novel should find its way into the hands of every reader of literary fiction. From The Boston Bibliophile

A few reviewers have said the book should be read as poetry rather than prose. Fair or not, when I hear that, I always tend to assume they mean it just doesn't work as a novel. And in this case, I think my assumption is right. From A Little Reading


  1. It's cool that you got to meet the author of a book you just read.

  2. I've got this one and been meaning to get around to it for a long time. Sounds like I'm going to like it a lot...even if I don't get all of it!



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