(25/1/17) Book Review: The Singer’s Gun by Emily St. John Mandel

I think it’s safe to say that at this point, I would read Emily St. John Mandel’s shopping list. There’s something about the way she writes that has me thinking about the book, especially the characters, for days after turning the final page.

Mandel’s novels (and I’ve read three of her four now) and absolutely character driven. These works of fiction come to life with some realism due to these characters and their flaws, their conflicts, and interactions.

The Singer’s Gun follows a man, Anton, and his cousin, Aria, as they navigate the underworld of forged passports and social security cards. His parents own an antique shop where everything is stolen. Corruption is all he knows.

But then he starts being investigated at work, and his whole life is about to come crashing down on him, his life that he’s worked so hard to build and form and lie about to get away from his old one of lies and crime, and so he does what every normal person does. He breaks off his marriage on his honeymoon and decides to stay on the island of Capri, Italy. Well, maybe not every normal person.

I started off this book slightly confused. It took a few chapters to figure out how the prologue might fit in and the alternating points of views and time hops worked around each other, but if this is also you, I urge you not to give up. Everything becomes so much clearer and the story unravels beautiful.

I had one criticism, hence why I only rated it 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads, and that was the ending. No spoilers, but it was left slightly more open than I like in an ending. I don’t like to be left guessing, I don’t like it when things are left to the readers interpretation or imagination. I like things to be wrapped up in nice little packages so that everything is sealed off and tied up. This didn’t quite do it for me, but it didn’t ruin the experience I has reading it or how much I enjoyed it overall.



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