Book Review: Tinkers By Paul Harding --- 3.5 Bookmarks
I wanted to like this book completely and warmly, like an old hand knit afghan. It's superbly written, and hence the lauded Pulitzer Prize for best fiction, 2010. It traces the mind of an elderly clockmaker on his death bed, and features a maze of present and past recollections, with ramblings through a lifetime for page after page. The prose is beautiful--eloquent, concise yet not abrupt--with images as vivid as a New England country sunset. But the story, for all it's hype, lacks one key element of timeless fiction: conflict. Even the bucolic television show, The Waltons, had a plot each week, not just family values and rustic locale; you know, like John Boy getting his first book published, or Mary Ellen getting knocked up or something. Well, Tinkers has none of that. All in all, a great debut novel from a gifted writer. I'm looking forward to his next book and hoping that it features a plot.