4 out of 4 stars
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Final Notice, a fiction novel by Van Fleisher, manifests a literary probe into the modern day challenges of senior citizen abuse, gun violence and the effects brought about by the introduction of a new device. It seeks to edify readers about the risk posed by gun use and the dubious allowances of gun laws, while representing the major theme of how elder individuals are ill-treated and the moral questions born from knowing too much about one’s expiration date.
Vince and Trudi Fuller are a married elderly couple living in Pasadena, California, where their age causes them to be victimized by the younger generation. Discouraged by the unappreciative treatment by society and the alarming acknowledgement of his vulnerability, Vince questions whether acquiring a gun as a means of protection is worth it. The NRA, at the same time, provides a senior discount on guns, playing on the same emotions experienced by Vince that are shared amongst his peers. This is accompanied by the introduction of a new high-tech gadget to the market that predicts a ‘final notice’ for the owner. Armed with the knowledge of one’s impending death, the novel queries what any person would do when no repercussions would arise a result of their ensuing actions, and analyzes the consequential impacts of said device.
The author first focuses on a senior couple, which was instrumental in the portraying of the ‘underdog’ in this scenario. The dialogue between Vince and his wife, Trudi, made for an interesting debate, where, despite knowing the dangers of gun use, the former, out of frustration grown from aging and a feeling of defenselessness, questions his moral obligation and is tempted by the thought of regaining a means of control.
I saw the NRA as the run-of-the-mill business shark; positing all the benefits for the sale of a product yet, in predictable fashion, omitting the dominant negative effects it would cause. This sufficiently served as a means of broadcasting Fleisher’s intention to display how varying figures in society seemingly advocate for the rights of the elderly but are truly finding other methods of take advantage of them.
Additionally, the novel described events as seen from the son of a mass shooter’s perspective. We see how he toggles between the knowledge of his father as the man who he knew versus the idea of the man who committed the horrendous crime. The impacts of gun use took on a more personal aspect, and how people, more specifically friends and family, are left to deal with those consequences and have their opinions of the individual/s be shifted. The linking between the victimized parties, the convenient discounting of shooting weapons and the placing of a brow-raising device on the market pointed to an ability of Fleisher to demonstrate all facets of an argument and strictly outline his stance with respect to said argument.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It set several provoking debates in a fictional arena and dealt with them simultaneously in a way that highlighted their relation to one another. I recommend this book to persons interested in owning guns or those who enjoy controversial topics.
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