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The Singer’s Gun by Emily St.John Mandel

“Well executed  and fairly well written but not really  a gripping read for me. Main character was okay but not too much depth to the others. The premise of a reluctant criminal trying to leave the  family culture, and the conflicted situation of Elena as an illegal immigrant could have made for a high suspense thriller but I didn’t ever really feel a strong sense of jeopardy, nor did I really invest In any of the characters. Didn’t find his wife or their relationship  that convincing, nor was it particularly credible that there would be a whole spare floor in a building  available to banish someone to.  Wasn’t much depth to Broden or her investigation. Descriptions of the settings were very effective though.  It was a relatively easy read but it didn’t really elicit a strong response in me one way or the other.”

“I really enjoyed it. Very clever in the way that the personalities are layered and you gradually discover more about the characters. Enjoyed the whole book but  loved the first third in particular. Well written and I really liked the writing style. It did leave me feeling a bit uncomfortable because of the moral issues and the lies. Anton layered lies upon lies, and didn’t really acknowledge to himself that that was what he was doing.”

“Really enjoyed it. Not my favourite by this author but I do really like the way she builds her characters and the sense of place. I can always imagine the settings. Felt lured in so that to start with,  you didn’t really feel that what Anton was doing was too bad. The book carefully and gently reminds you that minor transgressions can quickly become connected to something a lot more serious. The ending left me hanging – I really wanted to know how it had played out.”

“Really enjoyed it. I thought the characters were interesting and the story was intriguing. I looked forward to picking it up to read more which is always a good sign. .”

“Really enjoyed it although it wasn’t a ‘read in one go, cover to cover’ book. The writing style is brilliant and I really like the way she crafts her characters. It was interesting as every character was morally corrupt in some way and their relationships were insincere. Anton is a weak character, but you almost want to make excuses for him. He didn’t need to do what he did – he could have gone to college. It wasn’t all neatly tied up which is how life is. Good that there was no sentimentality or glamorisation. It isn’t my favourite book ever but it’s a cleverly drawn crime novel and I would recommend it.”

“I found it an easy read and I quite enjoyed it. I didn’t feel that there was a huge development in the characters. I did feel I wanted Anton to get away with it at the end though. The description of the island was very well done and I could imagine being there. The incident leading to the title “The Singer’s Gun’ all felt a bit contrived to me. It did keep me engaged and overall it was an okay read.”

Range: 5.5 – 7.5

Overall score: 6.6

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