House of Anansi Press Imprint Logo

Dr. Brinkley's Tower

Written by Robert Hough

  • 424 Pages
  • 9781770890527
  • FICTION / Historical
  • FICTION / Literary
  • FICTION / Romance / General



Publication Date January 21, 2012

Longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award: Fiction

Bonus e-book content includes two out-takes from the novel -- how Antonio Garcia got his beautiful horse and how Miguel Orozco became mayor -- and two essays by Robert Hough: the true history of Dr. Brinkley and Robert Hough's decades-long infatuation with Mexico.

Equal parts Mark Twain and Gabriel García Márquez, Robert Hough's wildly imaginative new novel takes us to 1931 and Corazon 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 Corazon 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, Corazon’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 neighbor 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

Robert Hough’s novels have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Trillium Book Award, and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His most recent novel, Dr. Brinkley’s Tower, was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. 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