08 August 2017

Review: Tin Man by Sarah Winman

* Copy courtesy of Hachette Australia *

Tin Man by Sarah Winman is about the relationship between Ellis and Michael, and what happens when Ellis meets 'the one' in Annie. The first part of the book unfolds from the perspective of Ellis, and it's a slow, quiet and personal reflection on the past while revealing his present loneliness and grief.

The second half of the book is narrated by Michael under the guise of writing a journal, which didn't work in my opinion.

The narrative in both sections jumped around in time and despite a handful of helpful chapter headings, I never fell into the flow of the novel. I understand that when we reflect on the past, our memories drift around from decade to decade, but in this case I wanted the author to lead me down a more chronological path.

While on the topic of writing style, Sarah Winman doesn't use quotation marks in Tin Man. I always find this style of writing irritating, and while I have seen it work in other novels (Cloudstreet for instance), sadly it was just confusing here.

The atmosphere of Tin Man reminded me of one of my favourite books of all time, Stoner by John Williams, but where Stoner succeeds in its perfection, Tin Man falls short. The ending left many things undone, including what happens to Ellis. 

Tin Man is receiving a lot of hype at the moment, and I understand why readers are being moved by the story - some even to tears - but it was just too disjointed for me. 

My rating = ***

Carpe Librum!

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