Tinkers – Paul Harding

Jul 19

Tinkers – Paul Harding

Recently, I had a moment of inspiration. I decided that I should read all of the Pulitzer Prize winning novels in Fiction. In this lifetime. This epiphany came on the heels of two events:  my super smart Husband figuring out how to download books from the library on to my Nook, and also having  read a few clunkers lately. You can usually be guaranteed story goodness if it is a Pulitzer Prize winner. Enter Tinkers by Paul Harding. The best thing that I can say about this book is that it was short. Tinkers is an odd tale, based on the less than stellar relationship between a father and a son. The father is Howard; an epileptic who married a stern woman who apparently has no feelings. His son is George. The story begins with George in his living room, on his deathbed, surrounded by family. George has tinkered most of his life on the clocks that fill his home. There were some vivid scenes. Howard at one point peddles goods to folks in the country. Regarding his futile attempts at selling jewelry to the ladies: “Sometimes he saw a woman’s face seize for the slightest part of a second, the jewelry stirring some half-forgotten personal hope…”
It is also filled with deep introspection as Howard and George examine their lives, from the end point. “Light changes, our eyes blink and see the world from the slightest difference of perspective and our place in it has changed infinitely.” It was worth the read, but definitely not one of my favorite stories. Let us hope this is not a harbinger for my self-imposed Pulitzer Challenge.

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