So a few days ago I wrote about how brilliant Dracula‘s prose is and how the English language should have been killed then, to preserve it. Well…I just finished Paul Harding’s Tinkers and I have to take that back. Book is gorgeous.
Example from page 59: “Wind combed through the fir trees around the rim of the pond like a rumor, like the murmur of old men mutering about the storm behind the mountain…lightning crawled down the mountain and drank at the water, lapped the shallows with electric tongues, stunning bold-eyed frogs and small trout and silver minnows.”
The writing is strong in how it uses metaphors to encircle the moment. Harding doesn’t compare things to obscure things for the sake of doing it, for the sake of showing off. Harding compares things to similar things to build upon the story and push the reader into the next image. It reminds me of the stories at bearcreekfeed (probably my favorite online lit mag), though the subject is not dirty grander. This similarity gives me hope for the future of literature. Because while the language certainly isn’t as rich as the prose of Dracula or Maurice, the metaphor and the imagery is key, when combined with the inner workings of the characters, to the success of the work.
And I’m starting to find myself writing in this style. I’m extending my sentences with metaphors I wouldn’t have normally used. In doing this, I’m forced to consider the scene from another angle, wondering what kind of comparison I could use to give the reader an additional insight into a character’s perspective. So far, I think it’s an improvement.
The book is also stunning physically. Designer Bernard Schleifer did a tremendous job. Look:
The simplicity is stunning, a perfect compliment to the text. The book doesn’t need a flashy cover to stand out. And people who need a flashy cover to buy something really don’t deserve to read this.
In summary: BUY IT AND READ IT.