Bartholomew St. James

The Contrarian Candidate

It’s debate night in America.

And the one man with a practical plan for defeating the twice-impeached president will finally be on that stage. Stand-up comic Charlie Wyatt launched his career on the back of his now opponent, once referring to him as DUPHUS – like POTUS, only not. Charlie voted for him in 2016, only to wake up the next morning with a monumental hangover and the sudden realization of what he’d done.

He couldn’t take that vote back. But with the help of his politico girlfriend Laura, he could challenge the man for the party’s nomination. And now thanks to Laura’s explosive new strategy, it seems Charlie may have a real shot.

But to win it he’ll have to survive the night. And that goes way beyond scheming gotcha questions and juvenile put-downs. Because there’s a gun-toting belligerent lurking in the debate hall, who’s conspiracy-driven madness has put Charlie in his sights. So as the evening grows to a climax, nothing less than Charlie’s life and the future of the country hang in the balance.

In other words, it’s a fairly typical night in the political life of America.



Bartholomew St. James

Bartholomew St. James is a one-time political operative, and lifelong political observer, who’s turned his talents to reporting on the politics of our day. Why do that with fiction? Because he feels the answers to our political challenges can only be truly appreciated and understood when seen and heard, and touched and felt. Besides, he figures it’s way more fun that way.



Welcome to debate night in America.

“Too entertaining to put down and too insightful to forget”

Lesley Hughes

Veteran Canadian Journalist


Fiction bests non-fiction once again, as The Contrarian Candidate takes on the big question citizens of the world are asking: how did America decline into its current miserable state? And is there a door marked EXIT? The novel brims with the honesty and compassion needed for political opponents to come together. Too entertaining to put down and too insightful to forget…..

“Intense and fast paced”

Patrick Lowe
Filmmaker and Documentarian


Intense and  fast paced, this novel takes the pulse of the current American zeitgeist …readers will be well rewarded to open this dry, incisive political satire…highly readable!

“Provides hope and humanity”

Roger Currie
Columnist and Broadcaster


So this is how everything ends up compromised…political leadership, media, elections, intimate relationships…The Contrarian Candidate takes the up close and personal view behind the scenes so that the unthinkable seems reasonable, however wrong it may be…but understanding it all provides hope and humanity….

“Well written, funny and intense”

Dr. Richard Smith 
Professor, Simon Fraser University


St. James brings to life a character many of us wish had emerged in the political process years ago: a credible alternative to the 45th president and someone who could dislodge him from the party ticket in the primaries, before doing even more damage.Well written, funny and intense, this is a great piece of alternative history. The cast of characters around Charlie – a standup comedian who takes on the challenge of displacing ‘DUPHUS’ is believable and makes this a real page turner.

“A satisfying combination of wisdom and entertainment”

Jim Friesen
Photographer and Poet
Author of The Paradise Theatre And Other Poems


In The Contrarian Candidate, Bartholemew St James creates a parallel universe that deconstructs the current American socio-political situation while at the same time offering a possible way out. Charlie Wyatt, the unlikely hero, brings a philosophical antidote to the divisive powder keg we find ourselves in. Even as he ramps up the momentum on a simple but effective thriller, St James is able to provide a satisfying combination of wisdom and entertainment. A perfect book for right now.

“A tensely enthralling read. Dazzlingly original”

Joan P

United Kingdom


The book’s backdrop is a political landscape in which the main character, Charlie is a contender in the forthcoming presidential election. Having voted for the current occupier of the White House, Charlie feels responsible “to fix what we’ve done to ourselves and the world”. The Contrarian Candidate is underpinned by a vital commentary on real World characters and perspectives, making for a tensely enthralling read. Dazzlingly original, cleverly observed and thought provoking social commentary that will surely appeal to fans of topical story telling.

“Vividly captures the zeitgeist of the deeply divided America”

Joseph Rai
Journalist, India


The Contrarian Candidate is a topical novel, which vividly captures the zeitgeist of the deeply divided America that is headed for arguably the most sensational and polarised Presidential election. The incumbent President in the novel is unnamed but it is categorically evident who he is although as a character he is kept behind the scenes. I was struck by this idea of putting the President in the background and had a gut feeling that it was a deliberate attempt by the author to gag the venom spewing President for once.

Taking on the President in the upcoming election is an unusual candidate – a comedian named Charlie Wyatt. And that is why I thought the title – The Contrarian Candidate- is apt and witty. A huge chunk of the novel centres around the Presidential debate between Charlie and Teddy Tuff, who is sort of an incarnate of the current President and is standing in for him during the debate.

The debate dissects topics from the trade war with China to the President’s notorious sexist remarks that created an uproar across the world. The author goes into depth into these topics and these parts make for an insightful read. Charlie, who himself had voted for the President in 2016, is witty and likeable. But very realistically, the author also exposes the flaws and vulnerabilities of Charlie and if his comedian’s wit is enough to topple the conniving incumbent and hold the most powerful position in the world. At the macro level, the author seeks to explore the degree of truth in the old adage that politics is a dirty game. The author has also successfully portrayed the consequence of the incumbent President’s regime that has stoked nothing but divisions and hatred.

Like many perhaps, there is a yearning in the author’s voice for a world where people agreed to disagree and the atmosphere was relatively harmonious and less suffocating. This quote encapsulates this well:“There was a time not so long ago … when we didn’t feel such distance and such hatred towards each other. But nowadays it seems like things have gotten so bad that most of us can’t even remember that world, can’t even remember when we could actually talk to each other.”One can only hope for a return to some semblance of that period when we were more tolerant towards each other.

“A very enjoyable and timely read”

Bill McLeish

Calgary, Canada


This is a very enjoyable and timely read. Given the disaster that has been created by the 45th President in brainwashing so many millions of Americans over the past four years, a rebirth of the Republican Party will have to start with people like Charlie Wyatt.

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My  Blog

Let’s think about this…

The Campaign that Never Ended

The Campaign that Never Ended

With another Biden/Trump rematch looming, I decided to have a look back at the blogs I wrote in the run-up to the 2020 election. And I found they had plenty to say about the current political mess. So if you want to have a look, click the above image to go to the page where they can be found in chronological order.

The Election Aftermath

The Election Aftermath

January 6th didn’t happen over night. And it didn’t happen in a vacuum. As multiple investigations now show, there was plenty of evidence for what was to come. The question then becomes, why did no one in authority do anything to stop it, when it was so clear what was happening? To see how clear it was, click on the above image to see my blogs from that period. You might want to take special note of my pre-election blogs about “The Coming Civil War.”

Why Can’t Chris Christie Gain Traction?

Why Can’t Chris Christie Gain Traction?

Christie has the one talent anyone who wants to beat Trump must have – an innate, Rickles-like ability to use one-liners to shoot him down. It’s only because of Trumps hapless former opponents that that strategy came to seem unworkable. So why is he lagging in the polls? And why is he ultimately likely to fail to win the nomination?

On Amazon Best Seller lists

On Amazon Best Seller lists

The Contrarian Candidate is making its mark in several of the Amazon Bestseller categories. The eBook version has been ranking at #57 in the Kindle Store. We're even more excited to report great rankings in these specific areas:...

Available through Barnes & Noble

Available through Barnes & Noble

This is a reminder to our readers in the USA and customers of that The Contrarian Candidate can be purchased in its paperback version through this well-known bookseller. Barnes & Noble, or simply, serves more than 600 communities in all...

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