The Bullet Swallower

A Novel

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Pub Date 23 Jan 2024 | Archive Date 29 Feb 2024

Description

A Most Anticipated Book of 2024 by Goodreads, CrimeReads, The Millions, StyleCaster, The EveryGirl, Sunset, Book Riot, and HipLatina
January Recommended Reading by The Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews, Book Riot, Nerd Daily, The Mary Sue, and Reading Between the Spines
“Mesmerizing...wildly entertaining...Gonzalez is a great storyteller, bringing both Texas and Mexico to the page with a mix of blood and magic...A must-read.” The Boston Globe

A dazzling magical realism western in the vein of Cormac McCarthy meets Gabriel García Márquez, The Bullet Swallower follows a Mexican bandido as he sets off for Texas to save his family, only to encounter a mysterious figure who has come, finally, to collect a cosmic debt generations in the making.

In 1895, Antonio Sonoro is the latest in a long line of ruthless men. He’s good with his gun and is drawn to trouble but he’s also out of money and out of options. A drought has ravaged the town of Dorado, Mexico, where he lives with his wife and children, and so when he hears about a train laden with gold and other treasures, he sets off for Houston to rob it—with his younger brother Hugo in tow. But when the heist goes awry and Hugo is killed by the Texas Rangers, Antonio finds himself launched into a quest for revenge that endangers not only his life and his family, but his eternal soul.

In 1964, Jaime Sonoro is Mexico’s most renowned actor and singer. But his comfortable life is disrupted when he discovers a book that purports to tell the entire history of his family beginning with Cain and Abel. In its ancient pages, Jaime learns about the multitude of horrific crimes committed by his ancestors. And when the same mysterious figure from Antonio’s timeline shows up in Mexico City, Jaime realizes that he may be the one who has to pay for his ancestors’ crimes, unless he can discover the true story of his grandfather Antonio, the legendary bandido El Tragabalas, The Bullet Swallower.

A family saga that’s epic in scope and magical in its blood, and based loosely on the author’s own great-grandfather, The Bullet Swallower tackles border politics, intergenerational trauma, and the legacies of racism and colonialism in a lush setting and stunning prose that asks who pays for the sins of our ancestors, and whether it is possible to be better than our forebears.
A Most Anticipated Book of 2024 by Goodreads, CrimeReads, The Millions, StyleCaster, The EveryGirl, Sunset, Book Riot, and HipLatina
January Recommended Reading by The Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews,...

Advance Praise

“An utterly original, wild ride rendered by Gonzalez James’ masterful hand that turns the traditional redemption narrative on its head.” —Xochitl Gonzalez, New York Times bestselling author of Olga Dies Dreaming

One Hundred Years of Solitude meets Lonesome Dove. A gunslinging Western laced with magical realism that illuminates the complicated history between Texas and Mexico, and the impacts of colonialism and generational trauma.” —Mary Pauline Lowry, author of The Roxy Letters

“To the lineage of Saramago and Borges add Gonzalez James. Resplendent and magisterial, The Bullet Swallower is an exploration of great evil, desperate longing, and redemption.” —Tom Lin, author of The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu

“A magical realism western that calls to mind Don Quixote? Sign me up, please. Gonzalez James is a master storyteller who has gifted us a wild, unexpected story. Bravo!” —Cleyvis Natera, author of Neruda on the Park

The Bullet Swallower is a rollicking, inventive tour-de-force, a novel you don't so much read as fall into like a dream—vivid, violent, and magical. Part Western revenge narrative, part family epic, part study of colonialism and displacement, this is the Texas-Mexico novel I wish had existed decades ago.” —Katie Gutierrez, bestselling author of More Than You'll Ever Know

“Mythic, epic and multigenerational in scale, this novel reclaims North American history through its grand story—a gritty and bloody, iconic and subversive, smart, heartbreaking, and often funny fireside tale.” —Robin McLean, author of Get ’em Young, Treat ’em Tough, Tell ’em Nothing

“An utterly original, wild ride rendered by Gonzalez James’ masterful hand that turns the traditional redemption narrative on its head.” —Xochitl Gonzalez, New York Times bestselling author of Olga...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781668009321
PRICE $26.99 (USD)
PAGES 288

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