Narwhal Party

Tinkers by Paul Harding
07/11/2010, 1:40 pm
Filed under: Books | Tags: , ,

I’ve read (and enjoyed) a few Pulitzer Prize winning novels, so the slim 2010 winner, Tinkers, was an easy purchase to make. Previous winners include The Brief And Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao, The Road, The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier & Clay, and American Pastoral. Faulkner got two, Steinbeck got one, and To Kill A Mockingbird got it, too—a decent track record.

And it was a great decision. Paul Harding writes in a lush stream-of-consciousness style most of the time, and in the right reading mindset, the book is a rewarding meditation on life and death and time (though it’s nowhere near as affecting as the stream-of-consciousness work on time that Faulkner did in The Sound And The Fury). The more traditional elements of the story include three generations of men who struggle with control, who run away, and who relish solitude.

Harding lets the line out during these moments of solitude and lets the minds of the characters (as well as his writing) roam free. Here’s a lovely example:

And as the ax bites into the wood, be comforted in the fact that the ache in your heart and the confusion in your soul means that you are still alive, still human, and still open to the beauty of the world, even though you have done nothing to deserve it. And when you resent the ache in your heart, remember: You will be dead and buried soon enough.

It’s a relatively quick read and extremely rewarding. I highly recommend it. I think the next Pulitzer winner I’ll read will be The Known World by Edward P. Jones (2004’s winner).


1 Comment so far
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Hm… Looks like another book I’ll have to add to my “To-Read” list! Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Sarah

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