A Critical Examination of Social Commentary and Narrative Execution

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About this sample


Words: 849 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Feb 13, 2024

Words: 849|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Feb 13, 2024

Final Notice by Van Fleisher appears to be a self-published book that has a pair of interesting premises. First, there is a company, VitalTech, that has advanced the health monitoring industry so far that the latest in the 'FitBit'-like devices can now predict - within a preselected window of time - when the user will die. Like the FitBit, Garmin or their clones, the VT2 is worn by the user and has a phone app user interface. It is through the interface that the user would select the 'Final Notice' window of 30, 20 or 10 days. The setting of the book is when the VT has been through alpha testing and is entering beta testing.

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The other interesting idea is that the NRA is giving discounts to senior citizens to arm themselves. The author makes it clear up front in his Forward that this is a social commentary on the proliferation of guns and mass shootings that occur. I'm reading this around the time of the shootings at the synagogue in San Diego and at UNC Charlotte, so yes, in fact, they are occurring all too frequently.

What happens is that the story lines interweave and people who have received their 'Final Notice' take one last act which, I believe, all except for one, in the book, is a killing. There is one instance where an elderly man on the subway in London doesn't shoot but demonstrates the nerve to stand up to a skinhead who takes a seat from a woman - he yells at the guy who gets up and leaves, leaving the seat for a woman. I'm puzzled why we don't learn more about this case, or why it is different, or why there aren't more like it in the book. I think it the reason is because of the author's agenda to make commentary about the proliferation of guns. He probably could have left out the story of the man in the London Tube and not affected the plot at all. The book does end with an interesting twist.

We have two interesting ideas, a social commentary that is all too obvious (the author tells us what it is in the Foreward) and an execution that leaves much to be desired as I will attempt to describe. I suspect a lot of commentary about the book will be about gun laws, gun control and the gun lobby, rather than about the book itself.

At times I felt like I was reading articles from the Washington Post or New York Times - factual reports of shootings without the depth of character development. I believe there is a difference between a realistic storyline and factual reporting - I think of authors like Tom Clancy, John Grisham, Stephen King or Stieg Larsson (The scenes of Lisbeth Salander fighting her father were realistic, but emotionally difficult to stomach at the same time). I did not have that experience reading Final Notice. Each shooting read like a news article that could have benefitted from more time spent in character development.

Final Notice is not well researched. A medical device such as the VT2 is not brought to market through “alpha” and “beta” trials. The author could have done some research and learned medical device development and FDA approval – there is plenty of material available online or a simple interview would suffice. A well-researched book makes it all the more realistic. The terms 'alpha' and 'beta' development happen to be terminology that people are familiar with from the software industry. A simple Google search of the FDA website will lead you to ... nt-process . This is the kind of background research that John Grisham, Robin Cook, or Tom Clancy would do.

In Chapter 4, the author refers to “arguably the top New York corporate law firm of Pearson, Spector (sic) & Litt.” For those of you who are familiar with the USA Network or Amazon Prime series Suits, Pearson, Specter & Litt is the law firm about which the series is created. Fleisher even refers to Louis Litt, who was one of the main characters in the series. In Final Notice, Louis has a son Lawrence, who is a lawyer at the firm Konig, Konig & Litt. I have not watched the last season of Suits so I’ll assume that Lawrence is an original character of Fleisher’s, but the other three have been previously copyrighted.

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In summary, I rate the book 2 out of 4 stars. I think this is more of a political tome than a well-done book. There are some interesting ideas that could have been developed into a thriller, but that would require more in-depth research, fuller – and original character development, and scenes that made the shootings less clinical. If you are interested in reading something something and participating in the gun debate, then this is for you since I suspect that most of the public commentary will be about guns, gun control and gun shootings. The problems with the book - details about character development, research and misappropriating character names will not matter to the majority of the readers.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

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A Critical Examination of Social Commentary and Narrative Execution. (2024, February 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 18, 2024, from
“A Critical Examination of Social Commentary and Narrative Execution.” GradesFixer, 13 Feb. 2024,
A Critical Examination of Social Commentary and Narrative Execution. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 18 Jul. 2024].
A Critical Examination of Social Commentary and Narrative Execution [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Feb 13 [cited 2024 Jul 18]. Available from:
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