Tinkers by Paul Harding


9 Critic Reviews

The real star is Harding's language...This is an especially gorgeous example of novelistic craftsmanship.
-Publishers Weekly


Pulitzer Prize Winner and New York Times Bestseller

“There are few perfect debut American novels. . . . To this list ought to be added Paul Harding’s devastating first book, Tinkers. . . . Harding has written a masterpiece.” —NPR

“In Paul Harding’s stunning first novel, we find what readers, writers and reviewers live for.” —San Francisco Chronicle

Tinkers is truly remarkable.” —Marilynne Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Home, Gilead, and Housekeeping

An old man lies dying. Propped up in his living room and surrounded by his children and grandchildren, George Washington Crosby drifts in and out of consciousness, back to the wonder and pain of his impoverished childhood in Maine. As the clock repairer’s time winds down, his memories intertwine with those of his father, an epileptic, itinerant peddler and his grandfather, a Methodist preacher beset by madness. At once heartbreaking and life affirming, Tinkers is an elegiac meditation on love, loss, illness, faith, and the fierce beauty of nature.

Paul Harding is the author of two novels about multiple generations of a New England family: the Pulitzer Prize-winning Tinkers and Enon. He has taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Harvard University, and Grinnell College. He now lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two sons.

About Paul Harding

See more books from this Author
PAUL HARDING is the author of the novel Tinkers, which won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His second novel, Enon, will be published by Random House in 2013. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the PEN American Robert Bingham Fellowship for Writers. He was a fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center, in Provincetown, MA and has taught at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Harvard University, and Grinnell College.

Author Residence: Georgetown, Massachusetts - outside Boston

Author Hometown: Wenham, Massachusetts
Published January 1, 2009 by Bellevue Literary Press. 192 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Self Help, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Parenting & Relationships. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Tinkers
All: 9 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 4

Publishers Weekly

on Mar 08 2016

The real star is Harding's language...This is an especially gorgeous example of novelistic craftsmanship.

Read Full Review of Tinkers | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly


Above average
Reviewed by Alfred Hickling on Jan 14 2011

Harding's debut novel won a Pulitzer prize – whether you concur with the judges' decision depends on your tolerance for outbreaks of whimsical onomatopoeia ("The tinkle of tin sibilant, tiny beneath the lid of the boreal forest") interspersed with dry inclusions from an 18th-century horological primer...

Read Full Review of Tinkers | See more reviews from Guardian


Reviewed by Jay Parini on Sep 24 2010

It remains to be seen where Paul Harding, surely a gifted writer, will go from here. But Tinkers is worth any reader's time. It's an astringent meditation on loss, family ties, and the presence of the past...

Read Full Review of Tinkers | See more reviews from Guardian


Below average
Reviewed by Kristin Wilson on Sep 13 2011

Tinkers was a hard novel to read through. I read it until the end, hoping for the story to intensify a bit. Rather, the plot stayed flat while the abundant prose filled the pages.

Read Full Review of Tinkers


Above average
Reviewed by Jillian Hoyt on Dec 28 2010

Tinkers is certainly not light reading, but those that are willing to make the effort will be rewarded with a thoughtful, beautifully written perspective on life.

Read Full Review of Tinkers

The Telegraph

Reviewed by Peter Scott on Aug 18 2010

Among the many triumphs of this novel, Harding enables a reader to look at the world differently, without the things that normally encumber experience. Tinkers is a considerable achievement.

Read Full Review of Tinkers

Christian Science Monitor

Reviewed by Marjorie Kehe on May 21 2010

“Tinkers” is slow to boil. Its feel is anything but commercial. Perhaps that’s why it was so slow to find a publisher – and so quick to earn a prize.

Read Full Review of Tinkers


Above average
Reviewed by Mark Flanagan on Mar 09 2016

Tinkers swept up rave reviews in 2009 as well as the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, but despite Harding’s deft hand, the novel came across as more of a series of confused (wonderfully written) vignettes than a cohesively compelling story.

Read Full Review of Tinkers

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

Reviewed by Doug Bruns on May 27 2011

It won the Pulitzer. Deservedly so. At a time when a thinking person might despair over the crassness and commercialization of, well, of virtually everything that matters, one finds hope and its reward in the tale of such talent realized. Indeed, all is not lost.

Read Full Review of Tinkers

Reader Rating for Tinkers

An aggregated and normalized score based on 544 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review