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The Singer's Gun (2010)

by Emily St. John Mandel

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3663655,218 (3.74)45
Everyone Anton Waker grew up with is corrupt. His parents deal in stolen goods and his first career is a partnership venture with his cousin Aria selling forged passports and social security cards to illegal aliens. Anton longs for a less questionable way of living in the world and by his late twenties has reinvented himself as a successful middle manager. Then a routine security check suggests that things are not quite what they appear. And Aria begins blackmailing him to do one last job for her. But the seemingly simple job proves to have profound and unexpected repercussions. As Anton's carefully constructed life begins to disintegrate around him, he's forced to choose between loyalty to his family and his desires for a different kind of life. When everyone is willing to use someone else to escape the past, it is up to Anton, on the island of Ischia, to face the ghosts that travel close behind him.… (more)
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» See also 45 mentions

English (35)  Dutch (1)  All languages (36)
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
I was a bit harsh in my last review, and here I've just finished another of her books just days later. Mandel's characters are flawed, but allthemore life-like for it. As readers, we still root for them, because they're human beings, and they deserve to get a happy ending. Except for Aria, of course. ( )
  Enno23 | Aug 15, 2021 |
An early book of Mandel's that shows the beginning of her talent with a bit of mystery/thriller feel. Anton tries to lead a normal life after growing up in a family of criminals, but his cousin, Aria, will not let him go. Not a great book, but always interesting to read a favorite author's early work. ( )
  Hccpsk | Aug 12, 2021 |
Een beetje ontgoocheld, vond het niet helemaal coherent, hoewel goed geschreven en goede verhaallijn. Misschien lag het aan mezelf en was vooral het eigen koppeke niet coherent :) ( )
  GertDeBie | Mar 22, 2021 |
Yup, I'm definitely going to have to go back and read all of Emily St. John Mandel's books now, since every one so far has been such an excellent experience. This one, like the others I've read so far, is a wonderfully complex, skillfully woven tale that I thoroughly enjoyed. ( )
1 vote JBD1 | Dec 8, 2020 |
The Singer's Gun is an enjoyably eerie existential thriller about a man trying to escape his family history and identity. Emily St. John Mandel creates lots of spare settings and conversations that contain notes of sadness and humor. Recommended!

(There's more about The Singer's Gun on my blog, here.) ( )
  LizoksBooks | Dec 15, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
And her book strikes a perfect balance between introspection and action.
 
The restraint shown in the action department (another indication of the old-fashioned) won’t satisfy those who demand more visceral thrills, but it supports the novel’s commitments to the quieter aspects of character over the pull of a gut-punching or sparklingly original plot.
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Emily St. John Mandelprimary authorall editionscalculated
Chergé, Gérard deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vroege, MireilleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Something about the tanks at London's Heathrow Airport changed my mind. Before they rolled into place, in the innocent days when security just meant men with submachine guns, a travel book could be fluffy, silly, familiar or carefullly manufactured, and it hardly mattered. Afterward, every destination acquired a sudden glow of hellfire, every trip an element of thoroughly unwanted suspense. Escape has becme a problem in itself. A travel book without danger--to the body, the soul or the future--is entirely out of time. ...We stand in need of something stronger now: the travel book you can read while making your way throught this new, alarming world. Michael Pye, The New York Times, June 1, 2003
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In an office on the bright sharp edge of New York, glass tower, Alexandra Broden ws listening to a telephone conversation.
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Everyone Anton Waker grew up with is corrupt. His parents deal in stolen goods and his first career is a partnership venture with his cousin Aria selling forged passports and social security cards to illegal aliens. Anton longs for a less questionable way of living in the world and by his late twenties has reinvented himself as a successful middle manager. Then a routine security check suggests that things are not quite what they appear. And Aria begins blackmailing him to do one last job for her. But the seemingly simple job proves to have profound and unexpected repercussions. As Anton's carefully constructed life begins to disintegrate around him, he's forced to choose between loyalty to his family and his desires for a different kind of life. When everyone is willing to use someone else to escape the past, it is up to Anton, on the island of Ischia, to face the ghosts that travel close behind him.

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