The story of Paul Harding and Tinkers is actually quite familiar, but it is still one of the stories that do not lose their charm. The author, who graduated from the Iowa Writers Workshop, writes his first book, but he cannot find a publisher. All the publishers he has sent his copy not only refused him but also gave him notes on the speed of life.
After many years, Paul Harding finds a little publisher for his book. They publish it in limited numbers, and it wins the Pulitzer. Some readers begin to doubt the Pulitzer Prize, while some readers think the prize has finally accomplished something. No matter what people say, Tinkers is a significant book.
Of course, I heard about Paul Harding the year he won the award (2010), and when I the book in the bookstore, I immediately got it. I remember that I tried to read it as soon as I got home. But after a few pages, I thought it is a bit heavy for me right now. After years, I could finally read it.
Tinkers is a fascinating, intense and literary book. George Washington Crosby is an old watchmaker and is on his deathbed. He sees his father, Howard, who died many years ago, and in the stories he remembers, the narrators mix up. We understand that George’s mind is a mess right now, but the events he describes are so clear that you find yourself lying down and thinking of something, just like him. The reason for this clarity comes from the transition from George’s point of view to Howard’s point of view.
The fact that the book focuses on the memories of the already deceased father, rather than a dying character, is extraordinary and exciting. While reading the book, I admired Paul Harding’s nature descriptions and characters, I thought a lot about death, and I was upset. I still am! Tinkers is one of the books that continue to affect people long after reading. Enjoy!
An old man lies dying. Confined to bed in his living room, he sees the walls around him begin to collapse. The windows come loose from their sashes, and the ceiling plaster fall off in great chunks, showering him with a lifetime of debris. Newspaper clippings, old photographs, wool jackets, rusty tools, and the mangled brass works of antique clocks. Soon, the clouds from the sky above plummet down on top of him, followed by the stars. Till the black night covers him like a shroud. He is hallucinating, in death throes from cancer and kidney failure.
A methodical repairer of clocks, he is now finally released from the usual constraints of time and memory to rejoin his father. An epileptic, itinerant peddler whom he had lost seven decades before. In his return to the wonder and pain of his impoverished childhood in the backwoods of Maine. He recovers a natural world that is at once indifferent to man and inseparable from him, menacing and awe-inspiring.
Heartbreaking and life-affirming, TINKERS is an elegiac meditation on love, loss, and the fierce beauty of nature.
Paul Harding is an American musician and author, best known for his debut novel Tinkers. Which won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 2010 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize among other honors. Harding was the drummer in the band Cold Water Flat throughout its existence from 1990 to 1996.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: