“In Tom Lin’s novel, the atmosphere of Cormac McCarthy’s West, or that of the Coen Brothers’ True Grit, gives way to the phantasmagorical shades of Ray Bradbury, Charles Finney’s The Circus of Dr. Lao, and Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love. Yet The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu has a velocity and perspective all its own, and is a fierce new version of the Westward Dream.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
Just finished The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin.
This book isn’t your Dad’s western. The gunslinger here is a Chineese man, orphaned as a very young child to a white man who taught him how to use a gun and how to kill.
Ming meets and marries a white woman and when her father finds out he sends his men to kidnap her and bring her home, and to kill Ming. Ming however is spared because of Ada, his wife’s pleadings, so he is beaten nearly to death and left behind.
Ming vows vengeance and to get his wife back.
Ming gets the help of an old blind Chineese man called the prophet, who as the name implies, can sometimes foretell the future.
On his mission to kill all the men involved in Ada’s abduction he meets a small traveling group of magical performers. Ming agrees to accompany them and deliver them safely to Reno for a nice fee.
There is some real Magic here, making this a very different western.
The trip will be full of adventure, and the excitement never stops as the book becomes a real page turner.
A very different type of western but a very good book.
Added 26th August 2021