I was very happy to post this book as it was dry, dull, boring, wordy, and for the most part, pretentious. I'm hoping somebody requests this ASAP because I'm sure they have bought into the hype machine.
An endorsement by Marilynne Robinson on the front cover should have been ample warning for me. Her 'Housekeeping' still evokes a strong reaction in me whenever I see her name. By the end of that book I was wishing the main characters would jump off the railroad tressle into the lake - they didn't, unfortunately. But anyway - back to 'tinkers'. There was a dream-like quality to it that captures the final days and thoughts of an old man dying, of his father who suffered seizures and his grandfather who suffered dementia. The prose is good - there are some flashes of brilliance in there - but in general the whole composition with frequent long quotes from The Reasonable Horologist and the various Borealis passages just made it too disjointed to be really enjoyable. It was a good concept with some good content - I just didn't enjoy the way it was constructed.
This book got rave reviews, won the Pulitzer and I was attracted to the description, but I ended up having a love/hate relationship with it. Occasionally I have a difficult time concentrating and can be easily distracted, so reading some of this was tough for me, especially sections that might include the excruciating detail on the inner workings of a clock. Although poetic and interesting, also tough to get through some of the author's long sentences. Otherwise, I really liked this story and came to love the the main characters. I was pulled in and blown away with the beautiful prose and story line. It was both sad and sometimes funny, and it will probably haunt my thoughts for a long time.
Half the book was rambling, philosophicle stream-of-consciousness, 1/3 of the book was long quotes from early 1900s articles about the inner workings of a clock, the other 1/3 of the book was a decent intertwined story about 2 paternal generations.
Unlike the person who couldn't understand the negative reviews, I couldn't understand the positive! It seems to me they are pretentious.
I thought there was some colorful imagery but TOO MUCH and OVER DONE. I think the author could have had an interesting short story or two out of this with some left over metaphors to use more sparingly in other stories.
The father's epilepsy was too ephemeral and would have made an interesting story because of the prejudices of the day. I like that kind of insight into what it was like and what may still be unacknowledged in these "modern" days.
The only reason I finished the book after having to start over to see if I missed something, is because my cousin sent it. I did not miss anything but wish I had so reading it would have had some real value.