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Reviewed by Scott Cahan for Readers' Favorite
Amir of Guelph by Albert Marsolais is about a group of eccentric characters who come together over a common cause. It’s set in the future which makes it technically a science fiction novel, but this book is more about the people than the science or the future. The central character is an elderly man named Amir who discovers some strange goings-on in the local government. In Amir’s snooping around, he connects with several others who are affected by the same issues and are seeking justice. Before long, Amir and his new friends are investigating some suspicious characters, all the while avoiding the government’s A.I. that listens to every conversation, even behind closed doors. As the eccentric group of characters digs deeper and finds more trouble, their bonds of friendship with one another grow stronger.
Amir of Guelph works because it has strong quirky characters that are fun to watch react to the off-beat situations that they find themselves in. The futuristic setting adds to the charm, giving them unusual challenges to overcome like the government’s watchful eye and churches that double as political parties. The plot has its share of twists and turns but the tension is turned way down in this story while the character interaction is turned up. Albert Marsolais’ subtle brand of humor is skillfully worked into every scene, making sure that the story never gets too heavy. I enjoyed Amir of Guelph and recommend it to anyone who likes character-driven stories full of humor and light suspense.