Book Review: The Bullet Swallower by Elizabeth Gonzales James

January 4, 2024

About:

The Bullet Swallower by Elizabeth Gonzales James is a historical fiction western, with some magical realism thrown in. Ms. James is an American author of Mexican origin; this is her second novel.

272 pages
Publisher ‏ : Simon & Schuster
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 272 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1668009323

Book Review: The Bullet Swallower by Elizabeth Gonzales James
My rating for The Bullet Swallower5
Buy The Bullet Swallower from Amazon.com*
More Books by Elizabeth Gonzales James*

Thoughts:

I was surprised that I liked The Bullet Swallower by Elizabeth Gonzales James as much as I did. The novel grabbed me right from the first page and kept me engaged throughout. Ms. James covers a lot of ground in a short space.

Many of the themes in the book appear in many western novels, movies, or TV shows like justice, racism, and revenge. The novel, however, also examines generational trauma, as well a somewhat philosophical discussion about sins of the father passing onto a future generation.

I enjoyed the powerful settings, as well as Antonio’s relationship with Peter Ainsley, an Englishman. Their wise-cracking banter was a lot of fun to read in between the action scenes. I also enjoyed the magical realism, in the form of an angel/devil named Remedios who is looking for payment for generations of evil actions.

The narrative was well written, the characters were defined, and the journey for Antionio, Jaime, and me was well worth it. The mash up of a Mexican western, a generational saga, and magical realism works extremely well at the hands of this talented author.

The author said that many parts of the story are true, and that her relative was known as El Tragabalas with many legends attached. I love the fact that she researched her roots and wrote a wonderful remaining of the family’s history.

Synopsis:

1865: Brothers Antonio and Hugo Sonoro leaves his home in a Mexican village, crossing the Rio Grande into Texas to rob a train full of treasure. The Texas Rangers are onto the two brothers, and in the mayhem that ensues Hugo dies and Antonio survives with a bullet to the faces. Now known as El Tragabalas, the Bullet Swallower, Antonio goes on a quest to avenge his dead brother.

1964: In Mexico City Jaime Sonoro, a successful entertainer, is writing a script about his famous grandfather. During his research, Jaime is given a book detailing his family’s dark history which shakes him to the bone.

Buy The Bullet Swallower from Amazon.com*
More Books by Elizabeth Gonzales James*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer:I got this book for free
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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Wrap Up

The Bullet Swallower by Elizabeth Gonzales James

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