Tinkers

Paperback | June 1, 2010

byPaul Harding

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PAUL HARDING has an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. In 2010, he received the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his debut novel,Tinkers. Harding lives in Georgetown, Massachusetts.WEB:tinkerspulitzer.com

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.56 inPublished:June 1, 2010Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1554689864

ISBN - 13:9781554689866

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from A memorable, moving eulogy This book celebrates life by telling George Crosby’s tale from his deathbed. The parallels and contrasts with his father’s life also weave in. At the same time, a love affair with language is going on. This novel is utterly beautiful. It reminds you that an “everyman’s” life has far-reaching tentacles and that the most simple things can be vast in their power.
Date published: 2014-11-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Review Beautiful prose. Great tenderness & low-keyed insight
Date published: 2014-01-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Faulknerian Triumph I had a tenuous hold on this book while I read it. The beauty in Tinkers lies mostly in the prose, the little instances of textual wonder which, like in William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, are told by different people with their singular, idiosyncratic voices and bizarre visions. However, like the title suggests, the world in Tinkers is primarily transcribed through its various sounds – the wind through leafless branches, the clanking of myriad objects pulled on a rickety cart, the imperious time-telling hands on a clock – all of which promote the endless immaterial impressions the real world has to reckon with. Needless to say, the book is quite abstract and can be difficult to follow at times. Despite feeling a little lost, I kept going on because the style was profound and alluring. Still, the rich narrative unravels a story that draws you in, a poignant tale about family, abandonment, and growing. The characters are fully realized, and their strange experiences live on in your memory of them. Nevertheless, this is a book more about storytelling than a story, and Paul Harding impressively captures the simultaneous disaster and beauty of trying to pull together one story through several minds. Whether experiences are related firsthand or discovered in a cryptic diary, the events themselves come together on the page indiscernibly as if through some miracle, and the little clarity they offer is a sweet blessing within the heavily reflective voices that retell what they’ve learned or experienced. Tinkers is of a certain kind of writing that is motivated and guided by weighty questions: How is life animated? What is the force behind illumination? Behind the philosophical queries lies Harding’s beautiful poetry. He reproduces in Faulknerian prose the clamour of the world as though arranging a symphony. And though his writing never seems laborious or pretentious, Tinkers remains a difficult and ponderous book that requires time and contemplation.
Date published: 2010-12-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A rich, well developed piece, highly deserving of the Pulitzer! Initially, I was under impressed with the Pulitzer winning Tinkers, feeling that although the prose was well written, the book as a whole was a little ponderous. It is certainly not a plot driven book at all, but instead relies on short anecdotes and bits of dialogue and several sections of truly well written prose. Although a bit of a slow start, as I worked my way through the book it began to take on new life. Those bits of dialogue and random anecdotes started to grab my attention. Harding's description and discussion of death is really quite poignant and thought provoking - you can almost imagine that death actually be just like that, someday. His dialogue, which I feel is by far is strongest point, is vivid and unpretentious. Through the dialogue he parades characters before us that we feel we must have known at some point in our own lives. I couldn't help but laughing at the middle aged nurse (who looks like a faded starlet) who takes it upon herself to shave the dying George and then by way of explanation tells his family "all we've got is our looks." At first I was hesitant about this book, but after reading through the entire thing and really learning to savour it, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. I suppose the book, like a fine wine, just needed a little extra time to develop and come into itself.
Date published: 2010-08-15