Tinkers is a haunting little book that weaves together the story of George Crosby, who is dying, with the story of his father, Howard Crosby. As George lies hallucinating, he tries to untangle the threads of his youth and finally come to grips with the enigma that is his father. Howard is an epileptic at a time in history when being so gets one labeled "insane." He suffers under that burden and finds a way of dealing with it that will haunt his son forever. Paul Harding writes like no one you've ever read: lyrical, poetic, spare, and lush. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
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 seven 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. Tinkers is about the legacy of consciousness and the porousness of identity from one generation to the next. At once heartbreaking and life affirming, it is an elegiac meditation on love, loss, and the fierce beauty of nature.