Tin Man

Tin Man

A Novel

eBook - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"Shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year Award "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 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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2018
Edition: First U.S. edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780735218758
Branch Call Number: FICTION Win
Description: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

Related Resources


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Mar 18, 2020

This book was was comforting, sorrowful and beautiful all at the same time. I felt like I was being held by the author as I was reading it. The story is so simple yet so complicated and the written prose is so beautiful sometimes you need to read a sentence again to appreciate its delicacy. It was a quick read but it stayed with me for days afterwards because the characters and their relationships are so raw and intricate. It's a story of love and loss and how to cope with both in an unpredictable and lonely world.

IndyPL_ChaseM Jan 03, 2020

The first, and best, word I think of after reading Sarah Winman's "Tin Man" is "quiet." This a story of two young boys who develop a strong bond of friendship and love. Their relationship evolves as one of them meets and marries a woman, and the couple and their friend remain a tight trio until he fades out of their lives to live his own elsewhere. What Winman has essentially written is a story of love, loss, and moving forward. The story is emotional and comforting, delivering a soft narrative of the lives of a handful of people. This book is a quick read, but the characters will stay on your mind well after finishing it.

ArapahoeAnnaL Mar 04, 2019

A beautiful heartfelt book about friendship and love. Haunted in parts by the Aids epidemic of the 1980's.

ArapahoeMaryA Feb 27, 2019

Tin man is a melancholy, non-linear meander through a lifetime of love. Tender, atmospheric and lyrical – this will not appeal to those drawn to plot-driven, action-packed reads.

Jan 09, 2019

People. Prose. A story of the complexities of lifelong love and friendship.

ArapahoeJulieH Dec 14, 2018

A beautiful story of love, grief, friendship and the power of art. Tin Man is a short but emotionally powerful novel written with empathy and sensitivity. I look forward to reading more of Sarah Winman in the future.

Sep 30, 2018

A quiet novel explores what friendship and love is, and how you learn to survive when people you love die.

ArapahoeLesley Jul 10, 2018

This is a tiny book that is filled with tons of heart. A strong character study, this story comes together like hazy memories half remembered one moment and then slam, hitting you in the gut the next. Lyrical, atmospheric and resonating.

VaughanPLAlyssia Jul 04, 2018

A beautiful little novel, the kind you read in one sitting. Tuck yourself away with a blanket and a cup of tea because this one is a tearjerker. It’s not really a love story but it is about love (and loss, and growth, and loneliness). Your heart will ache for everyone in it, though I would have liked to stick with Ellis’s POV as I found it the most affecting. I do wish Michael’s story was different (can a gay man be happy for once?) but that’s a personal preference. Overall it’s a touching little package of heartbreak.

Jun 26, 2018

This is first and foremost a love story. And therefore, it's also about loss, pain, joy and heartbreak. Since I do not read "romances" I've had to open a new shelf for this one, "affairs of the heart". I may come to regret doing so, but we shall see.
But why only 3 1/2 stars? I suppose partly because I'm not a romantic, so chalk that up to a failing on my part. But I also have other complaints. To begin with, it took a very long time for the book to grasp and hold my attention; I re-read the first 40 pages TWICE before I was able to pick up the thread and make sense of it. The opening looked promising, with the significance of the sunflower painting as a hook -- but then it wandered off in several other directions and I lost interest in all of the characters. The abrupt changes in focus between characters didn't work for me. And the wrap-up at the end came across as contrived. All of which is too bad because the unique emotional set-up among the three principal characters was truly wonderful, almost saving the book. And Winman's evocation of place and setting and atmosphere through sound, light, smells and memories is outstanding. One last comment: her metaphor of heart break as the gentle fall of a swallow will stay with me for a very long time.

View All Comments


Add a Quote
ArapahoeAnnaL Mar 04, 2019

I'd never felt more myself. Or more in tune to what I was and what I was capable of. A moment of authenticity when fate and blueprint collide and everything is not only possible , but within arm's reach. And I fell in love. Madly, nonintoxicatingly so. I think he may have, too. Just for a moment. But I never really knew.

ArapahoeMaryA Feb 27, 2019

And I wonder what the sound of a heart breaking might be. And I think it might be quiet, unperceptively so, and not dramatic at all. Like the sound of an exhausted swallow falling gently to earth.

There's something about first love, isn't there? she said. It's untouchable to those who played no part in it. But it's the measure of all that follows.

Men and boys should be capable of beautiful things.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings

LibraryThing Series Information


Find it at CRRL

To Top