Tinkers, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


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. Heartbreaking and life affirming, TINKERS is an elegiac meditation on love, loss, and the fierce beauty of nature.


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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Instead of a short book, this is really like one long prose poem - one to savour and read slowly. Some of the passages are beautiful and made me want to hold them in my memory or write them down somewhere. I enjoyed the interweaving of three generations into one story and the way in which the natural world; trees, forest and countryside, came through so strongly. I have to confess that at times I just had to let the words wash over me as I couldn't follow all the nuances and confusing angles. Well worth another read I think.

Review by

Not a bad little story at all. And short. Short is good.