The Tin Man by Martin Shannon

The Tin Man

Martin Shannon

Plenty of smiles of recognition here for anyone who grew up in the seventies. You can sympathise easily with Joe as he struggles to come to terms with his failed marriage and being an occasional father to his small daughter. There are some genuinely touching moments. The flashbacks to Joe's childhood, however, are often hilarious. An assured first novel. I do hope he writes more soon.


I sit on the floor with my back against the wall and study the tin closely. It's a nice size. As tactile as a pack of cards...heavier though, with all that's inside and the weight of my expectations. I recognise my own childish script on the label I'd stuck on the lid. I must have written 'SURVIVAL KIT' with some dedication, as each letter is embellished with neat serifs. Pre-pubescent self-assurance and optimism writ large but now blurred, like the ink, with age.

  • The Best a Man Can Get by John O'Farrell
  • High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

Books with similar mood

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Helen Simonson

A Man Called Ove

Fredrik Backman

The Light of Amsterdam

David Park

The Dancers Dancing

Eilis Ni Dhuibhne

Only in America

Dominic Holland

The Old Romantic

Louise Dean

Breaking Away

Anna Gavalda

Black Orchids

Gillian Slovo

Dancing With the Two-headed Tigress

Tina Biswas

That They May Face The Rising Sun

John McGahern

Ten Steps to Happiness

Daisy Waugh

Park and Ride

Miranda Sawyer

The Drink and Dream Teahouse

Justin Hill

Three Wise Men

Martina Devlin

Pride, Prejudice and Jasmin Field

Melissa Nathan

The Visitation

Sue Reidy

Shadow Song

Terry Kay


Michael Redhill

Going Down

Kate Thompson

This is Your Life

John O'Farrell

My Secret Lover

Imogen Parker

Ralph's Party

Lisa Jewell


Katherine McMahon

Five Photos of my Wife

Agnes Desarthe

The Good Guy

Susan Beale

The Red Notebook

Antoine Laurain

Forget Love

Babsy Tom

The Opposite of Falling

Jennie Rooney

Footnotes to Sex

Mia Farlane

With My Lazy Eye

Julia Kelly

Land of the Golden Apple

Eve Makis

Pursuit of Alice Thrift

Elinor Lipman

Paddy Indian

Cauvery Madhavan

Fair Game

Elizabeth Young

Fasting, Feasting

Anita Desai

Love in Vain

Federigo Tozzi

The Rosie Project

Graeme Simsion

Seating Arrangements

Maggie Shipstead

Fish Change Direction in Cold Weather

Pierre Szalowski

When God was a Rabbit

Sarah Winman

Invisible River

Helena McEwen

The Zoya Factor

Anuja Chauhan

The Match

Romesh Gunesekera

The Making of Henry

Howard Jacobson


Manju Kapur

The Understudy

David Nicholls

Love Lives

Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees

The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Alexander McCall Smith