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Tinkers by Paul Harding
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Tinkers

by Paul Harding

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,2271552,892 (3.45)284
  1. 10
    Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky by David Connerley Nahm (HeathMochaFrost)
    HeathMochaFrost: I just finished Ancient Oceans, and the writing kept reminding me of Tinkers. The characters, location, situations, all of these are different, but many readers who enjoyed the writing style of Tinkers might like this one as well. It's from a small press so it's harder to find, but it's certainly worth it.… (more)
  2. 11
    Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (Anonymous user)
  3. 00
    The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields (Miels)
    Miels: Similar prose style and similar emphasis on social isolation.
  4. 00
    Evening by Susan Minot (novelcommentary)
    novelcommentary: Both begin with a dying protagonist who clings to a memory of the past. In Minot's book, it has to do with an affair that may have been her true love.
  5. 00
    The Driftless Area by Tom Drury (speakfreelynow)
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» See also 284 mentions

English (149)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (155)
Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)
Horrible! Many of the reviews gush about how this novel was passed over by the big publishers, but I can see why. This is not a diamond in the rough. It is an incomplete, boring, poor-man's Faulkner.

This is the type of all style without any substance that too often origniates from UI. I almost never stop reading a novel (all the more so with something under 200 pages), but I had to quit after 120 pages or so. There was nothing to gain from reading this effort.

With vast reworking, I am sure that Mr. Harding might have a story down in there somewhere, but this current addition isn't worth your time. ( )
  ProfH | May 13, 2015 |
What makes us who we are? What imprints have our ancestors had on us? What impact will we leave on those who come after us? These seem to be the fundamental questions at the heart of Harding's book about George Washington Crosby on his deathbed. Crosby, who fixes clocks, is dying as his own time winds down while he drifts in and out of consciousness. Harding brings the reader through time and through the divide between memory and reality and paints a beautiful picture of what it means to live and to die and the lasting impressions we leave on each other. It was wonderful. ( )
  fuzzy_patters | Feb 8, 2015 |
This is a book that unfolds its riches slowly: you start out thinking it's latter-day Faulkneriana about a bunch of poor rural saps built for sadness, and if you're me at that point you think hard about putting the book down right then and there since you feel like what most of us--you yourself fall into this category, certainly--need more is a book about what people built for happiness do when sadness comes. But that book is still out there, no doubt, and besides, there's room for more than one book in a life. So you don't put it down, and gradually the extraordinary delicate brutality of some of the first vignettes (the father pulling out the old hermit's tooth; the son putting a wooden spoon, and then inadvertently his fingers, twixt the father's clenched jaws during his first epileptic fit) put down roots and twine together into a mood of othersidedness, by which I mean to call up both "the only way out is through" and "the reverse side has a reverse side," and also the far bank of the Styx and the Lethe, life and death bound up with memory and forgetting. The third part is a father–son reunion that flits in and out of reality via some tender, sad psychic pocket dimension. It is exceptional and the whole book's only like 110 pages and it's worth it even if you find the earlier part irritating, but which although I sometimes did, many of you won't. ( )
2 vote MeditationesMartini | Jan 25, 2015 |


This book is written in a interesting style. It took me a bit to get into it but it was decent. ( )
  Anietzerck | Dec 27, 2014 |
Flashbacks on life as an elderly man lays on his deathbed surrounded by family. I have mixed feelings about this book and was expecting much more from a Pullitzer Prize winning novel. Although it is George who is dying, many of the "memories" are actually his father's life. Perhaps the author was trying to compare father and son... I just didn't get the full impact of his point. ( )
  SheilaCornelisse | Dec 26, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)
"There are few perfect debut American novels. Walter Percy's The Moviegoer and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird come to mind. So does Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping. To this list ought to be added Paul Harding's devastating first book, Tinkers, the story of a dying man drifting back in time to his hardscrabble New England childhood, growing up the son of his clock-making father. Harding has written a masterpiece around the truism that all of us, even surrounded by family, die alone."
 
The occasional overwriting, the looping narrative, and the almost defiant lack of plot made this a hard book to sell to publishers. An array of editors at major houses rejected the novel, no doubt afraid it would never sell. It apparently sat for several years in the writer's desk. Then an obscure house, the Bellevue Literary Press, published it to such little fanfare that the New York Times (like most papers) ignored it completely. Then, miracle of miracles, it won the Pulitzer.
added by _eskarina | editThe Guardian, Jay Parini (Sep 25, 2010)
 
Among the many triumphs of this novel, Harding enables a reader to look at the world differently, without the things that normally encumber experience. Tinkers is a considerable achievement.
added by _eskarina | editThe Telegraph, Peter Scott (Aug 18, 2010)
 
Its prose is complex, sometimes convoluted, but at its best suffused with brilliantly realised imagery and a reminder of how rich the written language can still be.
 
"In Paul Harding's stunning first novel, we find what readers, writers and reviewers live for: a new way of seeing, in a story told as a series of ruminative images, like a fanned card deck."
 
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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For Meg, Samuel, and Benjamin
First words
George Washington Crosby began to hallucinate eight days before he died.
Quotations
Crosby, how are you going to be one of my twelve?
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
An old man lies dying. Propped up in his living room and surrounded by his children and grandchildren, George Washington Crosby drifts in and out of consciousness, back to the wonder and pain of his impoverished childhood in Maine. As the clock repairer’s time winds down, his memories intertwine with those of his father, an epileptic, itinerant peddler and his grandfather, a Methodist preacher beset by madness. At once heartbreaking and life affirming, Tinkers is an elegiac meditation on love, loss, illness, faith, and the fierce beauty of nature.

Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize and PEN / Robert Bingham Fellowship for Writers Award, Tinkers was also named a 2010 American Library Association Notable Book and shortlisted for the American Booksellers Association’s Best Book of the Year Award.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 193413712X, Paperback)

An old man lies dying. Propped up in his living room and surrounded by his children and grandchildren, George Washington Crosby drifts in and out of consciousness, back to the wonder and pain of his impoverished childhood in Maine. As the clock repairer’s time winds down, his memories intertwine with those of his father, an epileptic, itinerant peddler and his grandfather, a Methodist preacher beset by madness. At once heartbreaking and life affirming, Tinkers is an elegiac meditation on love, loss, illness, faith, and the fierce beauty of nature.

Pulitzer Prize, American Library Association Notable Book, PEN / Robert Bingham Fellowship for Writers Award

“In Paul Harding’s stunning first novel, we find what readers, writers and reviewers live for.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“There are few perfect debut American novels. Walter Percy’s The Moviegoer and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird come to mind. So does Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping. To this list ought to be added Paul Harding’s devastating first book, Tinkers. . . . Harding has written a masterpiece.” —John Freeman, National Public Radio

“Tinkers is truly remarkable. It achieves and sustains a unique fusion of language and perception. Its fine touch plays over the textured richnesses of very modest lives, evoking again and again a frisson of deep recognition, a sense of primal encounter with the brilliant, elusive world of the senses. It confers on the reader the best privilege fiction can afford, the illusion of ghostly proximity to other human souls.” —Marilynne Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Home, Gilead, and Housekeeping

“[Tinkers is] a novel that you’ll want to savor. . . . I found reading it to be an incredibly moving experience.” —Nancy Pearl

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:01 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

On his deathbed, surrounded by his family, George Washington Crosby's throughts drift back to his childhood and the father who abandoned him when he was twelve.

» see all 3 descriptions

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