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The Arsonist
One of our most elegant and engrossing novelists at her inimitable best.
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Tink: Guilty or not guilty?

Created: 07/27/14

Replies: 14

Posted Jul. 27, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 560

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Tink: Guilty or not guilty?

Is Tink guilty or not?


Posted Jul. 29, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 68

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RE: Tink: Guilty or not guilty?

Who knows. We really have little information on what the evidence against him might be, other than some details to which we are given alternative explanation (the kerosene. The reason he was at the Rowley's house). This "mystery" was by far the weakest part of the story.


Posted Jul. 29, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
judyw

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 26

RE: Tink: Guilty or not guilty?

I agree with laurap. I do think he was guilty, but very little actual evidence of the crime was given--just nuances. Indeed, an entire book could be written about Tink's issues and reasonings which caused them.


Posted Jul. 30, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
gretchenm

Join Date: 06/04/12

Posts: 7

RE: Tink: Guilty or not guilty?

Probably. Lots of loose ends for this theme in the book.


Posted Jul. 30, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
christinep

Join Date: 07/16/13

Posts: 26

RE: Tink: Guilty or not guilty?

I don't think it was Tink. I think he was forced into a confession. I kept wondering if it was town cop. He had a chip on his shoulder about the summer people and I feel it was easy for him to frame Tink.


Posted Jul. 30, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
cynthiad

Join Date: 11/25/12

Posts: 23

RE: Tink: Guilty or not guilty?

I would've hated to be on his jury. He seemed to fit the pattern, but I was not convinced.


Posted Aug. 01, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kenanr

Join Date: 02/20/14

Posts: 8

RE: Tink: Guilty or not guilty?

More to the point - who cares? Tink was not a fleshed out character at all. Interesting that the arson component of a book called The Arsonist would be the least compelling plot point.


Posted Aug. 03, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
tracyb

Join Date: 09/22/11

Posts: 29

RE: Tink: Guilty or not guilty?

i agree with Christinep that it could very likely be the town cop. All those times that he took Tink somewhere, we don't even know where they really went were very suspicious?


Posted Aug. 07, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
beckyh

Join Date: 05/08/11

Posts: 41

RE: Tink: Guilty or not guilty?

I don't think he was guilty, but I really have no reason besides a "gut feeling" for that opinion. We know so little about him tha it is impossible to tell. I think it is just as likely that the first was an accident and the rest of the fires were set by copy cats, either pranking (?) teens or disgruntled townies. There was a great deal of undeclared animosity between the townies and the summer folk. I know people on both sides of the "summer folk/town folk" issue and taxes, volunteer firemen, money, class, who uses the library, stores that close in the winter, all these and more are issues that can be very divisive.


Posted Aug. 09, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 248

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RE: Tink: Guilty or not guilty?

I have a problem thinking of Tink as quilty. He is an outsider and odd and not awfully bright but from what was said about him I see no particular reason for him to do it. I do not have an alternative candidate either but sort of feel that it could have been more than one person. I think that the non-resolution of this mystery though sort of frustrating was also what made the book stick in my mind and perhaps is a lesson learned that all mysteries are not solved tidily as they are in most books.


Posted Aug. 12, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
keizerfire

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 13

RE: Tink: Guilty or not guilty?

I couldn't tell. At first I thought the author was making him a sympathetic character, but then nothing happened. There was really no clues other than the blatant situational ones that even put him near the scene.


Posted Aug. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
judyb

Join Date: 10/20/10

Posts: 19

RE: Tink: Guilty or not guilty?

I agree with Laura P. that the unresolved mystery of who set the fires is a major weak point of the story. Maybe the author's purpose in not establishing who set the fires is meant to be a lesson to readers, the same lesson that Bud muses about when he later sees Tink around town: "The lesson was there were things you had to let go of, losses and mysteries you had to learn to live with." Well, maybe, but the arsonist and his(?) fires created most of the tension and fear in the story--I really worried throughout about all of the characters, hoping they would not be harmed--and I felt let down not to know the who and wherefores. I love, love, love Sue Miller's books, but this one is definitely not my favorite!


Judy
Posted Aug. 18, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 74

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RE: Tink: Guilty or not guilty?

In the end, it didn't matter to me. I like a certain amount of ambiguity in the books I read, and the question of Tink's guilt or innocence was certainly that. But, that begs the question that was asked, so to answer that, I don't think Tink as presented has the planning skills to carry out the fires. The police took advantage of his limited capacity to coerce a confession. Gavin on the other hand...


Posted Sep. 03, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jeann

Join Date: 11/14/11

Posts: 42

RE: Tink: Guilty or not guilty?

I have changed my mind so many times. I would say that he is guilty. Then, I think of how he was interrogated until he may have just given in and said he did it. There is circumstantial evidence that would indicate that he was indeed the arsonist. But, there was no proof. I would have to say that I am not convinced either way. The author did not give the answer and I can't decide what I think. I've changed my mind several times. A couple of readers mentioned the town cop. I can see how he would be a suspected as the guilty one. I honestly didn't think of the town cop until a couple other readers mentioned him and it did make me wonder. Was he resentful of the summer people? Was that his motive if he did it?
I would have liked to have found out by the last page~ just go ahead and tell us who did it. But, this was true to life~ so many cases are unsolved mysteries. It's awful to think that Tink is not guilty and he is sitting in jail for something he didn't do. Who knows?


Posted Sep. 04, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 45

RE: Tink: Guilty or not guilty?

I agree with the person who said "does it matter. " some books don't have everything explained just as life itself. Arson find fill a roll in the story as a social problem to compare with the personal differences in the family.


Pegh

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