Monday, 31 March 2014

Obvious Child by Warren Cantrell

Available from TWCS, Amazon, B&N, iTunes and Kobo - April 3rd, 2014

My Thoughts

Obvious Child by Warren Cantrell is a story about a young man Sam Grant who gets himself into a bit of a pickle and then tries to extricate himself through a series of inappropriate actions that strangely don't help him achieve his goal. 

It strikes me as a very topical concept - ill gotten fame through participation in a reality TV show. YouTube sensationalism and viral infamy at its finest. There are many occurrences of this in society today, Justin Bieber is probably the most notable example of late. Sam Grant is a lot like him, not the singing aspect but the bad boy miscalculations that divide public opinion between love and hate.

Some of our readers can not tolerate Sam - he is a divisive personality. At times I too found myself questioning his character. He seems to reach a point in the story where he is almost unredeemable and I was glad to see him turn that around. I honestly feel that there is a point of no return for a character's good standing in the public eye and I'm guessing that this is different from person to person.

I quite enjoyed this novel, especially the ending which although it left the story on a bit of a cliff hanger, it also ends in a spot that feels right.

I look forward to more from this author.

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The Summary:

Sam Grant doesn’t want to be famous, but he doesn’t have much of a say in the matter.

On the verge of graduating from college with his master’s in History, Sam and the rest of the world bear witness to the invention of time travel. Revealed via a YouTube broadcast, the brothers responsible for inventing time travel find their remarkable device coopted by the U.S. government. In a magnanimous gesture, the U.S. government holds a worldwide competition to decide who will be the first time traveler in history. This turns Sam’s world upside down after a half-baked joke application he sends in gets him accepted as a contestant for consideration.

Thrust into a political and media blender set to puree, Sam and his fellow contestants vie for the affections of a worldwide audience who will vote on the eventual winner. As the successive rounds of the contest pass by, and Sam tries everything from indifference to wild irreverence to get himself voted out of the competition, he finds that all his actions only serve to make him more popular.

As the contest goes on, Sam and the time travel project become more of a referendum on our society’s fascination with celebrity disasters, and what they will do to make sure the entertainment doesn’t stop anytime soon. Unable to get out of the contest via logical means, Sam learns to embrace the perks sudden celebrity provides, yet also suffers some of its typical consequences.

Stuck between two worlds—one he can’t handle, and another he can’t control—Sam finds himself considering a third option, one that has him confronting a time traveling reality that terrifies him to his very core.

The Author:

Warren Cantrell is a film and music critic based out of Seattle, Washington. One of the few surviving journalists of the Gonzo school, Mr. Cantrell’s work has appeared in such publications as Lost in Reviews and Scene-Stealers.

A classically trained scholar with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in History, Mr. Cantrell has spent the majority of his time since graduation writing novels and paying off his student loans. Working as a critic and an on-the-ground correspondent, Mr. Cantrell has covered the Seattle International and Sundance Film Festivals and has had the pleasure of interviewing people ranging from Sissy Spacek to Joss Whedon.

As an established film and music critic, Mr. Cantrell finds that it is best to keep his political views private, except to say that he feels Greedo definitely did not shoot first and that The Misfits ceased to exist the moment Danzig left the band.

A life-long Arizona Diamondbacks, Cardinals, and Phoenix Suns fan, Mr. Cantrell enjoys fast cars, Italian opera, Norwegian cinema, Kentucky bourbon, and Motörhead concerts.

Connect with the Author

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