Published By The Writer's Coffee Shop
Available from TWCS, Amazon, B&N, iTunes and Kobo - April 3rd, 2014
As far as stories go Obvious Child by Warren Cantrell is pretty good.
Sam Grant seems to be selfish, and a little bit into himself (very much the archetypal “Gen Y” persona that us oldies like to condemn). He doesn’t consider anyone, neither their needs nor their feelings. Nor does he really consider the gravity of the situation he has landed himself in. He just keeps looking to find a way out… without actually owning his decision. He doesn’t come out and say “you know what, I don’t want to do this anymore.”
As an older person, I found this very frustrating. Sam kept saying he had no choice, but that is rubbish - it was his choice to put an application in, it was his choice to stay in the program and it was his choice to behave the way he did. There were times when I couldn’t have shaken the boy… but would it have done any good?.
It’s a topical book, and I think the theme of “being so close to a situation you can’t see it clearly”, would really appeal to a young audience going through such situations. That is really what I felt was Sam’s main problem was, he was too embedded in the consequences of actions to realise that it didn’t have to be that way. As the audience we can shut out in frustration at the way he is acting with each page, but we are lucky to see the whole picture. Sam can’t.
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.
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.
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