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The Tinsmith

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  58 ratings  ·  15 reviews
During the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, Anson Baird, a surgeon for the Union Army, is on the front line tending to the wounded. As the number of casualties rises, a mysterious soldier named John comes to Anson's aid. Deeply affected by the man's selfless actions, Anson soon realizes that John is no ordinary soldier, and that he harbours a dangerous secr ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by Brindle and Glass Publishing
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Community Reviews

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Al recommended this so far shockingly good book. Gripping start of the story with crashing metaphors like: Several soldiers couldn't keep their jaws from opening and closing in rapid succession: they resembled baby robins waiting to be fed.
This book that mixes themes of racism, slavery, exploitation of humans and nature alike, war, politics, the founding of nations, the slaughter of men and salmon for the sake of money and money alone and the struggle to keep dignified and human just is one cru
Janna Zuroski
I want all my friends to read this book. The author is a poet so he chooses words carefully. Consequently, you can easily visualize every scene he describes. You feel like you were there--which isn't always a good thing since one section is about a surgeon at the battle of Antietem and another describes house slaves being sold down the river by a cruel slave master. But the ultimate theme is the overarching battle between good and evil.

This is the best book I have read in a while.
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Garth Mailman
Tim Bowling is a favourite Canadian author whose father was a Frazer River salmon fisherman in Ladner, BC. Lacking an aptitude for his father’s dying profession he moved to Edmonton, Alberta a province without a coastline. Naturally he writes often about fishing but this time round he has chosen the Battle of Antietam during the American Civil War as the setting for his novel about an army surgeon.

Equally at home in poetry or prose I have yet to read a book of his I didn’t like. Although the su
This novel could have used a great deal of editing as there are pages and pages of tedious information and description hiding a good plot with interesting protagonists.
Excellent Canadian writing. Movie!
Very descriptive, you could almost smell and feel the battlefield.
Very good read. Interesting story.
Plamen Miltenoff
reads a bit difficult
too verbose, but really arresting
nice mixture of the pace and brings forward ideas well
Poetic, fascinating historical fiction, and really, really wordy. Generally I enjoy descriptive and poetic writing but this was almost too much for me. I'm tempted to do a word count on how many times "bloody" and "greasy" are used as adjectives. Curiosity about how the story would end kept me going ... but in spite of my faintly negative review, I do think this is a good book and would recommend it IF you like verbose writing.
From the civil war to the salmon fishing on the British Columbia coast, this book brings some mystery and suspense. I'm always in search of great Canadian authors and Tim Bowling didn't disappoint. The only critique I would have is that the book seemed to be a laborious work of reading! Sometimes I felt there was too many words...rather verbose, but this wasn't all the time, just sometimes. Overall a great read!
An amazing read. I usually don't like too much detail but I did not find it overdone in this book. All added to the overall feel and it haunted me days after finishing it. New Westminster is very familiar to me so I found it fascinating to imagine it as it was in the 1880's.
Dorothy B
Tim Bowling has such a solid grasp of his prose that despite some excesses in describing the grittiness of the bloody surgical tent, the piling up of limbs, I couldn't close the book as this complex story unfolded. High recommendations.
Very well written ... Plot can get a bit confusing ( I read this book over a lengthy period of time which could explain my disconnect from the storyline) but does come together in the end.
Sep 18, 2012 Tina marked it as to-read
This book sounds so interesting!!!!!!!
- great book. Would recommend it
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