WYR: Like Father, Like Son

Some weeks I’m itching for a good mystery. Others I’m craving an emotional roller coaster. Or fantasy. Or historical fiction. Or goodness knows what. It might be brand new or something ancient or anywhere in between. In any case, it’s nice to share, so …

What’s Your Read?

“George Washington Crosby began to hallucinate eight days before he died.”

As far as first sentences go, this one is just about as good as it gets. It grabbed my attention right away while setting up the nature of this novel perfectly. I point this out, because I appreciate knowing when I’m going to be punched in the gut.

I know Tinkers has the serious potential to rip my heart out thanks to that first sentence (and the short description on the back cover). The main character is on his deathbed surrounded by his family in the home he built with his own two hands. How can this possibly not be making me cry (admittedly, not much of a challenge for a book) by page five?

George does hallucinate, and the cancer isn’t messing around. The present blends with the past to reunite him with his father, Howard. Back and forth we go between father and son. Back and forth between reality and hallucination. History, family, passions, habits, annoyances. Everything that we tinker with and everything that tinkers with us. All of it is mixed up in George’s final days, making the story devastating, humorous, surreal, and even spooky in its imitation of life.

Yeah, I’ll probably sob, but along the way, I’m smirking, cringing, caring, and thinking. There’s love and loss, adventure and mediocrity, fear and joy, angst and catharsis. Everything that life has to offer. Like George laid out in a hospital bed where the dining room table should be, I know what’s coming to some degree, but the journey is well worth having to say goodbye in the end.

Tinkers by Paul Harding

Tinkers by Paul Harding

  Have a suggestion for my next read? What’s yours?

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