Off the Charts – the singer’s gun (Emily St. John Mandel)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I adored station eleven and so I thought I would read another book by this wonderful author.  Jenny @ readingtheend stated in me comments section of me review of station eleven that “The Singer’s Gun is my other favorite of her books — it’s way way far behind Station Eleven in awesomeness, but it has a similarly intricate plot.”  So I listened to Jenny and read this book.

And aye, I enjoyed it immensely.  This was off the charts (i.e. a non sci-fi, fantasy, or YA title) and was described as a murder mystery.  Well there is a murder and an investigator but this is not a who-dun-it tale.  What ye do get is the same type of character exploration that made me fall in love with the author’s writing style in the first place.

This novel follows Anton Waker whose family is part of an organized crime scheme to sell stolen goods.  All Anton has ever wanted was to clean up his act and have a normal job on the right side of the law.  He is living this dream when his past comes back to haunt him and ruin his attempt at normalcy.

In watching Anton’s life dissolve, ye be introduced to an odd host of people.  The story rambles in a delightful way wherein ye have no idea where the story is going, the people are kinda crazy and slightly unlikable, and yet it be mesmerizing.  And of course, as Jenny says, it is an intricate plot.  I loved how the strings were weaved together at the end.

Even though I was hesitant about all of the characters in the beginning, I eventually was won over enough to be happy for the consequences portrayed in the end.  I found the ending more satisfying than I would have thought.

It was a quick read and I avidly turned the pages.  I appreciate the detailed plot but it is the character portrayal that makes me want to read another book by this author.  And the explanation for the title entertained me.  I am glad I read station eleven first but am extremely grateful for me matey’s recommendation of this great book for me second read.

Side note: I still think the author’s name is delicious!  Arrr!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Everyone Anton Waker grew up with is corrupt. His parents deal in stolen goods and his first career is a partnership venture with his cousin Aria selling forged passports and social security cards to illegal aliens. Anton longs for a less questionable way of living in the world and by his late twenties has reinvented himself as a successful middle manager. Then a routine security check suggests that things are not quite what they appear. And Aria begins blackmailing him to do one last job for her. But the seemingly simple job proves to have profound and unexpected repercussions.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Emily St. John Mandel – Author

To buy the novel visit:

the singer’s gun – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

station eleven (Second Reflections – Sci-Fi)

16 thoughts on “Off the Charts – the singer’s gun (Emily St. John Mandel)

  1. Lovely review Captain! I also read Station Eleven, and have been wondering about this author’s other books. I always find it interesting when authors write across many different genres. It sounds like this one is very different from Station Eleven, but her distinct writing style still shines through.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aye matey, this be extremely different from Station Eleven but the writing does shine. I am hesitant to read her other works because I am not sure if the different genres will work for me. But then I haven’t given up on the others completely because I adore her writing style. But I do think this one be worth a read. Thank ye kindly for the lovely comment.
      x The Captain


  2. I also loved Station Eleven, but haven’t been sure where to start with ESJM’s other books. (I guess I’m feeling lazy if I’m acronymizing her name. XD) But if I see The Singer’s Gun, then I won’t hesitate to pick it up now. Nice review, Captain!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yayyyyy so glad you enjoyed! I’m always madly impressed when an author can pull off a complicated plot without a) losing me or b) making it feel contrived. It has also been way WAY too long since Station Eleven was published. I yearn for Emily St. John Mandel to announce a new forthcoming book soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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