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Aria Voor Een Verleden (2011)

by Emily St. John Mandel(Favorite Author)
3.64 of 5 Votes: 4
review 1: while not as accomplished as the superb Station Eleven which brought the author to my attention and made me get all her novels to date, The Singer's Gun is a page turner that one cannot put down, full of interesting characters - most notably Anton and his desperate quest for "normality", though cutting corners and having a troubled past may catch with him at any moment, and Elena, a Canadian illegal (!!) who also wants a regular life; the concerned US policewoman (ok State Dept investigator into smuggling of illegal aliens and fake id's) and the hard gangster Aria, cousin of Anton, are more cliched and a bit over the top, while the plot has way too many coincidences and stuff that seems a bit illogical (how his company treats Anton, the way the agent runs her investigation... more, why Elena who is a Canadian native, simply cannot reinvent herself in Toronto or Vancouver if her life falls to pieces here and she has to leave NY and the US, as it's not like Toronto is her native Northwestern Territories wilderness but a modern and accomplished city as almost any in the US, choice that undocumented immigrants from poorer places simply do not have), but that is par for the course for thrillers and one reason i rarely read them unless there are strong reasons like here.The structure is also good, again not as accomplished and complex as in Station Eleven, but on the same lines, alternating past with present, slowly dripping revelations...A very good ending - both open and close enough for satisfaction - and of course the writing magic itself and a book I again heartily recommend
review 2: Anton is born into a family of thieves, and after learning the ropes as he sells social security cards and passports, he finds himself blackmailed into a transaction he does not want to conduct. What happens during that transaction sets his life on a new path. The downside to the book is that Anton could have walked away from the transaction throughout the first half of the book as he waits for it take place, and I kept wondering why he didn't. But overall, this is a beautifully written book that pulled me in. less
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Liked this one better than Last Night in Montreal. Still don't know why he took the singer's gun.
Well-written.Interesting story of lies and of lives lived by those lies.
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