Thursday, March 7, 2013

Discussing Dr. Brinkley's Tower by Robert Hough


From the dust jacket...
Robert Hough's vivid, lusty, and wildly imaginative new novel takes us to 1931 Mexico and Corazon de la Fuente, a war-ravaged border twon where the only enterprise is a brothel in which every girl is named Maria. Enter Dr. John Romulus Brinkley, inventor of a miraculous "goat gland operation" said to cure male impotence. When Brinkley decides to build a gargantuan new radio tower to broadcast his services, he chooses none other than Corazon de la Fuente for its site.

The town's fortunes change over night, though not all to the good -- word of the new prosperity spreads, and Corazon is overrun with desperadoes and mercenaries itching to reopen old wounds, Worst of all, Dr. Brinkley has attracted the affections of the town's most beautiful citizen, Violeta Cruz. But with the help of a motley but impassioned band of allies, including an octogenarian Casanova, a brooding Spanish nobelman, and th much-despised village witch, Violeta's spurned finace, Franciso, decides to fight back.

What attracted me to this book...

-I want to learn how to write humour.
Dr. Brinkley's Tower was a Governor General's literary awards finalist

-I enjoy reading books written by authors whose authors' voices are markedly different than my own.

-As a resident of a small community, I was intrigued by the blurb.

Favourite Quotes...

'the throaty bedspring wheeze made by bullfrogs' (p. 204)

'the sky above were losing patience with the sun and on the verge of telling it to go warm some other planet.' (p. 216)

'Yesterday I saw your face. Lifting in the smoke of my fire. That's how I knew. That's how I know.' (p. 263)

Robert Hough taught me how to use 'and' effectively
'Volita stepped out before a huge pink stucco mansion with turrets and fountains and rose gardens and tennis courts and marble Roman columns and a swimming pool the size of a Corazon de la Fuente city block' (p. 24 - 25)

Reading experience...

As a fan of old-time music, I chuckled at the conclusion of Chapter 18.

I, as a reader, felt removed from the story by the storyteller voice and the use of some Mexican words.

I enjoyed how the reader is led mouthful by mouthful to the conclusion of page 299. Excellent use of suspense.

Dr. Brinkley's Tower reminded me of Animal Farm.

Themes...
At what price progress...
How easily the weak can be victimized by the powerful...
You don't know what you've got until it's gone...

Suggested addition...
As someone who has little knowledge of the Mexican language, I would have benefitted greatly from the inclusion of a Mexican to English language.

Questions...
There are a list of thought-provoking questions at the end of the book.
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Author Robert Hough's interview
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Work in progress
This week I abandoned Is the Reverend Dead? and turned my attention to Teen Mom
Current Word Count:  6,740 words
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Proudly remembering Stompin' Tom Connors by listening to one of my favourite songs The Consumer
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Barbara Williams from Find a Babysitter shared this link to the article 30 Blogs with Fabulous Ideas for Throwing a Tween Garden Party. Thank you, Barbara.

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Next post:  Author Kenneth Weene writes...

2 comments:

Laurie Buchanan said...

I love the book quotes you shared!

Leanne Dyck said...

: ) Thanks, Laurie. Yes, Robert Hough is a very talented author.