Tin Man by Sarah Winman – An Achingly Beautiful Novel for your Next Book Club Pick
26th July, 2017
A story of love and friendship that undergoes the test of time.
Tin Man is the story of three friends – Ellis, Michael and Annie. We see Ellis as a lonely man at first. Then we are thrown into the good times that Ellis and Michael spent together as the best of friends which could have become something more than just friendship. After that, we are plunged to another world where Ellis and Annie are together. The book fills in the reader with all the details that happened in between these three crucial points in the characters’ lives.
A Mosaic of Literary Delight
Sarah Winman has a charming writing style which is a mosaic of different techniques. It is poetic at some places, raw at others; fragmentary at some places and detailed at others. Overall, this gives a very interesting mixture of literary delight that a reader will be thrilled to be part of. The book is written in third person and tells Ellis’ story in the first half. In the second half, the narration shifts to a first person POV of Michael. This change in narration brings in a whole new dimension to the story. We see the intricacies of relationships, tragedies that befall lives and the pain of living after a loss.
Themes and Hiccups
Love is the major theme of the novel – familial love, heterosexual love, homosexual love, unrequited love, love among friends and even love among neighbours and co-workers. Sarah Winman describes her characters in few words but she makes their flaws stand out in a striking way that one cannot help admiring the ‘human-ness’ in them. Even minor characters like Mr. Khan make a huge impact in the mind of the reader in the few scenes that he is part of. It was heart breaking to follow Ellis through his loves and life; and how he tries to be at peace with his past.
I really enjoyed the book and was captured by its magic. The feeling the novel evokes in a reader is similar to that of First Love by Gwendoline Riley and Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. There is a lot to ‘read between the lines’ and to revisit in your mind after you finish the book. But perhaps since it reminded me so strongly about Riley’s and Barnes’ novels, I was slightly disappointed because I liked Tin Man lesser than those two. Some scenes fell flat for me and I wasn’t moved by them in the novel. I would say Tin Man isn’t a book for everyone, but it is a sad and moving one that will haunt you for a long time.
A Dream-like Ending
I loved how the book ended. It felt like a dream when I read the last word. Each of the characters can be a person we know in our real life. Or maybe all of them exist inside us, constantly in a state of unrest inside our turbulent emotions. There is so much to write about this book and yet I am at a loss for words. This book would make an excellent pick for a book club read because it opens up a plethora of topics to discuss about.
Final Verdict :
Tin Man talks about love and loss and being at peace with one’s past. This would be a good pick for those who are looking for a book that has layers, but be warned it is an achingly beautiful story.
Title : Tin Man
Author : Sarah Winman
Publisher : Tinder Press
Language : English
Pages : 208
Rating : 3.5/5
Disclaimer : Much thanks to Tinder Press for a copy of the book. All opinions are my own.
Have you read Tin Man?