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The Identity Man Hardcover – November 11, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Klavan crafts a story about an inconsequential thief who has a sad history. He has never caught a break and has resorted to crime when his "skin begins to crawl." His name is John Shannon and there are parts of him that represent universal desires. He would have liked to have had a loving childhood, he would have liked to have fallen in love with a good woman but, instead, he is a two-time loser who could face years in prison if he commits another felony. And yet, he cannot stop himself, he teams up with a despicable character who draws him into a breaking and entering transgression that sets up Klavan's plot.
The backdrop of the story is a ruined city, denigrated by floods, fire, corrupt police, clergy and politicians. There doesn't seem to be any saving grace; he paints a bleak picture of American corruption from the top to the very bottom. John Shannon is played and pushed through this immorality unknowingly. He is given a new identity, plastic surgery and new name, which he naively accepts as his ticket to freedom from a life of failure. John also has an unusual talent. He is able to look at a piece of wood and see something and carve an inspiring piece that sets him apart from being just an ordinary carpenter. His talent leads him to the possibilities of happiness. They are only possibilities because crooked factions want vengeance and will stop at nothing. Some of the scenes are truly brutal.
Klavan brings in all that we fear, our normal lives being torn from us and the few that we trust prove to be purely evil.Read more ›
A quick read, and well-written.
What is different and compelling about Klaven's approach to this subject matter is that he presents us with a mystery within a mystery as well as some political and cultural questions that confront us on a daily basis.
As for the mystery....it poses numerous questions. For example:"Who is our protagonist's benefactor?" "What is his/her motive for providing Shannon with a second chance?" "Why has this particular city been chosen for Shannon's new beginning"? Additionally, each character in this tale is not your run of the mill good guy/bad guy. These are complex personalities motivated by their individual needs and aspirations. From the foreign sounding plastic surgeon, to the retired teacher, and from the questionably motivated law enforcement officers and local politicos to the street gangs that wreak havoc on the damaged city, Klaven has presented us with not only well develop characters who, like most of us, are plagued by those pesky inner conversations each of us carries on (I believe it's called conscience, or in some cases lack thereof). In doing so he has obliquely encouraged his readers to examine the direction that we are taking not only as individuals, but as a society. He seems to ask if we have all become as skeptical and pessimistic as one of Shannon's acquaintances who took the words of Dr.Read more ›
Shannon slowly builds a new life and gets close to a woman, Teresa, and her son. Shannon , perhaps foolishly, believes he was given his new life with no strings attached. But, soon, it becomes time for him to pay the price, and he soon faces the corruption of the city head on.
I really liked this novel, but admit it might not be for everyone. I don't know if this is more of a literary thriller or what, but the action is a little slower, and the internal thoughts of characters are a lot more upfront. Some readers might not notice it, but if you know Klavan is an outspoken conservative, you'll definitely catch on to his political and even spiritual message in the novel. Some readers won't mind, as I didn't, but it is there so be prepared.
I should also mention that Klavan is writing a young adult series for the Christian market. Fans of those novels should know this book is full of swearing, violence and other situations not found in Christian fiction.
IDENTITY MAN is a thriller with political and social commentary. I really liked it, but I'm a conservative. Liberals may not appreciate it. If you don't care either way, then check this book out. The commentary isn't blatant and the rest of the book is really good.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gripping novel. After the first twenty-five pages or so it's hard to put down.
Stephen Hunter, I, Sniper: A Bob Lee Swagger... Read more
I've loved the other Klavan novels that I've read ("Animal Hour," "Man and Wife," "Hunting Down Amanda," "Nightmare City," "Dangerous... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Wanderer
I may not agree with Klavan's (conservative) viewpoint but I know sheer brilliance when I see it. For his writing skills alone this is worth reading. Read morePublished 19 months ago by antaeaventura
Highly recommended psychological thriller, to those who don't mind a bit of severe brutality on the side. Read morePublished on May 25, 2014 by J. Haggar
The Identity Man is a thriller. Its plot is driven by constant action, driven by unknown forces. John Shannon finds himself wanted for a crime he didn't commit, and is presented... Read morePublished on July 30, 2013 by James Korsmo
Andrew Klavan gets the human mind. He digs into the human soul and he can develop a character's thoughts like few other authors can. Read morePublished on July 18, 2013 by Hank Emery
I love Andrew Klavan.
I would anything he would write,
All of his books have gripping plots and twists that hold your attention.
This is a good page turner, an easy summer read. Some of the political views of the author are somewhat subtly embedded: uselessness at best, corruption at worst, of most... Read morePublished on January 27, 2013 by G. Weinstein