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The Prospect of My Arrival (2nd Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Dwight Okita
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $11.95
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Book Description

"Prospect's strong, innocent voice carries the novel as it ranges from touching to satirical in its exploration of the nature of humanity."
-- Publishers Weekly, referring to the novel as it appeared
in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards

A human embryo is allowed to preview the world before deciding whether to be born. The embryo, named Prospect, is given a starter kit of human knowledge, and his consciousness is inserted into a synthetic twenty-year-old body. To help him make up his mind, he will meet a range of people. Among them, a greeting card writer who excels at sympathy cards, and Prospect's very own inscrutable parents. Trish Mesmer is the scientist charged with counseling Prospect, though she has more hidden agendas than a centipede has legs. At the same time, Trevor Grueling grows increasingly committed to derailing the bio-experiment all together. This cautionary tale is served up with equal helpings of whimsy and dread, with just a dash of hope.

In the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards, the book was selected by Penguin editors as one of the top ten books out of five thousand.

Editorial Reviews


*** This new edition contains books reviews of PROSPECT and discussion questions, and the book had been edited somewhat. There are also 3 chapters of the new novel THE HOPE STORE.  *** Take a peek at the acclaimed book trailer featured on Indies Unlimited!
From Midwest Book Review:  Reviewer's Bookwatch
"From pre-birth to a twenty-year-old body, life can be quite a shock. The Prospect of My Arrival tells the story of Prospect, a human embryo transplanted to synthetic adult body, as he debates whether life is worth the pain of birth. Offering an unusual depiction of life and what our world says to those who may be an outsider, The Prospect of My Arrival is a unique novel with its own message, a read that is very much worth considering." 
From author Alison DeLuca's blog "Fresh Pot of Tea"
"This summer I had the pleasure to read 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami and The Prospect of My Arrival by Dwight Okita. The books were similar in style -- a deceptive simplicity, deepening excitement, addictive prose, and a sense of melancholy and wonder throughout...Okita is a name to be watched on the Indie front."

From Joni Rodgers, author of Bald in the Land of Big Hair 
New York Times bestselling author
"The premise is genius, and the beautiful writing totally delivered the goods."
From Publishers Weekly

"...takes the reader on an engrossing and moving journey into the meaning of life...keeps the pages turning until its satisfying and touching conclusion." 
-- Refers to the 2008 version entered in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards.
From Windy City Times
"...intriguing questions raised in this elegant book by Dwight Okita...The Prospect of My Arrival is a book that is serious, poignant and engaging."

From the Author

Disclaimer:  This book is soft sci fi/literary fiction.  Readers of hard sci fi may be disappointed. 
About the different versions of PROSPECT:  The novel was first published in September 2011. Then a second, current version was created in June 2013.  This new version contains books reviews, discussion questions, and the book was reproofed to correct typos and continuity errors. Also some efforts was made to smooth out some sentence frags.  Very importantly, this version includes three chapters of the forthcoming novel THE HOPE STORE!

Product Details

  • File Size: 419 KB
  • Print Length: 307 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1460959892
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition (November 15, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #428,693 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Original and thought-provoking October 5, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First off, the premise is one of the most original I've encountered: a cyber-educated embryo gets the chance to preview the world, and at the end of his trial period has the opportunity to decide whether or not to be born.

I'm not sure medical ethics would ever allow such an experiment, but I'm willing to suspend my disbelief for the sake of the story. Through the course of the experiment, "Prospect" inhabits a temporary body in which to experience the world and encounters a host of pre-selected guides, called "Referrals," to help him make an informed decision.

The lead scientist, his "Facilitator" wishes to preserve the integrity of the experiment by giving Prospect access to the full spectrum of humanity. In addition to clashes with the corporate sponsor, "Big Farm," she grapples with her own biases and conflicts of interest. Big Farm's agenda is a positive outcome with which to tout their associated products. Some of the Referrals have their own agendas as well.

Caught in the middle is Prospect, who's voice and perspective the narrative captures with its air of naivete, and with storytelling that reminded me of myth and legend.

While I was turned off a bit by what I perceived as an anti-science slant (that's probably my bias since I am a working scientist - we aren't all evil, caught up in the hubris of playing God, or greedy), this was a tale that made me think and will stick with me.

That's good reading.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good in theory but not in practice April 22, 2012
By TyraD
Format:Kindle Edition
The premise was intriguing but the execution was abysmal. The writing was way too clunky and all the characters had the same "voice". (The voice of an irritating teenager.)

However, I did manage to finish the book... I wanted to give it a chance to get better, but unfortunately it didn't and I had to be dragged to the end kicking and screaming. I found myself being brought out of the story every paragraph or so, due to choppy sentence structures and continuous changes in pov and narration.

Also FYI, I got this on kindle when it was marked as free. If I had paid for it, I would've returned it.

The writer, imo, has got what it takes in terms of creating worlds but needs to work on his finesse in delivering them to his audience.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
By L. Tam
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Go ahead. Call me a snob. But I couldn't read this book. Why? Because the book reads like this review. With too short sentences. Many of the short sentences really should be one longer sentence. The author could stand to make friends with commas. And conjunctions. I found it pretty jarring to read. The other reviews for this book are better written.

Really, though, that is just me being a style snob. Clearly the other well-written (and presumably well-read) reviewers of the book enjoyed it, and so if the above writing style does not bother you, by all means you should give it a try. (In fact, try the preview and see how it sits with you.) The book has a very interesting premise, and you are thrown into the action right away. Some books take a while to start moving, but this gets going right from the beginning. What I did read of it was very promising story-wise, but the writing style was just too unsuitable for my reading style.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not anything the 5 star reviews say it is. July 16, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have mixed feelings about this book in both content and structure. First, there are typographical problems that get worse as the book goes on. Eveything from simple spelling errors and wrong words (like "he" instead of "the") to words repeating in the same sentence ("He entered the He entered the room...") to places where editing is evident because verbs no longer agree, or parts of old sentences have been left behind. I recognize these are editing problems, not necessarily the author's, but it detracts from the reading experience.

The writing itself varies from clever and compelling, to long sections of boring exposition that left me wondering "so what?" At times I found myself wondering how far I could skip without missing anything important. It turns out, pretty far. I wanted to like Prospect, the title character, but he read too much like Edward Scissorhands.

Negatives aside, the premise of the story is very interesting: if a person could preview life on earth before being born, would they still choose to be born? I don't know if it was the author's intention, but the book is a classic study in selfishness. Everyone Prospect encounters is driven entirely by selfishness, even though their purpose is supposed to be helping him. Ultimately, what Prospect learns is how to be selfish, and his final decision is entirely that.

For me, it was easy to hate the "bad guys" because they were so overtly self-serving. But it was hard to like the "good guys" because there was no meaningful self-sacrifice. In the end, I didn't care one bit what happened to anyone because their selfishness made them so unsympathetic. Maybe that was the author's point, we become apathetic towards anything that doesn't meet our needs or expectations.

If a feeling of complete indifference was the author's intent, this is a masterpiece. If not, this book is an epic fail.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable June 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An embryo is given the chance to choose if he wants to be born or not. As part of a bio-experiment that looks to discover the cure for unsettled, violent, and emotionally tormented future generations, the embryo meets a range of people who help him make his important decision, people that vary in beliefs, professions, age and wealth. From an orphan who wishes he didn't exist, to a retired writer of greeting card messages, to a painter, a playboy, and a mother tormented by a past mistake, Prospect soaks in his surroundings with an innocence that defies the physical stature of the twenty year old body he was given to inhabit by Big Farm Technologies.

His 'Facilitator', Trish Mesmer, the woman from who's mind the basis for the experiment came, comes across as both mean and nurturing. She protects Prospect in a way that fortifies her morally twisted views. The connection that develops between them becomes a problem for her superiors, who threaten to fire her for her lack of professional resolve. It is feared that Prospect isn't being guided well enough. Big Farm Technologies wants Prospect to choose to be born and to splash their innovation in the press. They want Trish to persuade him into choosing to be born even if that means to rig the experiment in a way that exploits Prospect's innocence. While Trish struggles to regain control and preserve the nature of the scientific experimentation process, there is a secret plot set in place by a 'referral' who's not too happy with science, to push Prospect off the edge, to overwhelm him, and to make him choose not to be born.

The story opens with a intriguing prologue which tempts the reading palate with questions and the desire to find answers. I loved the poetic analogies scattered throughout the prose.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Superior Science Fiction
It’s been a long time since I’ve read really original science fiction. Dwight Okita’s “The Prospect of My Arrival” hit me like the first time I encountered John Varley; like the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by C
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I enjoy this book. But it sounds silly sometimes. But it catch my attention Buy it
Published 10 months ago by Robert Greene
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea
I got bored and quit reading it half way through. Maybe the author intended it to sound like the reader was listening the thoughts of a 2nd grader; at times that is how I felt.
Published 10 months ago by Bob H
4.0 out of 5 stars The ending dragged.
The book had an interesting premise but the ending dragged a little bit. A quicker conclusion would have been better.
Published 10 months ago by Gerald B. Katz
4.0 out of 5 stars What if you could decide if you want to be born before you are born?
The Prospect of My Arrival by Dwight Okita certainly has a unique premise. Prospect is an embryo who, through the miracle of science and the Pre-Born Project, gets to spend three... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Heather E. Hejduk
3.0 out of 5 stars on the fence
I really thought this could be an amazing book. It has a GREAT premise and I was very excited to read it. Read more
Published 10 months ago by stlblue1
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating & thought-provoking
Through the eyes of "Prospect," the pre-born soul who gets a few weeks on earth to decide whether he wants to be born, this book offers a fascinating look at human nature... Read more
Published 10 months ago by JE Kremer
5.0 out of 5 stars great book!!!
A new idea in the not so distant future! This was an awesome read...I finished it the same day. I'm going to order his next book..the little teaser at the end hooked me!
Published 12 months ago by Catherine Koons
2.0 out of 5 stars Read the Sample FIRST!
I tried to read the sample. But, good grief!!!! Just a few pages into it and I just couldn't go on. The idea was good. But the writing style should have been a bit different. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good
The writing seems a bit juvenile and i noticed several grammar mistakes. But overall i liked the story and premise of the book.
Published 13 months ago by Tabatha
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More About the Author

The author's debut novel THE PROSPECT OF MY ARRIVAL was published in trade paperback and kindle in 2011.

** AUTHOR NOTE. In May 2013, the author published a revised edition of PROSPECT in both formats. They are now available. The new version includes book reviews, discussion questions, and the opening 20 pages of his new novel THE HOPE STORE. Also PROSPECT was been re-proofed. **

PROSPECT is general fiction with a sci-fi spin. It was named one of the top three books of 5,000 in the Amazon novel contest in 2008, garnering fine reviews from Publishers Weekly in 2008 and 2009. The book is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, expanded distribution and fine book stores.

Born and raised in Chicago, Dwight Okita started his writing life as a poet with Tia Chucha Press publishing his book of poetry Crossing with the Light. He wrote personal essays for WBEZ, the Chicago affiliate of NPR, and read his poetry on Ira Glass' popular radio show "This American Life." He soon found himself reincarnated as a playwright, with produced plays including The Rainy Season, the darkly comic short play Richard Speck.

Okita continues to get nibbles from film producers interested in his work. Nicholas Bogner is his manager based in LA working to get film projects.

To see a book trailer for his novel PROSPECT OF MY ARRIVAL,

Okita continues to live in Chicago where he drinks too much coffee and is grateful for the diverse circle of friends, family, and colleagues that allow him to be part of their lives. You're welcome to visit his website at for Dwight's latest news.

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