Colt O’Brien Grows Up
George Matthew Cole
Published October 30, 2012
With computer certifications under his belt and a new job waiting for him on campus, Colt O’Brien, his best friend Bobby and girlfriend Amy head to their first semester of college. Colt is quickly overwhelmed with school work and problems on the job. His boss Gerry is a UNIX guy in a Windows world, and Colt finds himself the only Windows tech providing support for an entire campus of computers. Despite the unfairness and Gerry’s apparent plot to get rid of him, Colt rises to the challenge and is determined to keep up with his work load.
The first semester of college isn’t exactly what freshman Amy Strong expected, either. With her boyfriend drowning in work and school, she is left on her own to ponder her own future. And to her own surprise, what she really wants isn’t that shiny degree at the end of the four year path. She wants a baby.
As Colt and Amy struggle to maintain their relationship amidst swirling emotions and other commitments, both begin to worry about Bobby, who seems to have fallen off his straight and narrow path. Rumors abound that Bobby is drinking too much, and soon Colt stumbles onto the evidence. It’s clear Bobby needs help, but convincing him of this fact will not prove easy.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Colt’s psychic abilities seem to go on the fritz, and he can’t figure out why or how to respond. When an accident disconnects him from his body, his friends and family must wait helplessly for Colt’s mentor to discover what has happened and attempt to bring him back.
Through his journey, Colt gains some maturity through the difficult work experiences and the counsel of his mentors. He learns to bite his tongue and hold back angry outbursts. He begins to recognize when he is thinking only of himself and learns to see others’ perspectives.
Author George Matthew Cole writes with an omniscient stream-of-consciousness style, providing a broad view of the story, though in some scenes it causes confusion. First mention of Colt’s psychic abilities comes almost as an afterthought, but as the story develops, the connection between the ability and the story becomes stronger and clearer. While Colt’s character is well-developed and shows growth, Amy seems to regress. Her interests shrink and her emotional well-being becomes bound to having a child and future with Colt.
Colt O’Brien Grows Up is an interesting look at a period in early adulthood not often explored in literature. Though ultimately dominated by the psychic problems Colt wrestles with, the story focuses at first on the practical issues of freshman year of college and the struggles and temptations students face.
Colt and his girlfriend go on a weekend getaway to have sex. Limited details. Two college girls attempt to seduce him while he fixes their computers. Some crude details.
Colt has psychic dreams and experiences which he does not understand. He does some research and finds mentors who explain various techniques and procedures.
Colt and his friend get into a fist-fight while in jail. Colt is injured when he goes to a party to pick up a friend.
College students drink alcohol, often excessively. Colt experiences a contact high at one party.