Tin Man: A Novel (Paperback)
One of the most overlooked books from last year, and hands down one of the best I've read. Beautifully written, Tin Man is a study of lives and what might have been if circumstances had been different. The story is narrated by two childhood friends: Ellis, artist by nature and "tin man" in real life, banging out dents in car bodies at the pland and Michael, wanderer and writer, still searching for his real life as he is slowly losing his life to AIDS. This is a story of deep friendship, unrequitted love, and the loneliness of being unable to have what you cannot.— Lyn
Summer 2019 Reading Group Indie Next List
“A beautiful, gentle, lulling story of friendship, love, loss, and loyalty. Winman’s keen insight and his ability to welcome the reader into the intimate, real, and at times quite painful lives of Michael, Ellis, Annie, Dora, and Mabel are a rare gift. Tin Man, which spans from 1950 to 1996, is beautifully set in the small town of Oxford, outside of London, and includes jaunts to Provence. The moment I read the final words of this short gem, I turned back to the first page and began again.”
— Linda McLoughlin Figel, pages: a bookstore, Manhattan Beach, CA
"My favorite book of the year was Tin Man. Sparsely written and achingly beautiful...The most powerful take on love, loss and vulnerability I've read in years."—A Cup of Jo
From internationally bestselling author Sarah Winman comes an unforgettable and heartbreaking novel celebrating love in all its forms, and the little moments that make up the life of one man.
This is almost a love story. But it's not as simple as that.
Ellis and Michael are twelve-year-old boys when they first become friends, and for a long time it is just the two of them, cycling the streets of Oxford, teaching themselves how to swim, discovering poetry, and dodging the fists of overbearing fathers. And then one day this closest of friendships grows into something more.
But then we fast-forward a decade or so, to find that Ellis is married to Annie, and Michael is nowhere in sight. Which leads to the question: What happened in the years between?
With beautiful prose and characters that are so real they jump off the page, Tin Man is a love letter to human kindness and friendship, and to loss and living.
About the Author
Sarah Winman is the author of two previous novels, When God Was a Rabbit and A Year of Marvelous Ways. She grew up in Essex and now lives in London. She attended the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art and went on to act in theatre, film, and television.
Praise for Tin Man
One of Bustle's Best Fiction Books of 2018
A Finalist for the Indies Choice Award
A Finalist for the Ferro-Grumly Award for LGBTQ Fiction
Shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year Award
“Winman has crafted something of a small miracle here....The slow build of emotion and the cascade of quiet, well-earned tears are testament to how rich this meditation on love, art, loss and redemption truly is.”—The New York Times Book Review
“The most therapeutic emotional journey of the year.”—EW.com
“Half love story and half identity quest, Sarah Winman's Tin Man is 100 percent beautiful. It's the perfect book to completely drag you out of your own personal reality and into someone else's for a little while, and you'll find yourself reading it again and again.”—PopSugar
“A love story that will break your heart....You'll devour all 213 pages of Tin Man in one sitting, then wish for 213 more.”—HelloGiggles
“Plan to read it twice: first for the story, then to savor the beauty of the poetic symbolism threaded throughout the sparsely crafted prose.”—Shelf Awareness
“Laced with tenderness and kindness, Winman's latest novel is the story of three people and their lives of love, beauty and roads untaken....Rich in emotion and proves that great things do come in small packages.”—BookPage
“Affecting...[A] universalized fable of love and loss.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Complex characterization and emotional astonishments... These are real people, in all their anxieties and quirks, their good intentions and their unfortunate choices, just as we all are. And all this is an impressive accomplisment, even for a novelist who already seemed to know the truth about humanity by heart and could spill it onto the page with ease.”—The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
“A spare, physically small novel that feels epic... The book is filled, like brush strokes on canvas, with the quiet moments of kindness and true friendship that make up a life.”—Winnipeg Free Press
“[An] achingly beautiful novel about love and friendship...Without sentimentality or melodrama, Winman stirringly depicts how people either interfere with or allow themselves and others to follow their hearts.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Strong characters, settings, and ambiance mark Winman's unique and uniquely affecting story of love's varieties, phases, and ability to bend time.”—Booklist
“This is an astoundingly beautiful book. It drips with tenderness. It breaks your heart and warms it all at once.”—Matt Haig, author of How to Stop Time
“Each spare sentence as delicate as a brushstroke; combined they paint a vibrant, emotional work that will leave you enthralled. I was deeply moved.”—Steven Rowley, author of Lily and the Octopus
“A beautiful book—pared back and unsentimental, assured, full of warmth, and told with a kind of tenderness that makes you ache.”—Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
“Heart-breaking and heart-making.”—Ali Land, author of Good Me, Bad Me
“It's exquisite. There are stories you just feel privileged to read. Sarah's writing breaks you and heals you, all in the same moment, and I haven't been so moved, and so in love with a book and its characters in a very long time.”—Joanna Cannon, author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep
“Tin Man is Winman's best novel yet. The playful subversiveness still bubbles away but there's a new candor there, an acceptance of needs and flaws that proves deeply touching. This is storytelling as cruelly kind as fate itself.”—Patrick Gale, author of A Place Called Winter