Dr. Brinkley's Tower
Written by Robert Hough
Publication Date February 21, 2012
Longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award: Fiction
Equal parts Mark Twain and Gabriel García Márquez, Robert Hough's wildly imaginative new novel takes us to 1931 and Corazón de la Fuente, a tiny Mexican border town where the only industry is a run-down brothel. Enter Dr. Romulus Brinkley and his gargantuan radio tower, built to broadcast his revolutionary goat-gland fertility operation. Fortunes in Corazón change overnight, but not all for the good. Word of the new prosperity spreads, and the town is overrun by the impoverished, the desperate, and the flat-out criminal. The tower's frequencies are so powerful the whole area glows green, and the signal is soon broadcasting through every bit of metal it can find: fencing wire, toasters, even a young woman's new braces. Meanwhile, Dr. Brinkley has attracted the affections of Violeta Cruz, Corazón’s most beautiful resident. But is he really all that he seems?
Peopled with unforgettable characters and capturing a young Mexico caught between its own ambitions and the imperialist designs of its neighbour to the north, Dr. Brinkley’s Tower is a stunning achievement in storytelling.
Long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize 2012
Short-listed for the Governor General's Literary Award: Fiction 2012
Selected for the Globe and Mail Top 100 Book 2012
Robert Hough's debut novel, The Final Confession of Mabel Stark, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book. His second novel, The Stowaway, was a finalist for the IMPAC Dublin Award and chosen by the Boston Globe as one of the top ten fiction titles of 2004. His third novel, The Culprits, was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Prize, the Commonwealth Award for Best Book (Canada and the Caribbean), and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. He lives in Toronto.
"Hough’s greatest skill [...] is as an old-fashioned storyteller. Dr. Brinkley’s Tower moves like an extremely well-oiled machine, juggling and nudging forward all kinds of subplots without ever drawing attention to the muscularity required to do so." National Post
"... hilarious and penetrating ... Hough is a master storyteller ..." Globe and Mail
"... Hough has substantial storytelling chops .... a smooth, entertaining and entrancing [read]." Toronto Star
"... Dr. Brinkley’s Tower is an entertaining page-turner." NOW Magazine
"Dr. Brinkley’s Tower is a cautionary tale of human nature and imperialistic intent that masterfully juggles a handful of characters." The Coast
"With ingenious characters and striking scenes, Hough reveals a love of Mexican culture and has crafted a story that convincingly illustrates the emotions of men and women." FFWD
"... stunning ... a tapestry-rich, almost magical narrative with dozens of fully realized characters and a vividly detailed world ... masterful ... [Dr. Brinkley's Tower] is a thing of wonder." Edmonton Journal