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Wednesday, September 1, 2010


by Paul Harding, 2009, 191p, rating=4
*Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for fiction*

"An old man lies dying.  As time collapses into memory, he travels deep into his past where he is reunited with his father and relives the wonder and pain of his impoverished New England youth.  At once heartbreaking and life affirming, Tinkers is an elegiac meditation on love, loss, and the fierce beauty of nature."
(book's synopsis)

Talk about the cliche of 'your life passes before your eyes' when one is on imminent death.  The book starts off with George W. Crosby hallucinating eight days before he died.  George at death's door finds himself reflecting back to his youth.  Marking memories of his father, Howard A. Crosby, and his reverend grandfather.  Howard, was a tinker by trade to support his family.  He suffers from epilepsy and felt the need to abandon his family when George was young (maybe 10yo or so?)... then building a new life with a second wife.  Moreover, we learn that mental illness goes back another generation ... Alzheimer's.

To my dismay this book was quite poetic.  Just in case you don't remember, my brain isn't wired for poetry!  But it is that reflective melancholy that was beautiful to read here.  I'm a sucker for family stories!  Moreover, I liked that the women were portrayed strong and caring and family support was evident as when George was surrounded by his wife, kids, and grand kids at bedside.  I also liked the amazing imagery in the beginning and how the book ended.

A wonderful book.

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