Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tinkers by Paul Harding

Genre:  Fictional Memoir

Description (taken from Paul Harding's website):
An old man lies dying. Confined to bed in his living room, he sees the walls around him begin to collapse, the windows come loose from their sashes, and the ceiling plaster fall off in great chunks, showering him with a lifetime of debris: newspaper clippings, old photographs, wool jackets, rusty tools, and the mangled brass works of antique clocks. Soon, the clouds from the sky above plummet down on top of him, followed by the stars, till the black night covers him like a shroud. He is hallucinating, in death throes from cancer and kidney failure.

A methodical repairer of clocks, he is now finally released from the usual constraints of time and memory to rejoin his father, an epileptic, itinerant peddler, whom he had lost 7 decades before. In his return to the wonder and pain of his impoverished childhood in the backwoods of Maine, he recovers a natural world that is at once indifferent to man and inseparable from him, menacing and awe inspiring.

This book follows the lives of George, the old man dying, and his father, Howard.  The tail weaves between their lives and the few interactions they had with each other.  It's not a happy story by any means but sort of bittersweet.

I've been trying to broaden my tastes in books.  But I couldn't get into this book.  The imagery I imagine was beautiful, but I felt really confused when caught up in the words.  I'm a dialogue person, not a beautiful description person.  I know there's people out there who will enjoy this book, but I went on a slow and confusing journey with this one.

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