Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tinkers by Paul Harding



You are walking the woods in winter. Milky sunlight seeps through the bare trees as you plod down the trail. The crunch-thud of snow under your boots the only sound disturbing the birds. You stumble across an old, rotten suitcase frozen in the snow. You know it is too heavy to lift because it's full of scattered images,  memories and the mysterious stuff that holds the Universe together. You look on it and weep. You walk away from it feeling strangely uplifted, like you've been gifted with a glimpse behind the curtain of reality, and what you saw there was wonderous.

That's as close as my clumsy words can get to the essence of this novel. It's powerful stuff. Some of Harding's sentences run a bit long, -for two pages at times- and can leave the reader  mentally winded, but it's an exhilarating workout. This is Paul Harding's first book. I can't wait for his next one.

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