Bartholomew St. James

The Contrarian Candidate


It’s debate night in America.

And the one man with a real chance of defeating the twice-impeached president will finally be on that stage. Stand-up comic Charlie Wyatt launched his career on the back of the man, often 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 his 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 powerful new strategy, it seems Charlie may have a real shot.

But to win it he’ll have to survive the night. And that won’t just be about scheming gotcha questions or juvenile put-downs. Because the conspiracy-driven madness of his partisan adversaries, has placed Charlie in the crosshairs. So as the debate gets under way, and the tension around him builds, nothing less than Charlie’s life and the future of the nation hang in the balance.




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. And he’s done it with fiction, because he feels that’s the best way to tell the story of a deeply divided nation and the challenges that presents.

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The Contrarian Candidate is reaching more readers than ever. Read how...

Thanks to your support, The Contrarian Candidate has become a best seller. Since its publication in late 2020 it has hit the Amazon bestseller list multiple times, including making it into the top 10 in several of Amazon’s political categories.

In addition, we are happy to report that the paperback edition is now available at Barnes and Noble


Welcome to debate night in America.

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

Lesley Hughes

Award-Winning 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!

A real page turner

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.

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….

A perfect book for right now

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




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