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The Tinsmith Paperback – March 6, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This ambitious novel, set partly during the battle of Antietam, one of the bloodiest of the Civil War, and partly in British Columbia two decades later, tells the story of a Union Army surgeon who enables a mysterious man, out of gratitude for his assistance on the battlefield, to flee his pursuers. Twenty years later and two thousand miles away, the surgeon discovers that the man has vanished, perhaps the victim of foul play; in trying to find out what happened to him, the surgeon discovers that his own past might provide the key to the mystery. Elegantly written, with characterizations and setting descriptions that paint vivid pictures in the mind, and battlefield depictions that rival those of The Red Badge of Courage for their haunting realism, this mix of historical novel and mystery should be recommended to all readers of Civil War fiction. --David Pitt

About the Author

Tim Bowling is the author of ten collections of poetry, four novels, and two works of non-fiction. His most recent books are the poetry collections Tenderman and The Annotated Bee & Me, and the non-fiction titles In the Suicide s Library: A Book Lover s Journey and The Lost Coast: Salmon, Memory and the Death of Wild Culture. A native of the West Coast who now lives in Edmonton, Tim has received many honours for his writing, including a Canadian Authors Association Award, two Governor General s Award nominations, a fellowship for his entire body of work in prose and poetry from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and four Alberta Book Awards.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Brindle & Glass; 1St Edition edition (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1926972430
  • ISBN-13: 978-1926972435
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,777,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Garth R. Mailman on February 26, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Tim Bowling is a favourite Canadian author whose father was a Frazer River salmon fisherman in Ladner, BC. Lacking an aptitude for his father’s dying profession he moved to Edmonton, Alberta a province without a coastline. Naturally he writes often about fishing but this time round he has chosen the Battle of Antietam during the American Civil War as the setting for his novel about an army surgeon.

Equally at home in poetry or prose I have yet to read a book of his I didn’t like. Although the subject of this book is rather grisly it is no exception. One is engaged from the first pages feeling the exhaustion of the surgeon at his desperate business days on end without rest. Part II returns us to Bowling’s home turf on the Fraser.

The doctor’s life is intertwined with that of a white slave he met during the war. The progeny of inter-racial couplings are often white in colour but to racists the taint of their African heritage is obvious. The book is not a polemic against slavery but the author’s sentiments are obvious. To the salmon fishermen of the Fraser any competition is frowned upon, the hint that that competitor may be black condemns him.
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