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Interest by Kevin Gaughen
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Interest

by Kevin Gaughen

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In Interest Kevin Gaughen gives the reader both a fast-paced science fiction/action story as well as a thought-provoking analysis of contemporary society. Where most science fiction that does this does so through the creation of an entirely different civilization within which to make its points, this work is situated in contemporary society. This certainly makes it harder to miss the point(s) but surprisingly succeeds quite well.

The one issue I have is relatively minor. There is just a little too much exposition when explaining the societal/cultural/political points. I would have preferred making the connections and interpretations myself. There is a reason writers are told to show not tell the reader what you want them to know. It just seemed that after something was shown Gaughen couldn't resist also explaining what he wanted us to take away from it. His points were good and I understand the desire to make them as accessible as possible but I just felt there were a few times when it was unnecessary and a bit heavy-handed.

Make no mistake though, this book is absolutely worth the time and energy to read and think about. In addition to science fiction lovers I think those interested in political/social commentary would also enjoy this book. Like some other reviewers I wasn't sure this would appeal to me but it did, and it did so from the very first page.

Reviewed from a copy made available through Goodreads First Reads. ( )
  pomo58 | Sep 25, 2015 |
I went into this book with much apprehension over a letter the author included to his readers in the beginning of the book (the author will be removing this letter from future copies of this book).I had all intentions of deducting stars over the content of this note.(see post on this subject here). I had every intention of ripping this book to pieces in my review, and was looking forward to it. Well, there is nothing to rip apart. I found a minor issue near the beginning. I flipped the book over, stared the picture of the author in the eyes, and actually addressed him outloud, "Your ass is mine!" I then, as much as it embarrasses me to admit, cackled at the thing and gave it a murderous glare. (I admit, I am a lot little dramatic and enjoy the hell out of ripping someone a new asshole.)

Synopsis (Amazon):
It’s all the news channels can talk about: the White House has been bombed, there's chaos in the streets, and the United States has found itself in the throes of a violent revolution.

Surrounded by panicked people, washed-up journalist Len Savitz takes the crisis in stride. It’s nothing that a stiff drink won’t cure. After all, bad news only hurts optimists.

But when the mysterious leader of the rebels cherry-picks him to acquire certain information for her, Len is forced to go on an investigative mission where he uncovers millennia-old secrets and unwittingly triggers a chain of disturbing events that will determine the future of humankind.

Author Kevin Gaughen’s dynamic debut novel, Interest, creates a seamless alternate reality behind real-world political tensions while keeping pace with its page-turning plot. Interest is as riveting as it is thought-provoking.

Who really runs the world we live in? The further Len digs, the darker the answers appear to be…

Author Kevin Gaughen’s dynamic debut novel, Interest, creates a seamless alternate reality behind real-world political tensions while keeping pace with its page-turning plot. Interest is as riveting as it is thought-provoking.
Who really runs the world we live in? The further Len digs, the darker the answers appear to be…

Excerpt:
"Is this Mr. Leonard Savitz?" The voice was female.
"Speaking. Who's this?"
"I just killed the president of the United States. I would like to meet with you."
"Hilarious. Who's this?"
"Today your daughter Octavia is wearing the yellow Steelers shirt that you bought her last fall. Your ex-wife, Sara, who drives a green SUV, just picked her up from kindergarten." The woman's tone was eerily flat.
The blood drained from Len's face.
Tomorrow we will find you."

My thoughts:
Kevin Gaughen has written an amazing story that will have you asking yourself, what if? After finishing this book, I was left with so much to process. It is a big universe out there, what is the chance we are really alone in this universe? What if humans weren't the ones in control, and hadn't ever really been?

This is well thought out and executed nicely. I really enjoyed this book. My brain will not stop thinking about this. I can't even bring myself to give deductions for the letter. I hope this author has more to come in the future. Plus, the cover of the book is great.

I won this book in a contest.

About the author:
Kevin Gaughen holds a degree in writing from Carnegie Mellon University but has spent most of his working life in the real estate business. However, with his debut novel, Interest, he’s finally pursuing his true calling as an author. In his spare time, Gaughen enjoys night photography, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and engaging in pointless arguments on the Internet. He currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and their three kids. ( )
  JLynFox | Aug 9, 2015 |
This is a first novel with depth and humor.

The protagonist's Zen Buddhist history was paralleled in the author's real life (I don't know him personally, but have "argued" with him on the internet). The political and sociological aspects of the book will have you asking yourself if there is really any significant difference between this sci-fi scenario and real life.

The humor often comes out of the character and observations of the protagonist. I was so impressed at how consistently funny the book is, despite some unflinching violence at times. I found myself chuckling every few pages.

I highly recommend this book, polished, thought-provoking, dark, and hilarious. ( )
  TulsaTV | May 19, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0986380520, Paperback)

It’s all the news channels can talk about: the White House has been bombed, there's chaos in the streets, and the United States has found itself in the throes of a violent revolution.

Surrounded by panicked people, washed-up journalist Len Savitz takes the crisis in stride. It’s nothing that a stiff drink won’t cure. After all, bad news only hurts optimists.

But when the mysterious leader of the rebels cherry-picks him to acquire certain information for her, Len is forced to go on an investigative mission where he uncovers millennia-old secrets and unwittingly triggers a chain of disturbing events that will determine the future of humankind.

Author Kevin Gaughen’s dynamic debut novel, Interest, creates a seamless alternate reality behind real-world political tensions while keeping pace with its page-turning plot. Interest is as riveting as it is thought-provoking.

Who really runs the world we live in? The further Len digs, the darker the answers appear to be…

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 01 Jul 2015 16:30:17 -0400)

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