Out of all the prizes I follow there are two I usually make an effort to follow and buy the winning novel. One is The Man Booker Prize and the other is The Pulitzer for fiction and lately I’ve been warming more to the latter.
Tinkers focuses on George , an old man who is slowly dying and remembering his past, mostly his relationship with his epileptic father, Howard. Thus this is a story told in flashbacks with some jumps into present. During the last 30 years of his life George repaired antique clocks and thus was a ‘tinker’. His father sold odds and sods to country people and he falls under the name ‘tinker’ as well.
After one particularly bad fit George’s father decides to leave home , something which George can’t get over (and it’s at this point that Howard starts to think about his own father) and it bothers him until a final flashback puts everything into perspective.
Harding does a great job of integrating the theme of time into George’s and Howard’s life and for some strange reason I thought a lot of Steinbeck during these passages. The descriptions of the country are simply beautiful and intricate. Plus the fact the book is barely 200 pages long makes it a pleasurable one sit read.
Maybe I am going to exaggerate but I feel that Tinkers has ‘future classic’ written all over it? anyone agree?