Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Tinkers

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio


by Paul Harding

Tinkers by Paul Harding X
Tinkers by Paul Harding
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2009, 192 pages
    Jan 2009, 192 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Stacey Brownlie

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

Protagonist George Crosby's love for repairing clocks is a prominent theme in Tinkers, which includes references to a fictional 1783 book called The Reasonable Horologist.

Horology encompasses both the science of measuring time and the art of making time pieces.  Thus, horologists include watchmakers, clockmakers, scholars, scientists and hobbyists.  Humans have long been concerned with recording the passage of time - from Stonehenge to calendar stones to sundials and atomic clocks*, civilizations have sought the most precise way to record time. Today, we can pull up the official United States time with just a few keystrokes!

There are numerous museums and libraries around the world devoted to horology and time-keeping instruments. One such is the National Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia, Pennsylvania which features regular exhibits, a library of horology materials and is home to the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC). Pennsylvania is also home to the Lititz Watch Technicum, which still trains students in the fine art of Swiss watch-making.

*Atomic clocks, considered the most accurate timepieces known,  use an atomic resonance frequency standard to keep time. Atomic clocks use the precise microwave signal that electrons emit when they change energy levels; they do not use radioactivity.  The first atomic clock was built in 1949 but apparently was not accurate.  The first accurate atomic clock, based on caesium-133, was built 6 years later by Louis Essen at the National Physical Laboratory in the UK.

Article by Stacey Brownlie

This article was originally published in January 2009, and has been updated for the January 2009 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Winter
    by Ali Smith
    "God was dead; to begin with." This first sentence of Winter perfectly sets up the dreamy journey ...
  • Book Jacket: A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    by Atia Abawi

    When you're a refugee, everyone has lost, at least for the time being... And the journey ...

  • Book Jacket: Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Eat the Apple
    Eat the Apple
    by Matt Young
    Truth is stranger than fiction. Matt Young's memoir tackles the space in between truth and ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano

    A charming, bighearted novel starring Auntie Poldi, Sicily's newest amateur sleuth.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Anatomy of a Miracle
    by Jonathan Miles

    A stunning novel that offers an exploration of faith, science and the meaning of life.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Balcony

The Balcony
by Jane Delury

A century-spanning novel-in-stories of a French village brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One N U G

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.