Naomi's Reviews > Tinkers

Tinkers by Paul Harding
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's review
Feb 21, 12

really liked it

I traded a pink sock for this book. I found it on the folding table while doing my laundry in a hotel, and--yes--I stole it. When I returned to my room, I found I had lost a pink sock. Fair trade; I really liked that sock. This book follows George Washington Crosby on the day he dies. AS his mind wanders back over his life, so do we, traveling through his memories, his father's life, and his grandfather's life. There is a hallucinatory, dreamlike quality to the prose, fitting for the last hours of life. The novel begins, "George Washington Crosby began to hallucinate eight days before he died." The lines of time also are blurred; the readers slides between the lives of three generations then circles back to the present as George Washington Crosby observes himself losing his grip on his earthly body.

Paul Harding observes life with a jeweler's eye. Whether describing a flower, the inner workings of a clock, the untethered electrical impulses of a seizure, he does so with precision, deft attention to the most intricate details, and stunning, sparse, electric prose. In this novel, he creates a patchwork of dreams, a feast of language, and a hallucinatory ride through the intricacies of ordinary life and death.
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