4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Van Fleisher spent 21 years working with the airline, TWA, afterwhich he worked as an international management consultant for 30+ years. Between these two careers, Van Fleisher gained a lot of insight into the lives of various people and cultures. He learned what several international cultures found important, and was able to visit over 30 different countries. Van Fleisher lived half of his life abroad, and through his experiences, he developed a deep respect for other cultures. This deep respect can be seen in the novel he has written following his work within these two careers.
Van Fleisher has a few concerns that he wants to bring out in the open. These concerns include our approach to gun ownership in America, the growing prejudice faced by immigrants, the lack of respect shown to our senior citizens, and our overall broken political system. He weaves each of these concerns seamlessly through his political thriller, Final Notice. Final Notice is much more than just a novel with a political agenda. It is also a twist to the thought-provoking question of what you would do if you knew how long you had to live.
At a time set in the near future, doctor and mathematician, Vijay Patel, invents a kind of sports watch that can accurately predict when the wearer has 10, 20, or 30 days left to live - depending on how the time frame has been set on the watch. Although the young doctor’s intentions are good, some wearers who receive their “Final Notices” react quite violently, resulting in the deaths of more than just the wearer.
We are introduced to several characters who receive their Final Notices, ranging from such individuals as an 89-year old who lives in a retirement community to a US Senator. Each individual who receives his or her Final Notice reacts in a very personal way, and adds to the theme the author has drawn in the background, which is one of an out of control NRA and the over-accessibility of guns.
Final Notice is a fast-paced and unique novel that can often cause the reader to take a step back to just think. The protagonists are relatable and easy to care about. It is through these characters that we glimpse the other concerns held by the author, which include prejudices towards immigrants and disrespect for our elders. These intriguing and often touching stories are very timely, considering the state of the American nation and its politics right now.
My favorite aspect is probably the concept behind the novel - the politics in the background. The way the author pulls everything together without allowing the different ideas to become overwhelming shows his talent and creativity. It’s not always easy to discuss such controversial issues, and Van Fleisher tackles quite a few. These compelling ideas, and Van Fleisher’s ability to take them on in the background of another thrilling story line, leads me to rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. If you enjoy thought-provoking thrillers and controversial political issues, then I think you will enjoy this novel. However, if you are adamantly against gun control, you may want to pass on this one, unless you can read it with a somewhat open mind. I happen to be an advocate of our right to bear arms, but I
still welcome the ideas of others. I know things are not currently working out perfectly, and I think a middle ground can be met that is safer for everyone.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like Christina Rose's review? Post a comment saying so!