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Dr. Brinkley’s Tower 

By Robert Hough (House of Anansi)

click to enlarge brinkley-review.jpg

In Hough’s fourth historical novel, an infamous American fertility doctor erects a radio tower in the small Mexican border town of Corazón de la Fuente to broadcast his goat-inspired impotence cure. Citizens, hungry for work, are hopeful it will become a pillar of prosperity for their post-revolution ravaged home. But, as the surrounding poor, thieves and entrepreneurs flock to the new hub, change comes swift for the townspeople---rewarding some, igniting most and disrupting all. Dr. Brinkley’s Tower is a cautionary tale of human nature and imperialistic intent that masterfully juggles a handful of characters. The tower is just the catalyst, how each character evolves afterward, from the cantina and brothel owners to the humbled mayor, aging casanova and town beauty is consuming. Often you will predict the cynical end but Hough’s careful handling ensures a smooth descent the whole way down, and at the bottom---a truly satisfying boom.

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