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Tin Man

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  30,008 ratings  ·  4,107 reviews
A novel celebrating love in all of its forms and the little moments that make up the life of an autoworker in a small working-class town.

This is almost a love story. But it's not as simple as that.

Ellis and Michael are twelve-year-old boys when they first become friends, and for a long time it is just the two of them, cycling the streets of Oxford, teaching themselves how
Hardcover, 214 pages
Published May 15th 2018 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published July 27th 2017)
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Sandra I found myself with tears just by the way it was written and the topics, Sometimes the tears were because of the expectations of where the story was g…moreI found myself with tears just by the way it was written and the topics, Sometimes the tears were because of the expectations of where the story was going. I did not want it to end. An excellent read.

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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  30,008 ratings  ·  4,107 reviews

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Emily May
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, 2018
And Ellis remembered thinking he would never meet anyone like him again, and in that acknowledgement, he knew, was love.

What a beautiful, bittersweet story about first love.

Tin Man is a short book at just over two-hundred pages, but it packs a powerful punch. It follows the intoxicating relationship between Ellis and Michael, from the time they were young boys. In their youth, the pair create their own little world of cycling, swimming and art in 1960s Oxford, a world that eventually graduat
Larry H
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my god, did I love this book. I don't know if everyone will feel the same way I did, but this one had me from the first page to the last.

I know that blurbs on the covers of books often come from friends or other authors from the same publisher, but when Matt Haig says, "This is an astoundingly beautiful book. It drips with tenderness. It breaks your heart and warms it all at once," how can you resist?

"'There's something about first love, isn't there?' she said. 'It's untouchable to those who
Angela M
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This isn’t going to be a very lengthy review because I don't think anything I can say will do justice in describing the powerful relationships of these characters. I can though, say that this is an incredibly sad and beautiful story. The sadness and grief and loss and loneliness is tempered only by the love that these characters have for each other. Dora and Ellis and Mabel and Michael and Anne. The writing is quiet, descriptive, introspective and full of emotions, so genuine and so deep. I’ll n ...more
Elyse  Walters
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story is so sad - with memories of love - loss - loneliness- grief - regret. ... and special friendships. It’s tragic and beautiful—

Sarah Winman had me in the palm of her hands at the very start of her novel..and held me there until the end. The writing is wonderful -original- artful - lucid - simple and emotionally powerful.

Ellis and Michael became best friends as kids. Their friendship was sacred - their bond strong - and then when they were grown guys - Ellis married Annie. Ellis, Mich
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't think a perfect book could exist, I was wrong. As Michael says within 'It was beautiful and, occasionally, it hurt.' Get ready for me to go on and on and on about Sarah Winman's incredible third novel Tin Man, it's stunning. One of the most beautiful portraits of love, friendship and understanding. Don't be surprised if it's my book of the year as it's probably going to be one of my favourite books ever. ...more
Felice Laverne
There’s something about first love, isn’t there? she said. It’s untouchable to those who played no part in it. But it’s the measure of all that follows…

Tin Man is a nostalgic and melancholy read filled with bitter memories and finding oneself at middle age—at any age. More so than plot, this novel offers a meandering of tender memories that all coalesce like rivers in a delta, pooling into one larger story.

Quite honestly, Tin Man offers more by way of poetic descriptions of landscape and emotion
Aug 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
“... it was my humanness that led me to seek, that’s all. Led us all to seek. A simple need to belong somewhere.”

When I picked up this compact little book, I didn’t really put two and two together when I glanced at the artwork on the cover. But when I started reading, I immediately realized that I was again going to have a little encounter with Vincent van Gogh. Well, not with the actual artist, but with one of his sunflower paintings. You see, nearly one month prior to this, I had read another
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Tin Man” has been shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year and is certainly worthy of that nomination. The book is a profound exploration of friendship,the complexities of human relationships, grief, loss, identity, belonging, and love in all it’s forms.

"We love who we love, don’t we?”

The consideration of alternative paths one’s life can take was particularly poignant and really resonated with me.

“How cruel it was that our plans were out there somewhere. Another version of our future, out
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
void /void/
completely empty

an accurate definition of my feelings since finishing this book. i feel like someone took my heart and wrung it out dry of every emotion i am capable of feeling.

this was as story about the complexity of human emotions - the suffocating power of grief, the deafening silence of loneliness, the glimmering light of hope, the comfortable steadiness of friendship, and the ever consuming ability of love.

a very moving book.

4.5 stars
Diane S ☔
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4+ I starts with a picture of Sunflowers, the same painting Van Gogh painted in the French countryside. Dora, pregnant with Ellis wins this copy and againt her husband's wishes hangs it in her house. She will look at its sunny face, day after day, whenever things become unbearable. Michael and Ellis meet when they are twelve, become best friends and for a while something more. Than Ellis meets Annie, and the two of them include Michael in their lives. One day Michael disappears, and then a diffe ...more
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just loved this book!
As The Guardian says about it “Tin Man is a story about alternate lives that might have been lived had circumstances been different”
Hence this is a story of love, loss,and extreme loneliness.... of a friendship that starts out with two young boys and later a girl, caught up in a tender love triangle.
Deeply affecting..the loneliness is palpable. This is one story I won’t forget.
I, as a few others who have read this, will be adding some other books to my TBR by this auth

“O, I’m gonna be wounded
O, I’m gonna be your wound
O, I’m gonna bruise you
O, you’re gonna be my bruise”

-- The Words of Your Body, Spring Awakening

”All Dora Judd ever told anyone about that night three weeks before Christmas was that she won the painting in a raffle.
“She remembered being out in the back garden, as lights from the Cowley Car Plant spilled across the darkening sky, smoking her last cigarette, thinking there must be more to life.
“Back inside, her husband s
A story so simple and short, yet so powerful. This book was an absolute joy to read.

There were so many emotions going through my mind, my heart whilst reading. I couldn’t fully process one emotion, before I was bombarded with another, then another, with some moments of stillness and on the cycle went. My mind was just spiralling trying to grasp all the meanings and the beauty the author could’ve meant by writing about such small and subtle moments.

And I have to hand that to the writing of this
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't know why I waited so long to read this book, but now that I have, I want everyone else to read it, too! This is my first book by Sarah Winman, though I am sure it won't be my last. It tells a quiet story, and one that truly moved me. I don't want to get too much into the plot, because there are a few twists I don't want to spoil. That being said, it is a deeply character driven book (my favorite kind!), and while it is tinged in melancholy, it is also a story about love, friendship and i ...more
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literature, edelweiss
I had never read anything by Sarah Winman and I was blown away with the beautiful prose and tremendous “heart” in this story. As some other reviewers have said, this is a hard book to review.

The story actually begins in 1950, before Ellis is born, when his mother Dora wins a prize at a bar and she chooses a copy of Van Gogh’s picture of sunflowers in the French countryside. She had seen the picture and others by Van Gogh during a school trip to the National Gallery and she felt it represented wh
Keep your scenery, give me the scoop!

Description! Too much description! A good part of the book is the main character wandering around the street, noticing things—well, noticing EVERYTHING. I don’t need to see the sun and the flowers and the roads and the light and the buildings. Every. Single. Thing. I really don’t. I guess you could say I’m not a visual person. I’m not one to soak up nature; I’d rather be sitting inside, letting my head, my family, a friend, a book, or a movie talk to me. So w
Jenny in Neverland
Review: You only have to look on Goodreads for 30 seconds to see the abundance of 5 star reviews for this book. I read Sarah Winman’s, ‘When God Was a Rabbit’ a couple f years ago and it quickly become one of my favourite ever books. Sarah has a beautiful way with words and a real unique storytelling talent. I was thrilled to have won a copy of Tin Man, new newest novel and the copy I won was a gorgeous cloth, hardback version which looks absolutely stunning. This book isn’t even out yet but the ...more
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who would have thought such a small book could pack so much punch. I loved every word of it, so much so that I am still giving it five stars despite the fact there were no speech marks - a contrivance which I normally hate!

Everything else was perfect. I enjoyed the characters, the writer's simple style, the oh so emotional story and even the leaping around in time which meant the story was revealed piece by piece. There was a lot of loss and a lot of sadness, but also periods of great happiness.
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-2018
Lovely and poignant, spare and powerful. I read it twice; the second time just to linger over the beautiful words and let the story of Ellis, Michael and Annie sink into my heart.

Truly memorable. If you haven’t read this little gem yet, I highly recommend it.
*TUDOR^QUEEN* (on hiatus)
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Penguin Group Publishing for providing this advance reader copy via Edelweiss.

This book takes place in England and spans the time period of the early sixties to the mid-nineties. I was immediately drawn emotionally to the character of Ellis Judd, a man in his forties who is just going through the motions to get up each day and go to work. He's functioning physically like a machine, yet he's swallowed up by grief and emptiness as he passes through each day. The work alarm goes off, h
I was hooked at Sunflowers......truly my favorite flower. 🌻

TIN MAN is a complex story of tough love and friendships, dysfunctional families and heartbreaking loss....losses that disrupt life that are mostly, but not always associated with death....And it all begins so innocently with a raffle for a painting of sunflowers.

Ellis and Michael are so young when they first meet and discover some of the possibilities of life; and when Annie joins the picture, the two become three and even deeper frien

May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ew
A high 4 stars.

Tin Man is very short and deceptively simply written, but it packs a punch. The story focuses on the relationship between Ellis and Michael. They meet when they are boys. They drift in and out of each other’s lives but the emotional bond between them is strong and complicated. The story is first told from Ellis’ perspective and then from Michael’s perspective. There are a few other strong characters, including Ellis’ mother and wife, who add a lot of dimension to the story. The ti

Tin Man is a gentle, melancholy filled novel, that's quite different from anything I've read in recent times. It is the first Sarah Winman book I read and I know it won't be the last.

I should probably stay with this novel a bit longer and try to write a review later when I'm less sleepy, but we all know that's not my style.

This is an unusual novel in its execution. As you'll see it mentioned in many reviews, there are no speech marks. The punctuation nazi in me was initially put off by it, but
There are rare times that a book will reach out and grab hold of your heart and soul and affect you in ways that you never knew the written word could do.Tin Man by Sarah Winman is such a unique and marvelous tale.

Told in two distinct parts, Tin Man is a love story but so much more. It is the memoir of two men, Ellis and Michael, who, during their youth, were shy, young lovers. Ellis, however, went on to marry the woman of dreams, Annie, and the three of them formed a very close, tight friendshi
I buddy read this with Brenda in our Traveling Sister group. This is a slim volume but it packs a lot of heart in achingly beautiful, simple prose. The book opens with the pregnant Dora's first act of defiance in choosing a copy of Van Gogh's “Sunflowers” as her raffle prize over the whiskey her husband wanted. It transformed her drab existence...."this was the life she wanted: Freedom, Possibility. Beauty”.

Fast forward decades and the next section of the book begins with Dora’s son, Ellis, who
Jennifer Blankfein
Follow for all reviews and recommendations.

Tin Man, a tender and beautiful story, is heartbreaking and wonderfully moving.  At twelve years old, Ellis and Michael become friends.  They both have difficult family lives and less than stellar relationships with their fathers.  They spend lots of time together having fun and exploring their town outside of London, and then, their close friendship becomes something more.  

Ten years later, Ellis is married to Ann
Richard (on hiatus)
Tin Man is a small novel but with a massive emotional punch.
Sarah Winman creates complex, complete characters and writes beautifully about their relationships and sexuality. There’s a comfortable mix of the everyday and the poetic.
Ellis is a wonderful central character ...... sad, down to Earth, lonely and bemused. His best friend Michael ....... actually, I don’t want to say anything more about the characters or the plot, as that will lessen the impact if the book.
Just to say that episodes from
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find my reviews at:

“There’s something about first love, isn’t there? It’s untouchable to those who played no part in it. But it’s the measure of all that follows.”

I’m pretty sure the only reason I avoided this at first was because it had like an 11,000 person waiting list at the library by the time I had heard about it. I decided to give it a go after seeing debra's reaction, and now?????

If you know me, you know I pretty much get emotional about twice a
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
"There's something about first love, isn't there? It's untouchable to those who played no part in it. But it's the measure of all that follows." This is a beautifully written book about friendship, love, longing, loneliness and Van Gogh's sunflowers. Ellis and Michael meet in Oxford when they are 12 and Michael comes to live with his grandmother Mabel. The two boys become inseparable friends and eventual sexual partners. When Ellis later marries Annie, the three of them maintain a close and lovi ...more
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an exquisite gem of a book! I fell in love with the tone of it immediately.
There’s a dream like quality to the book- we are swirling in Ellis’ and Michael’s memories- from the time they met onwards. Two friends with broken families who learn to find happiness because of their friendship. They are both well fleshed out characters that the reader definitely becomes invested in.

This book is about friendships and love and memories. It is about loss and recapturing your memories.

“....just bec
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Sarah Winman (born 1964) is a British actress and author. In 2011 her debut novel When God Was a Rabbit became an international bestseller and won Winman several awards including New Writer of the Year in the Galaxy National Book Awards.

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