Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Desert Son


About the Author:
(Taken from Amazon)

Glenn Maynard is the author of the books "Strapped Into An American Dream" and "Desert Son." He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Connecticut, and a degree in Communications. After spending 4 years living in Denver, Colorado, he returned home to Connecticut and now resides in Wethersfield. Glenn has a 14 year-old son named Andrew. As a travel correspondent for three newspapers while exploring the United States, Canada and Mexico during his one-year journey, Glenn published a total of twenty newspaper articles. His story was captured on the NBC local news upon his return.


Carter Spence is a 26 year-old accountant out of Boston who has an out-of-body experience following a car accident that kills his parents. He views the chaos from above the scene of the accident, then passes through the tunnel and reunites with relatives who have long been dead. A woman he does not recognize approaches him and says, "Welcome, son." Her message to him is that he needs to be aware of his true identity and should follow signs that will lead him there. She mentions mountains, but Carter is jolted back into his physical body before she can finish. After burying his parents, Carter heads west and meets a free-spirit named Brenda, whom he is drawn to on many levels. She becomes his travelling companion and leads him to Boulder, Colorado, and to an old white house of an old man named Martin. Diaries, hypnosis, and past-life regression reveal a bizarre connection between these three. Carter discovers that the truth to his identity can only be found by pursuing the answer to whether he is the reincarnation of his biological father in what is shaping up to be a love affair rekindled beyond the grave.


This story is quite fascinating.  The audience begins watching the main character, Carter, hovering high in the sky while watching as the police and fire department respond to a horrible wreck.  Carter has no clue what's happening, but at the same time he doesn't care.

After a while, after the audience gets a better understanding of the situation, Carter moves on to the afterlife and gets a taste of what he can have, and then he's tossed out, back into his body and back to the pain of the world.  From here, he continues on a journey to discover who he truly is and his purpose in this life.

The reason for the three stars is because there were so many elements I'm conflicted about.  While I enjoy and appreciate the different ways Carter was pushed and pulled into the final understanding of what makes him special in unique, many of the things that pushed and pulled him were not explained and not "tied up" in the end.

Unfortunately, my explanation of what these things are include spoilers, so if you do not like spoilers, please stop reading here and understand that I did enjoy the read and recommend it for anyone who likes these types of novels.


Shortly after leaving town, Carter stops at a gas station.  On his way back to his car, he interrupts a young kid trying to steal the license plate from the back of the car using a screw driver.  There is a struggle, and the screw driver plunges into the kid's chest.  Carter does his best to hide the body and then flees.

There is nothing more about this for the rest of the book.  We don't know if the kid dies, and Carter certainly doesn't have to face the consequences of his actions, which is a tough thing to pull off with him being the protagonist of the story.  And if this was touched on later, it wasn't enough to resonate with me.

Another instance was Carter getting headaches whenever he looked at some mountains.  This is shown as significant because these mountains are something that were a part of his past life.  But, again, this didn't feel like it tied into the narrative, at all.  It felt like a plot device rather than a natural extension of the laws within the novel.

And lastly, Carter starts off being a nice, normal guy, but in the end, he was more than willing to allow someone to die a painful death just because he wanted answers.  I'm not going to go into specifics about the characters, but I will say this was an elderly man laying on the bed, sounding delusional, and there was no mention of anyone calling the police or an ambulance to get this man help.  The only thing the characters wanted to do was interrogate him.

Aside from these plot devices feeling like the heavy hand of an author, the writing itself was decent and the plot interesting.  I kept reading because I wanted to know what would happen, I wanted to explore more of the theories being explored within the text (existentialism, spirituality, and reincarnation being some of them), and I wanted to continue following Carter on his journey.  In the end, keeping the reader reading is the author's main goal, and this author did just that.

To find out more about this novel, please visit Amazon.

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