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

So begins Tinkers by Paul Harding and boy oh boy. How do I say this?

How do I say a book sucks?

How do I dare say that something someone worked on, putting their heart and soul into for months and maybe years and managed to find an agent and a publisher and got it finally out there and received accolades and a Pulitzer Prize and how dare I say it sucks?


It’s awful.

Or maybe I’m not deep enough or smart enough to plumb the depths of this tiny little white book about a guy dying and dreaming of his dead father. Or maybe, kinda like feeding caviar to a puppy, it was just wasted on me- but I just didn’t get it.

I kept waiting and reading and wanting the story to build, for it to do something other than simply chronicle George’s death. But it didn’t.

It sucked.

Next on the dog pile- Continental Drift by Russell Banks

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