Robert Hough, Dr. Brinkley’s Tower

While working my way through Dr. Brinkley’s Tower, the fourth novel from Toronto’s Robert Hough, I kept getting that nagging feeling there was a reference being made that I couldn’t pin down. The cozy small-town setting, the travelling salesman hawking a life-changing construction project, the way the community rallies together in funny and unexpected ways—it all felt so familiar. What was Hough riffing on?

Then it came to me. The Simpsons. Season 4. “Marge vs. the Monorail.”

From this weekend’s National Post, my review of a lovely novel about Mexico, con artists, radio towers, and gumball machines. (All Simpsons references are, as usual, my own.)