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Author: Paul Harding
Harding's outstanding debut unfurls the history and final thoughts of a dying grandfather surrounded by his family in his New England home. George Washington Crosby repairs clocks for a living and on his deathbed revisits his turbulent childhood as the oldest son of an epileptic smalltime traveling salesman. The descriptions of the father's epil...  more »
ISBN-13: 9781934137123
ISBN-10: 193413712X
Publication Date: 1/1/2009
Pages: 192
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.

2.9 stars, based on 134 ratings
Publisher: Bellevue Literary Press
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Tinkers on
Helpful Score: 6
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.
reviewed Tinkers on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
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.
reviewed Tinkers on
Helpful Score: 3
This is yet another Pulitzer Prize winner that is a complete snooze.
reviewed Tinkers on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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.
reviewed Tinkers on + 90 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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.
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reviewed Tinkers on
Like Cormac McCarthy and Faulkner, Harding is a wizard with words. Especially as he writes in the voice of the epileptic grandfather, the flow of the words is mesmerizing. But I thought the story line not too meaty. Kind of like Obama's Peace Prize: wondrous talents, but where the beef?
reviewed Tinkers on + 3 more book reviews
There were portions of this book that I LOVED. George, his father Howard and Howard's father--their stories were fantastic and made the book worth reading. In particular, I really enjoyed reading about Howard and his cart and the hermit named Gilbert. In that story I found beautiful writing. If only the rest of the book followed along those lines.

Where I got lost was in the prose that seemed way overdone. When one sentence lasts a full page, and skips from topic to topic, with commas and parenthesis, etc., it is nearly impossible to follow. I would read and re-read, only to come to the understanding that the entire passage was unnecessary to the story. It seemed like nonsense rambling.
reviewed Tinkers on + 943 more book reviews
What an interesting book! It's about life, family, friends, what's philosophically important to the key character and epilepsy. Quite good, really, but don't read it without taking time to reflect on the messages. It's so thought provoking.

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