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Tinkers (Anglais) Broché – 1 janvier 2009

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Broché, 1 janvier 2009
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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"Tinkers is truly remarkable. It achieves and sustains a unique fusion of language and perception. Its fine touch plays over the textured richnesses of very modest lives, evoking again and again a frisson of deep recognition, a sense of primal encounter with the brilliant, elusive world of the senses. It confers on the reader the best privilege fiction can afford, the illusion of ghostly proximity to other human souls" (Marilynne Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gilead and Home)

"Prepare to be seduced...Sometimes a novel beguiles from the opening sentence. Paul Harding's seductive Pulitzer-winning debut does precisely that in a rare narrative of laconic grace and philosophical practicality...This little novel is a wonder; its tone, poised between the conversational and the formal, is quietly insistent...Not only has Harding written a life story re-created through a series of dream-like flashbacks; he also demonstrates the exciting possibilities of narrative through his use of time shifts, wordplay, voices and changing viewpoints. His choice of words is emphatic, precise and physical...The grace of it appears so effortless; it is easy to overlook the technical skill, the shimmering movements and the use of clockwork mechanisms as a device. The story and the stories within it flow like water over stones...Something sacred and strange and wise beyond belief, beyond mere understanding itself, sustains Harding's tale of one man's death travels deep into the mystery of life and living" (Irish Times)

"A wonderful, lyrical evocation of life in the backwoods of New England...Harding's "little novel", though modest in word count and page numbers, is anything but small...Harding's genius is his prose, incantatory as poetry, sure in its rhythm and balance, a wonderfully confident, singsong reiteration of the mundane details of three lifetimes of struggle against the poverty and climatic ferocity of the backwoods of New England. Modest in size, Tinkers is a triumphant exercise in American pastoralism, in which no seedhead, blade of grass or pebble is unworthy of notice. Harding's response to the natural world has that sharpness of focus John Ruskin once implored from the artists of the Pre-Raphaelite movement in their paintings. Like the Pre-Raphaelites' vision of nature, it has the same effect of irradiating the commonplace with intimations of greatness and divine grandeur...It is a beautiful, moving and elegiac lament on the human condition couched in hypnotic prose" (The Times)

"Tinkers is not just a novel - though it is a brilliant novel. It's an instruction manual on how to look at nearly everything...Read this book and marvel" (Elizabeth McCracken)

"Tinkers is a remarkable piece of work" (Barry Unsworth) --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

Présentation de l'éditeur

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 7 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. Tinkers is about the legacy of consciousness and the porousness of identity from one generation the next. At once heartbreaking and life affirming, it is an elegiac meditation on love, loss, and the fierce beauty of nature.

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Format: Broché
I know I'm spozed to like this book. It's a Pulitzer Prize winner and I've read them all, just to know what other more erudite and specialized folks consider great literature. I tried; I really tried. Gave it my undivided attention. But reading this book was a painful and depressing experience. Please, please spare me...!!

Unsympathetic narrator, unwieldy flash-backs and flash-forwards. Banal dialogue, cardboard characters who are not nice people, plot barely credible. Thank heavens it's short. It made me wonder about the writer... and about the Pulitzer jury. It does represent a certain trend of historical realism literature. But reading Tinkers will give you a Big Blues book hangover for a week.
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Our book club picked this b/c of it's recent prize, but honestly... I just can't get into it. It was long. Very very long. There was no story to be drawn into, even if the writer clearly has a way with words. Words alone, are not enough to keep me interested. I quit the book after 80 pages, of which I regret reading 60, because I knew almost instantly that this book was not for me. I just wanted so much to like this book, but didn't.

I wanted to *find the events* in the book, but simply couldn't! It was a lot of reflection, and pondering, and memory, and this and that and the other but nothing seemed to happen that led me down a path. I felt like I was just meandering through two character's memories, bored to tears all the while.

Certain things flat out annoyed me. I found it slightly pretentious to assume that I would read 10 pages of a seemingly pointless (well, to me it was without real meaning), hallucination, for example. 10 PAGES. Really? Ugh. That was rough. I just kept thinking, "jesus, get ON with it".

I think readers who enjoy REEEALLYYYYYY taking their time to get to know characters and who don't mind when authors ramble as long as there's a pretty passage on each page, will enjoy this book.

I suppose I just really enjoy when a book *grabs* me, and then *shakes* me, then *slaps me in the face*, then *tells me to run!* you know? This book was massaging my back and whispering a lullaby, and occasionally saying "shhhhhhh... sleeeeeppppp" lol.

I enjoy page-turners. This is the exact OPPOSITE of that. Every single page I had to tell myself "turn the page, go on, don't give up, not yet".
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les derniers jours de George Crosby, les souvenirs se bousculent: son père colporteur Howard, les horloges, le grand père prédicateur, les forêts de Nouvelle Angleterre, la nature.. Poétique, méditatif, superbe...
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x90d19750) étoiles sur 5 445 commentaires
176 internautes sur 187 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x90c09b64) étoiles sur 5 Promising First Novel 25 avril 2010
Par Richard Pittman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Tinkers was a well reviewed first novel and I think it is a very promising debut. Its recent Pulitzer Prize win was shocking to many as it wasn't on the radar of most critics or pundits. I liked Tinkers but think that awarding it the Pulitzer was overdoing it a bit. It's certainly not even close to the worst novel to win the prize but again I think, for me, it's a level below the really good Pulitzer Prize winners.

The maddening thing about reading this novel is that it has the parts to be brilliant. The characters are vivid. Some of the story lines are inspired. I clearly felt the sadness of some of the characters and ultimately their desperation.

The basic story line is that George Washington Crosby is near death and looking back at his life. For the largest and by far best section of the novel, George is a young boy. He reminisces about life as a child but we also see this period from his father's point of view. His father, Howard, is the most compelling character in the novel and the one I had the most affection for.

Howard is a man of little means with the heart of a poet. He scrapes together a living by travelling around the rural backroads with his strange wagon of diverse wares. Howard suffers from epilepsy and this is a burden both to himself and his family. His son George and wife Kathleen both bear him some ill will for his affliction. The readers feel Howard's sadness and desperation.

George grows up to be a fairly normal man who has a family and later in life makes a lot of money fixing old clocks. He has a passion for tinkering with clocks and with hoarding the money he makes from this endeavour.

As mentioned, I think several of the storylines are brilliant.

For me, the book has two major flaws which wrongly or rightly, I'll attribute to it being a first novel. The style is quite overdone. His descriptions are long and though quite poetic, description occupies far too much space in the book. These parts feel like the writings of a college student. Lots of similes, metaphors and meditations. This is meant to augment the story and I believe it detracts.

The second flaw is that the stories are incomplete. This usually doesn't trouble me as I don't mind loose ends. In this case, there was a lot more elaboration on the key characters and stories that could have been done. This is a very short book and I think the core could have sustained a longer and more fully realized novel.

I thought Tinkers was very promising and I definitely look forward to Harding's next work but I really thought it had flaws that you could classify as overexuberant.

I recommend Tinkers but with reservations.
351 internautes sur 394 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x90c09bb8) étoiles sur 5 Another Excellent Pulitzer Winner 20 avril 2010
Par Mark Wilson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
While the Booker committee has made a habit of laying eggs of late, the Pulitzer has selected an impressive collection of literary gems. Marilynne Robinson's Gilead, Cormac McCarthy's The Road, Edward Jones' The Known World, Junot Diaz's Oscar Wao and, now, Paul Harding's Tinkers represent what great literature is all about.

I was only 20 pages into this book when I felt the overwhelming presence of Marilynne Robinson. Lo and behold, upon reading a Wikipedia entry on the author I found that he studied with Robinson at the Iowa Writers Workshop. The similarities with Gilead are strong, but not obtrusively so. I would categorize Tinkers as a more experimentally daring Gilead, or perhaps a more transcendental Gilead. The narrative is more disjointed in keeping with the protagonist's hallucinatory final illness, so the experimental nature is not gratuitous. And while Gilead was chock full of good ol' conventional Sunday religion, Tinkers tends to be more mystical and perhaps a bit more melancholy.

So who should read this excellent novel? Here you will find no explosions, no cosmic battles, no schools of magic, nobody scurrying about to solve cryptic ciphers. The cast of characters is small but deep; there's no major whodunit here. This is a family saga as told through the final, disjointed memories of a family patriarch in Maine. Like Gilead, the novel consists of the reminiscences of an old man nearing the end of his life. The narrative is not linear; it changes tense, perspective and tone with few signposts for the reader. But if you like a literary challenge, if you like the previous Pulitzer winners and if you enjoy poetic use of the English language along the lines of Marilynne Robinson, you will enjoy this novel. It's a major achievement.
72 internautes sur 79 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x90c09e94) étoiles sur 5 Another Pulitzer Winning Novel Set in Maine 17 avril 2010
Par Eric Selby - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Even here in Miami Beach in mid-April I found myself shuddering occasionally as I slowly moved through this remarkable small book, mine not yet identified as the winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Literature. A man is dying, his last hours ticking away in a hospital bed in the dining room of a house filled with clocks, for he has tinkered on them during his long life. He sees the world around him collapsing upon itself, the tiles of his life as meaningless, at least to future generations. And as he lies there, his kidneys almost functionless, he thinks about his father, an epileptic who was a door-to-door salesman in a fictional West Cove, Maine. The cover of this book is just so perfect: the life of the Crosby family is a bleak as is that part of the world in winter.
This may be a difficult book for some readers to get into because for a while one is provide with a richness of language that is not often found in current literature, as rich as the language of another novel set in Maine and also a Pulitzer winner, Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. What is it about Maine that gets all these Pulitzer novels? Before that Richard Russo's Empire Falls.
Paul Harding's artistry allows readers into the minds of its characters. George's mother wishes she could kill herself, an impoverished woman with four children, an epileptic husband, and isolated in this tragic setting. But the lake is too frozen for her to chop the hole that would allow her to drown. The reader shivers as he reads what she is thinking. And this is only one small piece of the mastery of Harding's language. And as I read this novel I thought about my maternal grandparents who lived atop a small mountain in northern Vermont living without electricity until their fiftieth wedding anniversary in the early fifties. My grandmother was as hard on her children as George's mother was on him and his siblings. But Harding helps one to get into the skin of women like that. This is incredible prose.
There is just something about Maine apparently. We should all be watching new novels coming out of there.
234 internautes sur 271 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x90c09d8c) étoiles sur 5 One of the best books I have read in years 27 décembre 2008
Par Joanna E Lawler - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I loved this book. Yes, as the reviews state, the writing is excellent, but more than that, the story and characters are amazing. It has the unique gift of being incredibly moving without being maudlin. You feel like you know the characters and they are part of your family. I am traditionally a mystery/suspense buff so I actually wasn't sure I would like this, but I was more than pleasantly surprised. It was one of those books you become jealous of the people who have not read it yet because you want to experience that feeling again. Don't miss this reading experience.
19 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x90c0b3f0) étoiles sur 5 When style gets in the way of substance 30 août 2011
Par Ripple - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Telling the story of an old man's dying memories including the hard life of his own father, a tinker in New England, "Tinkers" is never going to be a barrel of laughs. Instead first time novelist Paul Harding has produced in his Pulitzer Prize winning novel is an unashamedly literary piece of creative writing that sadly, for me, simply doesn't come together. True, there are some beautiful passages but only occasionally did the story itself grip and my over-riding impression was one of style over substance. It came over as a collection of very strong creative passages but the sum of the parts was less than satisfying.

Yes, it's clever in places, beautiful in others and there's no denying the skill of the writer in this short novel, but it simply didn't come over as a creative whole for me and some passages were just plain dull. The old man, George, has spent some of his time mending clocks and the time metaphor is simply too obvious and laboured to add to the tale and the choice to intersperse the story with passages from a, presumably fictitious, 1783 book on horology added nothing for me and there's an additional strange insertion about birds nests to boot. It's as if a collection of creative writing exercises are lumped together in only a loose way.

It hints at brilliance but, for me at least, misses the mark and I found it a frustrating read. What saves it slightly is the sometimes beautiful use of language. Perhaps it all went over my head a bit, but I found it both confusing and dull at times interspersed with moments where I was engrossed in it. It's not a book I'd rush to recommend.
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