The Singer’s Gun by Hilary St. John Mandel
Unbridled Books, 2010
Borrowed from the library.
I looked forward to this one, both because I had heard great things about St. John Mandel and because it is from Unbridled Books, a small press I admire.
The writing is clean and crisp, the story timely, but somehow the book never really grabbed me. It was like looking at something beautiful and realizing that the beauty is fading away right before my eyes. I never felt much for the characters, even though they are well thought out.
Anton Waker grew up an a family of thieves and, encouraged by his cousin Aria he begins a life of crime at a young age. When he decides to get out, go straight, have what he considers a real life, he finds it much more difficult than he expected.
The story is very well constructed, told from different points of view and I think St. John Mandel is a fine writer, but there is a chilliness, a edge to this book that just pushed me away, like the same poles of two magnets repelling each other. Maybe it’s the characters, they seem detached and hollow. Maybe it’s the times we live in. Maybe it’s just me, the book left me feeling sad. I will read The Last Night In Montreal because I want to see if it has a different feel, and I do like this author’s way with words.