4 out of 4 stars
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While having drinks with friends a few nights ago, I was greeted with the usual chorus of eye-rolls and fake snores when beginning a conversation with, “So, I’m reading this book at the moment…” My friends aren’t big readers, and they tolerate me chatting about whatever I’m reading, but don’t get overly involved. That is up until I asked the question, “Would you say yes to knowing when you are going to die?” Needless to say, this discussion lasted a good hour. This is one of the prevalent subjects in Van Fleisher’s Final Notice - and what a thought-provoking idea!
Vijay Singh, a medical doctor who is also a fitness enthusiast has developed a fitness tracking watch with a unique function. It can monitor your health and ultimately predict your death. During the trials of these watches, there are some unforeseen complications. Upon receiving their final notice, a few of the test subjects, chiefly those with access to guns, decide to end their time on earth by killing other people. Concurrently, while these acts occur, Vince and Trudi Fuller are considering buying a firearm. The recent acts of violence in the news and their new-found need to protect themselves lead them down the path of procuring a weapon. The question is, if presented with an opportunity to pull the trigger, would either of them be able to do it?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The notions presented were stimulating and more than being engrossed in the story, I was interested in Fleisher’s views on gun control. There were so many parts when I was behind his beliefs completely, and then other times that I was on the fence. This internal debate kept me engaged throughout the book.
Along with the underlying question of gun control, I was wrapped up in the lives of the people in the story. Fleisher does a comprehensive job of introducing the characters in the book. I felt immediately endeared to Trudi and Vince, an elderly couple who are living out their retirement in peace and happiness. They encompass everything good about people and how people should behave. The same can be said for Vijay and his multibillion-dollar company. He is logical and takes responsibility for the collateral damage caused by the watch. It is a bit too perfect that the main protagonists in the book are all seemingly flawless and it would be have been good to have a wayward streak in one or two of them. However, with the heavy subject matter, it was a relief to have characters to love.
With the controversy surrounding gun laws, the NRA and even foreign immigrants, Fleisher delves into some very sensitive topics. He also does so in an unabashedly biased manner. I may not have enjoyed this book if I was opposed to his beliefs, but as it turns out, I wasn’t. Because of this, I give this book 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend this book to open-minded individuals who don’t mind seeing things from different views. Final Notice starts off by painting a somewhat immoral picture of humankind, and as we delve deeper, it allows us to believe that people are inherently good. With everything going on in the world, it’s a happy belief to have.
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