Sunday, July 11, 2021

#35: The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin

Ming Tsu is a Chinese orphan, raised to be a killer, who marries a white woman and sets out to go straight; but when she is kidnapped, and he is conscripted into building the railroads going westward, nothing but revenge is on his mind in Tom Lin's debut The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu.

Lin writes an offbeat genre-bender; it starts off as a pretty bleak western, with a high body count of men and horses, but takes a turn into the supernatural when Ming Tsu meets up with a blind prophet and a traveling sideshow of people with varying powers (from shape-shifting to pyrokinesis).  There are also intelligent animals and at least two characters seemingly raised from the dead.

Although there is a lot of heavy foreshadowing, a grim and bloody finale still surprises.  

Lyrically written, but doesn't fit in a single groove; for very discerning fans of traditional westerns, or for fantasy fans who don't mind a lot of cowboys.

I checked this out from the Henry County-New Castle Public Library in New Castle, Indiana and read it quickly.

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