Monday 24 Nov 2014

Tinkers

By Paul Harding

I think I picked up this book because it reminded me of Einstein’s Dreams (which reminds me I should re-read that). The physical nature of the book is quite similar. Well that and fact that my Dad was a tinkerer.

This is Paul Harding’s first book and it’s a promising debut. A quick read but not always an easy one. Not much happens and yet everything happens. This book isn’t for everyone. There are no explosions. There are no magical schools. There are no vampires. There are no outer space battles. This book is quiet. It’s like watching (sorry reading) someone’s home movies.

An old man is dying. He is in bed (surrounded by his family) and his life floats through his mind. That dying man is George Washington Crosby.

There are many story lines but favorite is George’s father Howard. Howard isn’t successful in the monetarily sense but he has the heart of a poet. Howard also suffers from epilepsy and both his wife and son hold it against him. This burden weighs heavily on his mind, in his life. You can feel the sadness and desperation.

a few lines:

“Everything is made to perish; the wonder of anything at all is that it has not already done so. No, he thought. The wonder of anything is that it was made in the first place.”

“His despair had not come from the fact that he was a fool; he knew he was a fool. his despair came from the fact that his wife saw him as a fool, as a useless tinker, a copier of bad verse from two-penny religious magazines, and epileptic, and could find no reason to turn her head and see him as something better.”

“His face was pale. It no longer showed expression. True, it showed a kind of peace, or, more precisely, seemed to predict that peace, but such a peace was not a human one.”

If you read this book please let me know.

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