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The Singer's Gun by Emily St. John Mandel
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Dec 23, 10

We are told early on in The Singer’s Gun that everything is holy. Anton’s mother told him that, “God is the universe,” and from then on Anton looked at the trees, the stars, the train stations all as holy places of creation. Emily St. John Mandel is such a phenomenal writer that I started to see everything in her novel as holy as well.

The Singer’s Gun is book that only could have been written now, after 9/11, after the war on terror, after the breaches by our government in order to keep us “free”. Anton Waker gets caught up in all of this. He reminded me of Jay Gatsby-searching fruitlessly for the American Dream that was never created for someone like him.

On an allegorical level, I completely bough into the plot of The Singer’s Gun. On the literal, however, there was one part that still bothers me. Without giving too much away there is one section where blackmailing became involved in the story. I found some of the characters’ reactions unbelievably and obnoxious. Still, in a book as beautifully written as this one, that seems like a small price to pay.

In the end Mandel created a book that simultaneously shows a world that is holy and unholy, truthful and full of lies. The Singer’s Gun is a book that I will not soon forget, and it is one that I wish I had picked up sooner.
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