James P. Othmer’s newest novel, “Holy Water,” is an insightful and painfully funny book about downsizing, outsourcing, third-world dictatorships and vasectomies. The acclaimed author of The Futurist and Adland, Othmer returns to the Mahopac Public Library on Thursday, June 17 at 7 pm to talk about his latest book, his inspiration, and his dream-come-true career shift from marketing executive to full-time writer.
Holy Water’s main character, Henry Tuhoe, is the ultimate twenty-first-century man. He has a vague, well-compensated job working for a multinational conglomerate—but everyone around him is getting laid off as the company outsources everything it can to third-world countries.
Then Henry’s boss offers him a choice: go to the tiny, magical, about-to-be-globalized Kingdom of Galado to oversee the launch of a new customer-service call center for a boutique bottled water company the conglomerate has just acquired, or lose the job with no severance. Henry takes the transfer, but finds that his new workplace is as morally and spiritually corrupt as the corporate culture back home. Henry makes it his personal humanitarian mission to help provide clean water to Galado’s poorest citizens. The result is a riveting piece of fiction of and for our times, blackly satirical, moving, and profound.
James P. Othmer, the son of the late Richard Othmer, a longtime Carmel town supervisor, graduated from Mahopac High School and then took classes at Westchester Community College before finishing his undergraduate degree in English at Northeastern University in Boston. A graduate of the creative writing program at New York University, Othmer has had stories, humorous essays and op-eds published in the VQR, The New York Times, Nylon magazine, The Chattahoochee Review, Madison Review and other publications.
As a former creative director at Young & Rubicam Advertising in New York Othmer developed brand visions and award-winning commercials for some of the world’s leading companies. This experience provided him with the opportunity to travel the world and meet some of the world’s most interesting and innovative people. It also exposed him to a steady stream of geopolitical absurdities and moral incongruities that may very well inform his latest novel, Holy Water.
James Othmer currently lives with his wife and two children in Mahopac, NY. This is his third author appearance at the Mahopac Public Library. Copies of Holy Water will be available for purchase and can be signed by the author at this event. Registration is requested; register online @ www.mahopaclibrary.org, or call 845-628-2009, ext 100.