4 out of 4 stars
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Final Notice, written by Van Fleisher, is a work of fiction that covers current important topics of gun possession and immigration offset by the main plot that contemplates the psychological effect on the older generation of knowing in advance one’s death day. Taking into account today’s rate of technological advancement, it is not difficult to imagine that there is a way to predict when one is likely going to die, making the book’s setting uncomfortably close to home. I think Fleisher’s statistical profile of what people do with being armed with this knowledge and the widespread accessibility of guns in the US is eerily correct in its chance, making note that there is a discussion about the few bad examples while the good go unacknowledged.
Fleisher introduces Vince Fuller, a 70-year-old open-minded gentleman, who spends the first half of the book looking into the logistics and availability of owning a firearm. We the audience learn along Vince various proceeding on how to go about the business of possessing a gun, while also being informed that while there are general rules to follow and tests to take (and pass), every state differing in their sets of requirements.
Throughout his search, Vince encounters and considers many reasons for and against owning a gun, some through conversation while others affect him more personally, and ultimately decides along with his wife to buy one. This decision, in part, becomes realized through the couple’s interactions with their close friends, among whom are people of color and/or immigrants. While the author is white, he shows these characters only in the best light, while also calling attention to the increasing racial hostility against them.
I give this book 4 out of 4 stars because I really appreciated the matter of fact tone the author had when discussing guns, always showing ample reasons for and against ownership, without alienating those who are simply curious and want to find a safe space to form their opinion. While the book did nothing to change my overall opinion about guns, I feel like I am now more understanding of the other side’s motivations. I also liked how Fleisher depicts immigrants as law-abiding and upstanding people who want to make it in this country like anyone else.
Though you can guess the author’s political bias, I respect how impartial his tone is when discussing such hotly debated, gray-shaded issues. I also love how it’s apparent that the author is coming from a more moderate political background, calling out both political extremes for they’re ridiculous behavior and rhetoric. He makes his wish for both sides to coöperate abundantly clear, a sentiment that I think more people should tote.
I think the way Fleisher shows opposing views as conversations are important because having a dialogue where there are mutual respect and open minds is how the US can make any headway through these tumultuous times.
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