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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Good Words: 'Tinkers'

On occasion, posting an excerpt from an ongoing read is done only to highlight the lovely language. For example, there is this from the early part of Paul Harding's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Tinkers:

When he imagined the inside of that clock (an 1801 walnut-cased grandfather's clock), dark and dry and hollow, and the still pendulum hanging down its length, he felt the inside of his own chest and had a sudden panic that it, too, had wound down.

When his grandchildren had been little, they had asked if they could hide inside the clock. Now he wanted to gather them and open himself up and hide them among his ribs and faintly ticking heart. (pp. 33-34)
I love this passage for its haunting portrait in miniature of a man who is dying. This is what it must feel like for someone who knows what is happening to him, and who has lived with love.


  1. What a beautiful passage! I got to page 75 and decided to put Tinkers aside... it was a case of right book, wrong time I think. Will give it another try at some point.

  2. That right book, wrong time happens to me as well. I do try to go back to books and have had rewarding experiences when I actually did it.

    Good to see you!