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by Nathaniel Rich
The Mayor’s Tongue is a bold, vertiginous debut novel that unfolds in two complementary narratives, one following a. .
The Mayor’s Tongue is a bold, vertiginous debut novel that unfolds in two complementary narratives, one following a young man and the other an old man. The young man, Eugene Brentani, is a devotee of the reclusive author and adventurer Constance Eakins, now living in Italy. Here we are immersed in Rich’s vivid, enchanting world, full of captivating characters-the despairing Enzo, who wanders looking for a nameless love; the tiny, doll-like guide, Lang; and the grotesque Eakins. Over this strange, spectral landscape looms the Mayor, a mythic and monstrous figure considered a beautiful creator by his townspeople, whose pull ultimately becomes irresistible.
This is for my mother and my father. It was June when Eugene Brentani took the job at Aaronsen and Son Moving Company and subleased an apartment in Inwood from a man on his crew named Alvaro. Like many of the men who worked at Aaronsen and Son, Alvaro had recently emigrated from the Dominican Republic.
In its first pages, before hitting its stride, this debut novel by Nathaniel Rich elicits a sense of mild foreboding.
Nathaniel Rich (born March 5, 1980) is an American novelist and essayist. He is the author of "Losing Earth: A Recent History" (2019); the novels "King Zeno" (2018), Odds Against Tomorrow (2013), and The Mayor's Tongue (2008); and the 2005 non-fiction book San Francisco Noir: The City in Film Noir from 1940 to the Present.
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Nathaniel Rich, the debut author of The Mayor’s Tongue, deserves high praise for at least attempting to strike his own path with a fresh voice and ambitious storyline, even if the novel falls short of its wild postmodern ambitions. The book follows two primary narratives: Eugene Brentani is a college graduate who has taken up a job at a moving company in his home town, New York, where he meets the biographer of Constance Eakins, a famous writer whom Eugene idolises.
The Mayor’s Tongue is the title of the final, unfinished manuscript on which Eakins is said to be working. Nathaniel Rich’s characters and their relationships feel as though they might have been more at home in short fiction rather than a novel. We see small details, telling gestures, revealing sequences, rather than expansive, evolving arcs. The Mayor’s Tongue gathers (licks up?) fragments that could have made many different stories - but this is definitely a magical realist novel, not a thwarted collection of short pieces.
I read The Mayor's Tongue with ever-increasing delight, rooting with all my heart for the young protagonist on his near-mythic quest
I read The Mayor's Tongue with ever-increasing delight, rooting with all my heart for the young protagonist on his near-mythic quest. a brave book, a novel brimming with brio.
by. Rich, Nathaniel, 1980-. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Male friendship, Storytelling. New York : Riverhead Books. Internet Archive Books. Gutierres on December 1, 2010. SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata).
One of the most original, dazzling, and critically acclaimed debut novels this year. Funny, Moving, Inventive, Weird. com User, April 23, 2008. It's the only piece the NYRB has ever published on Pasolini, and that said something important to me. The NYRB doesn't mess around.