Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Thoughts on Paul Harding's Tinkers

So after admiting publicly yesterday my failings as a fall reader. I got serious. The 181 page paperback copy of Tinkers, the most recent pulitzer prize winning novel was sitting beside my bed.

I had started reading it in August and I suppose got distracted, so I back tracked about 40 pages (I had been at 130) to page 90 and last night my wife and I had "quiet home coffee shop reading time." We sat in our living room reading.

And I caught up from where I was reading from page 90 to 181 in a couple hours.

So it's with this, preface that I share just a few thoughts on Paul Harding's award winning debut novel, Tinkers.


It's not surprising that this book hit the sight of Pulitzer voters, as Paul Harding like many past fiction winners comes from the Iowa Writers' Workshop that has previously awarded Phillip Roth, Michael Cunningham, Marilyn Robinson, and Robert Penn Warren (to name a few).

But I don't hold that against Harding, at the same time...I did not neccesarily love this book as much as I might have hoped to. The prose is generally well crafted and in fact the many passages, often disjointed are usually engaging, especially when it was the heart of the narrative, which is really a back-flash of the story of the main character's life as a child with his father (George and his father Howard).

The present day story is more "modern story telling" in it's feeling, but the action and narrative is less engaging.

And then finally least engaging of all to me was some of the creative prose that sprinkled the novel in various sections. Some sections created this poetic definitions of what would seem to be imaginary constelations built around the word borealis. And maybe I just didn't "get it" but this artistic endeavor was lost on me, and I tend to consider myself a poetic and artistic thinker.

So, that being said...perhaps if I was engaged in some deep discussins with the author I could be wowed by this book, but generally I just found it okay, and often times a little uncertain of where it was going or what it was trying to ultimatly convey.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Sounds good! I'm going to check this out!