The Mayor's Tongue by Nathaniel Rich

The Mayor's Tongue

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

Books with similar mood

One Way

S. J. Morden

East of Hounslow

Khurrum Rahman

The Transition

Luke Kennard

The Wall

William Sutcliffe

Spill Simmer Falter Wither

Sara Baume

The Hired Man

Aminatta Forna

Pictures of Lily

Matthew Yorke

Fieldwork

Mischa Berlinski

When We Were Bad

Charlotte Mendelson

Reparation

Gaby Koppel

Turn of Mind

Alice LaPlante

Nikolski

Nicolas Dickner

Astonishing Splashes of Colour

Clare Morrall

Twelve Step Fandango

Chris Haslam

The Taliban Cricket Club

Timeri N Murari

The Godless Boys

Naomi Wood

Mice

Gordon Reece

Wales Half Welsh

John Williams (ed)

Gravity

Tess Gerritsen

The Second Sleep

Robert Harris

Snowdrops

A D Miller

Peacock Cries

Hong Ying

Unless

Carol Shields

The Bank Robber Diaries

Danny King

The Angels of Russia

Patricia Le Roy

America Pacifica

Anna North

The Model

Lars Saabye Christensen

Greater Love

Lucy Wadham

Stone Cold Red Hot

Cath Staincliffe

A Possibility of Violence

D A Mishani

Alys, Always

Harriet Lane

First Fruits

Penelope Evans

Harare North

Brian Chikwava

Such a Fun Age

Kiley Reid

Dear Child

Romy Hausmann

The Second Rider

Alex Beer

From a Low and Quiet Sea

Donal Ryan

Noontide Toll

Romesh Gunesekera

Girl at War

Sara Nović

San Miguel

T C Boyle

Past the Shallows

Favel Parrett

The Innocents

Laura Lippman

Out of Shadows

Jason Wallace

The Search

Maureen Myant

My Name Was Judas

C K Stead

The Resurrectionist

James Bradley

Mister Pip

Lloyd Jones

School for Scumbags

Danny King

The Cardamom Club

Jon Stock