Book Review: Obstacles by Christopher Reardon

About the Book:


A child will die. You’re afraid to live. Would you go to all lengths to save him? Darkness knows no bounds, as Alcott, an African American doctor sees all too well. The man is petrified by death. His fragile existence rests at the mercy of the universe. This fact is far too much for him to handle. From unyielding nightmares to elevator terrors, he’s lost in paranoia.

Assigned to look after an ill child, Alcott’s horrors only heighten. Gari is a nine-year-old boy with a fatal disease. He will surely pass on within the year. Alcott bonds with him more and more each day. Part of him knows this grim fate just isn’t right.

Alcott befriends a hospital patient. This lunatic forces him to lug home an ancient text on bringing back the dead. Despite the man’s obvious dementia, Alcott attempts the scheme. Charging up a cliff, he recites the chant over ocean gusts.

A god woman glides in from the horizon. She instructs Alcott on the trials to save Gari’s life. These fearsome Obstacles require true strength. From battling sharks to wielding a flail, he must prove fortitude against genuine danger. Alcott decides his fate at this moment.

Death’s claws shall not grasp Gari’s soul.

My Thoughts:

Obstacles is about a man who is ready to face a number of challenges to save a little boy who is dying. For every boon or miracle granted, there is always a price to be exacted and in this case that is the life of the man for the life of the boy. The protagonist is a doctor who is forced to face his own fears and conquer them as well as work with a team of people in some place not quite earth. the rules are quite simple. you play the game until you lose and when you do you are sent back to where you had started with no memory of the obstacles and life goes on. If however you end up winning, then you are completely erased from the face of the earth and all trace of you is removed. it will be as if you never existed. That is of course something very difficult to deal with or comprehend and the author had brilliantly brought out the feelings of the protagonist of this story. At various stages of these obstacles, loyalties are tested and we see that fear, greed and even love make people do things they would never have done outside this situation.

This is a well written book and there is an interesting message that we can get out of it. This story also show how much love can change a person and their sense of duty is a strong guiding force.

In Conversation with Christopher Reardon

I would liek to welcome Chris Reardon, author of Obstacles to the blog and I thank him for taking time out to have a chat with us. My review of the book will be posted soon.


Q. What is OBSTACLES about and what message are you trying to convey to the readers?

OBSTACLES is mainly about death, and how people deal with it. It’s obviously the scariest and most universal thing everybody has to face. I wanted a first person view at someone petrified of dying, and even living itself. I wanted to see what this person would do when a little kid is facing the thing that scares him so much. Character development was extremely important to me. I wanted to show that people CAN completely change.

Q. Who among the characters you created can you relate to the most and why?

Alcott, the protagonist, would be the most relatable to me, and hopefully most readers. That’s why it’s from his perspective. Everybody has nightmares and gets down on themselves sometimes. He’s absolutely afraid of everything. I didn’t want a protagonist that had no problems and nobody could relate to.

Q. Which character did you find difficult to write about?

Gari was definitely the most difficult to write. He’s supposed to be the opposite of Alcott, at least on the outside anyway. He takes on death with a smile and doesn’t hide in fear, despite being so young. That’s a very hard concept to grasp, but some people must have that bravery.

Q.  Which are your favourite books/authors?

I love the A Series of Unfortunate of Events books! They are by far my favorite. It’s a nice break from the ‘all happy, no problems’ type of stories. Those kids go through some horrible experiences! The characters were very relatable and interesting since they were so different from each other. I also liked how they helped each other. When one wanted to give up, the other two got them right back up.

Q. What are your hobbies?

I really like playing tennis, video games, reading books, running, writing, playing flute, and listening to music.

Q. Name a place you would like to visit most.

I really want to visit China. I’ve heard so many cool things about it from the cities to the scenery.

Q. What according to you is the best thing about writing a story?

The best part of writing a story is knowing you’re in control. You can do whatever pops into your head. I really liked having that freedom to be able to change/create anything at the drop of a hat. There were no rules, and no limits