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The Mayor's Tongue

by Nathaniel Rich

The ultimate quest – a search for love. This playful but clever short novel reminds me somewhat of bubble and squeak - parallel plots, dialogue, imagery and characters all cooked together to make a tasty meal. Although technically an easy read, concentration is a must to get your head around the characters (think Dickens at his most descriptive) and how they fit together. The ending is a treat and completely unexpected for all concerned.

Extract

It didn't appear, however, that Lang had done much eating either. His throat was as tight as a newt's, and the shapes of his ivory-white teeth were imprinted on his lips when he closed his mouth, so thin was his skin. Still, in the warm knowingness of his jackal smiles-which ended in a mock-serious, self-deprecatory curl at the corners of his mouth-and in the fluttery movements of his slender, tapering hands, he reminded Eugene of somebody he had once met.
Lang's jaw started to ticktock.

Parallels

Lost Horizon by James Hilton
The Wizard of Oz - the film
 

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