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Discontents: A Protest Novel
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Discontents: A Protest Novel

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  21 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
"With the Occupy Wall Street movement raging, this book couldn't be more timely!" - protester


Emory Walden is a talented writer and street artist at odds with the corporate America of his twenty-something peers. He can’t remember how he ended up hospitalized needing a risky surgery to save his life. Someone tried to kill him.

He suspects his involvement with the eni
Published August 17th 2011 by JWBirch (first published July 25th 2011)
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Joe Crubaugh
Jul 26, 2015 Joe Crubaugh rated it really liked it
I really liked Discontents. The writing is excellent, and it satisfied from the start. But about 30 pages in, magic happened. You've read books that introduce interesting characters, an interesting world, but then the story begins to flounder and go nowhere through the middle, but instead of bogging down Discontents hit the golden gear at this point--all of a sudden, the characters were real for me, and I wanted to turn the pages and spend more time with them. Then on top of that, a plot kicked ...more
Scott Bury
Oct 01, 2011 Scott Bury rated it really liked it
Discontents is the second independently published ebook I have read, and I am impressed.

There is a lot to like in this story. Birch demonstrates his own social awareness and a little of his politics. He’s sympathetic to the same ideals that I am, but also skeptical and a little cynical—like me. And he’s realistic.

This is a political thriller from a different perspective. The main character is not a super-spy, a cop, a politician or a reporter. He really is an outsider, an overeducated, underemp
Jason Pettus
Oct 20, 2011 Jason Pettus rated it did not like it
Shelves: contemporary
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

As I've said here before, although in general I'm proud of CCLaP's policy to review any book that any person takes the trouble to actually send, it sometimes leads to me having to do some pretty harsh critiques of titles that clearly don't deserve that harshness, titles that in fact are clearly not even re
John Zunski
Aug 29, 2011 John Zunski rated it it was amazing
Hold on tight, James Wallace Birch is about to take you for a wild ride. With more twists and turns than a world-class roller coaster, Discontents plays out like the "Blair Witch Project" of Political Thrillers. Is Birch's 'relationship' with Emory Walden real or a stroke of marketing Genius? The question will linger long after the train returns to the station. Kudos Mr. Birch!
Aug 19, 2011 Kelin rated it it was amazing
Discontents grabbed my attention from the start-- not in a jarring or abrupt fashion-- in a carefully crafted look into the main character's persona that was just so spot on and clever it left me instantly intrigued as to who this character (Emory) was and what he'd be getting into. The style is so fresh and unique and the commentary is witty and has political or social commentary but it is also very realistic and down to earth. It was believable and riveting. It made me hope there w ...more
David Brown
Oct 13, 2011 David Brown rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary, indie-stuff
Coincidently, I read Discontents just before and during the latest surge of protests in the U.S. The back drop of current events lends this book an even more powerful aura than it easily establishes on its own.

This book delivers a well-balanced approach to ideas, emotions and story. It develops an intrigue of its own while weaving real events into its fabric. While the main character is self-righteous and pretentious (in his own subversive sort of way), he is also powerful and unassuming. James
David King
Aug 18, 2012 David King rated it liked it
It has been quite a while since I read any form of political thriller so I was looking forward to reading "Discontents" by James Wallace Birch. What I discovered was a slow burner of a novel that explores the various ideologies that our societies are currently based around. It really did make me think about things such as the roles of governments and corporations in our lives, which I suspect are the main purpose of a novel such as this.

The story itself follows the life of Emory Walden, an infam
Sep 17, 2011 Coral rated it it was amazing
Love everything about this book. I love the concept, the writing, the subject matter, the anti-genre, the author's a super-nice guy too! If you liked The Blair Witch Project or House of Leaves, then you'll love this book. He has a great buy-in - my friend gave me this manuscript to self-publish so expect some errors (there are only a handful) but it makes the premise of the 'real' story of Emory Walden come to life. You just have to swallow the 'red pill' and read this story.

Listen/read my revi
Gail Baugniet
Oct 29, 2011 Gail Baugniet rated it really liked it
During the Labor Day Book Blowout, sponsored by Independent Book Collective (IBC), I discovered and purchased DISCONTENTS, written by author James Wallace Birch. The “Legal Stuff” posted at the front of the book mystified me: Were the great many notices presented on this page issued out of fear . . . or did they mirror the paranoia of the story’s protagonist? With some trepidation, I finally proceeded to read the published version of Emory Walden’s ordeal.

The eras covered in Emory’s story are tw
Susan Ozmore
Oct 22, 2011 Susan Ozmore rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This is not the type of book I normally read. Usually I stick to non-fiction, classics, and what my friend calls "potato chip books" - books full of empty calories meant just for fun and escape. Discontents is not one of those books! So reading my review, keep in mind that I am not a literary critic. I have not read many "protest" books to compare it to. But I think I would call Discontents a "protest" book. Although it was published in July of 2011, it seems to echo many of the ideas that we se ...more
Daniel Shortell
Sep 13, 2011 Daniel Shortell rated it really liked it
The novel begins on the premise that the author (Birch) received a letter from a former high school friend/underground political activist (Emory Walden) who disappeared in early 2011. In the letter, Walden asks the Birch to publish the details of his story outside traditional publishing circles to ensure the integrity of the story.

Back in the US after a stint in Europe, Walden learns about the impact his political blog is having among a contingent of angry citizens in the wake of the 2008 financ
Jan 18, 2013 mountainmama rated it it was amazing
An intriguing tale of a protest movement and Emory Walden, a blogger and graffiti artist who is approached by a tycoon who wants to underwrite his efforts to further the cause. What ensues is not exactly what Emory envisioned when he agreed to the deal. The story is presented by the author, after receiving the ‘rest of the story’ from Walden several years after Walden’s disappearance.

Mr. Birch has a very poetic style of writing, and the story itself is very well constructed, with twists and turn
Aug 27, 2011 Tim rated it it was ok
Shelves: e-books, fiction
When I see documentaries or read books about the 1960s, I occasionally can't help but ponder whether the radicals of the period, such as Abbie Hoffman or Bernadine Dohrn, ever wondered what America would be like today had the change they advocated come to pass. They face the problem all of us do -- no one knows what might have been had fate or choice led us down a different path. But what would you do if you believed that conditions were similar enough that it's possible to take another stab at ...more
Jessica Buike
Sep 20, 2011 Jessica Buike rated it liked it
Honestly, this book wasn't for me. I wanted to love it, since I love a good crime-solver, action-packed, mystery type of book - but this book didn't pull me in, and I had a hard time finishing it.
The language was difficult, and the author was very wordy. There were several spelling errors present in the text.
However, the concept was interesting and it was very ideological. The reader follows a blogger who inadvertently ends up becoming a figurehead for a massive political movement. When he gets
Lynn Hallbrooks
Jan 10, 2012 Lynn Hallbrooks rated it it was amazing
Shelves: now-on-my-kindle
Overall, I think that Discontents by James Wallace Birch is a truly intriguing book. It has plenty of twists and turns in it to keep you pondering on what is really happening...or is this really happening? The pace is good...more like a roller coaster...slowly you get to the top and then you find all the twist, turns and loop-the-loops.

The book is mainly first person and has a good balance between dialogue and inner thoughts. The main character's perceptions of the world around him is an essent
Nicole marked it as to-read
Mar 27, 2016
Wordsl Dreamsl
Wordsl Dreamsl marked it as to-read
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Aug 12, 2015
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May 28, 2014
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May 13, 2013
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James Wallace Birch is an award-winning author of short fiction. He has published a number of articles in newspapers and journals. Discontents is his debut novel. James is a twenty-something from Northern Virginia (NoVa), outside our nation's capital.

Discontents is about the disappearance of one of his high school friends who was hunted by the U.S. government. You can get Part 1 of Discontents as
More about James Wallace Birch...

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