Krishna Chaitanya M
3rd Person, Non-Linear
Tin Man is Sarah Winman’s third novel, but my first one from her. This book is set in Oxford and is about two childhood friends told from both their perspectives. It is a book about desire, love, loneliness, friendship and layers of human emotions during different stages of life.
The first half is about Ellis’s life, told in third person narration. Ellis, a boy who has a strong interest in art, and is encouraged by his mother. But after his mother dies, his father forces him to quit school and work for a car plant. His friendship with Michael, who comes to live with his grandmother in Oxford, grows stronger during this period. Their relation slowly evolves into more than friendship. This relation forms the major theme of this book. Later, Ellis marries Annie, and three of them forms an unusual bond as a family.
The second half is Michael’s journal, which explains his life when he is in London, far from Ellis & Annie. It mostly describes his reflections on past, while caring his former lover in hospital, now dying of AIDS.
Though this book is filled with emotions, it is light and quick read. It is well-written, well-imagined and a moving prose.
What I like about this book:
Simple and short narration with different perspective for the same (almost) feeling both the protagonists had.
Quotes from the book:
“I’m broken by my need for others. By the erotic dance of memory that pounces when loneliness falls.”
“..How the numbness in my fingertips travelled to my heart and I never even knew it.
I had crushes, I had lovers, I had orgasms. My trilogy of desire, I liked to call it, but I'd no great love after him, not really. Love and sex became separated by a wide river and one the ferryman refused to cross.”
“That was the world he inhabited between the time of it happening and the time of him knowing. A brief window, not yet shattered, when music still stirred, when beer still tasted good, when dreams could still be hatched at the sight of a plane careering across a perfect summer sky.”
My Ratings (of 5):