Mason Jones's Reviews > A Book of Tongues

A Book of Tongues by Gemma Files
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's review
Jan 22, 2011

really liked it
Read from January 22 to February 14, 2011

Well, this was a lot of fun. I'd been looking forward to reading this, since Gemma's short stories have such a wonderful track record. And hey, it's a mystical Western, so what's not to like from the very beginning? (an aside: have you read Rudolph Wurlitzer's "Drop Edge of Yonder"? well go get it now!) To be brief, I'd say the only issue with the book is that now I have to wait for the next one; the ending here is moderately satisfying, but doesn't provide very much closure. Aside from that, though, we have Gemma's marvelous writing, and a trio of entertaining main characters (and a strong supporting cast) who are sympathetic even when they're wreaking havoc, killing people, and even when turning towns to salt. We've got mystical preachers, Pinkertons, post-Civil War Western towns, San Francisco's Chinatown, and ancient Aztec gods. The book reads like a combination of Blood Meridian, Sandman Slim, and Dennis Cooper, with a certain amount of William S. Burroughs tossed in here and there. Certainly recommended if any of the above gets you excited.
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