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Tinkers by Paul Harding
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Tinkers

by Paul Harding

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,7581963,076 (3.47)330
  1. 20
    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, DetailMuse)
  3. 11
    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 330 mentions

English (189)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (195)
Showing 1-5 of 189 (next | show all)
My thanks go to Bellevue Press for sending me a copy of this book; it was enclosed with a book I won on librarything.
This is a beautifully written book, and I wish I had captured quotes of some of the lines and segments that I particularly liked.
I did get lost at times, but I think this was more a fault of my disjointed reading while traveling, not a fault of the book. I believe that if I had read this at a time when I could be more focused I would have found it much less confusing.
That being said, I am curious now to read more of the writing of Paul Harding. The use of language, and the creativity evidenced in this story, lead me to want to see more of what this author has done. ( )
  jhoaglin | Sep 15, 2018 |
I received this book through Librarything.com member giveaway. For a honest review. This book was too short, and it kept jumping around so much. I like it, I just wish it was longer. ( )
  harleyqgrayson02 | Jul 13, 2018 |
"George Washington Crosby began to hallucinate eight days before he died." Lying on a hospital bed in the middle of his living room, surrounded by family and friends, the dying man moves in and out of consciousness. Images of his adult life, building his house, repairing antique clocks alternate with images from his childhood and adolescence of his father, Howard Crosby, an itinerant peddler serving customers in the backwoods of Maine during the first third of the 20th Century. Tinkers is a wonderfully meditative book with its descriptions of nature, its delving into the experience of epileptic seizures, digressions into the history of clock-making. The prose is mesmerizing and memorable. Highly recommended. ( )
  janeajones | May 24, 2018 |
Generations of bemused college students will be grateful that Tinkers meanders to a close quickly and with grace. It's full of things I love: unselfconscious language, familial history cast scattershot like a broken string of pearls, and men from New England. ( )
  cindiann | May 3, 2018 |
Still mulling it over. Such a strange little book, but in a good way. Finishing was like waking up from a dream—I wanted to start over again right away and reread it to see what exactly happened when. It's the first book I've read on the Kindle that I really wish I had in print form, and I'll pick it up if I see it used.

I can see why it won the Pulitzer, although it certainly won't be everyone's cup of tea—it's no Wolf Hall. But it had the most permeable membrane of any book I've read in a while, by which I mean that the boundaries between my life and the novel kept blurring. Maybe because it was a particularly sleep-deprived weird week, and there are certainly the aforementioned dreaded dream sequences (which I liked) bordering on magic realism (which I thought worked), but I keep remembering bits and pieces of the narrative the way you'd remember something you dreamed a few nights ago. And I kept nodding out while reading the book—on the train, in bed—which made it all the more hallucinatory. Anyway, I'm probably not making a very good case for the book and it's definitely not for everyone, but I very much liked it.

[Edited to add: was given a signed first edition by the incomparable Michele Filgate, so it's got a permanent place in my library now.] ( )
  lisapeet | Apr 28, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 189 (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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People/Characters
Important places
Important events
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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
Canonical DDC/MDS

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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:10 -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 5 descriptions

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