National Parks -- 5 STAR Award from Readers Favorite
The best book for lovers of semi-dystopian, satirical send ups of political malfeasance, corporate greed, and threats to America's environment. Rolf Margenau skewers all available targets in Washington's beltway in his story about what happens a few years from now when Congress wants to bail out a bankrupt America (caused by legislative ineptitude) by selling our national parks to the highest bidders. This is a slap the table funny book that also encourages the reader to appreciate the glory of our national parks and worry about their potential loss.
Some characters from the author's earlier books reappear, and new ones include the deliciously corrupt Crouch triplets; the beautiful lobbyist, Tureen O'Porto (deficient of conscience); Sneath Naydir, closet toe fetishist, early adopter of all things digital, and lobbyist; Melvin Salmon, genius computer maven who creates a pornographic avatar app that makes him a millionaire; Benjamin Franklin Chang, Hong Kong billionaire gangster who lusts for the Smoky Mountain National Park; and other surprising people you might recognize (or be).
The activities of legislators are reported as though "ripped from the headlines" of tomorrow. They act pretty much as they do now. That is, ineffective, argumentative, and inactive. It's business as usual.
Pistils and Poetry -- Just What the Title Says!
This is a compilation of Elizabethan poetry juxtaposed with photographs of flowers. Shakespeare, Donne, Campion, Herrick, Marlowe and many others are included in this 94 page book.
These two art forms compliment each other and represent a graceful, though brief, return to a world free of buzzing digital accoutrements. The introduction encourages the reader to "read a poem, enjoy a flower picture. It couldn't hurt."
The author writes "Why pictures of flowers with the poetry? Well, I suspect there won't always be an appropriate backdrop for thinking about the words and sentiments these poets express so well. And, though these poems are anything but "flowery," I believe they evoke a sense of flowers: multi-hued, intricately constructed, amazing in detail and elevating of spirit. Flowery language connotes rhetorical elegance, which all these works certainly have."
Early reviews: BlueInk Review-- "A fast read, Longevity examines a topic readers are sure to find interesting. .. it delivers a largely compelling read."
The Book Review Directory: "Thoughtful yet fast-paced, readers who enjoy medical thrillers with a dose of adventure will want to pick up this book. Its mix of humor, irony, medical science, and action will provide readers with a fun ride."
Master Gardener:What happens when a Master Gardener innocently plants packets of magical seeds from the Peruvian Amazon in experimental plots operated by New Anglia s agricultural college?
Why does Bemis International Group, Agricultural Chemicals Division (BIG AG) feel so threatened by the plants those seeds produce? What is the mysterious eco-terrorism group doing to save the monarch butterfly?
Our author revisits the twenty-year-old hero of Public Information, Wylie Cypher, in his seventy-fifth year. He is a volunteer Master Gardener and is involved with four women plus Emma, his Weimaraner. One of those women is responsible for the plants that threaten to destabilize the comfortable world of seeds genetically engineered to withstand potent weed killers. Another is Wylie s bitter ex-wife. The third is a granddaughter who lives with him as she completes law school and the fourth, Linda, is his former nurse who gives new meaning to septuagenarians living in sin. Wylie has had a career as an international attorney.
He employs his negotiating and legal skills with varying degrees of success in resolving numerous challenges that arise during the fourteen-month period of the story. Mainly, he tries to save fellow Master Gardener Anne Proctor from ruin at the hands of BIG AG. In doing so, he leads an expedition to the jungles of the Peruvian Amazon to search for magic beans, corn and wheat. Elizabeth Pendleton Crangle ( Bitsy ) is an unlikely eco-terrorist whose monthly newspaper column offers timely gardening advice at the beginning of each chapter. Her guidance is spot on, but she does have a bit of an attitude.
Gardeners will appreciate her suggestions that, as Bitsy says, will guarantee blissful gardening. Dick Geier, the ruthless and profane CEO of BIG AG, engages in corporate shenanigans that reflect current headlines. Among other things, he manages a program that infiltrates Master Gardener organizations throughout the country, and finds new and unethical ways to enrich himself and his cronies. The author tells the story with sharp insight and ribald humor. Gimlet prose enlivens the lawyers, tycoons, politicians, young and old lovers, windbags and adventurers who populate his story. The characters interact in Dickensian fashion, and most of them receive their just deserts.
High Andes --Adventure/Thriller set in Peru's Andes Mountains in 1980
Wylie Cypher, suffering from a mid-life crisis, decides to challenge fading youth by taking a trekking vacation across the Cordillera Blanca (White Mountains) of the High Andes in Peru with his daughter, Mercy, just graduated from college. Wylie inadvertently acquires documents that contain explosive and damning evidence about the Peruvian government’s extreme interrogation techniques. He learns that something is amiss when police detain and torture him. He loses his little toe. A series of misunderstandings precipitate a heart-pounding chase across the high mountains as two sets of villains - government thugs and members of the communist guerrilla Sendero Luminoso – seek out the Cypher group with murderous intent. Combat in the thin air of the mountains, deceptions of numerous sorts, hairbreadth escapes, torture, action in underground caves populated with mummies, and unexpected plot twists fill the pages of this book.
It is in the United States’ national interest to observe the growing communist threat in its hemisphere, so C.I.A. agents are involved. While Wylie and his cohorts are running for their lives, the author also reports on international smuggling of historical artifacts; the fate of a six hundred year old child mummy, and the ancient spirit of the Andes mountains-- Pachamama.
Books by Rolf Margenau
The Commode Companion
"One of the year's funniest books"Hilarious new adult humor book that exposes the innermost thoughts of animals. birds, butterflies, and frogs with stunning photos and snarky captions. Five star review from Readers Favorites says "the pictures tell stories and the short captions speak volumes."
No commode should be without this very funny book. Very important, since laughter cures constipation. This is an interactive book. Readers may add their own captions for posterity.
Longevity is a fable disguised as a medical thriller that ponders the justification for extending human life by thirty years. The tone. however, is light-hearted, even though murder, mayhem, misdirection and decapitation inhabit Longevity’s pages. The author tosses his main characters into deep holes and finds imaginative ways to extricate them.
Lucy Mendoza leads a team of scientists at the Prendergast Foundation who are testing an enzyme that might extend our lives by thirty years. For several reasons, the federal government, a major pharmaceutical company, and a billionaire investor have no qualms about eliminating Lucy to ensure that project will fail. Her former lover Grant Duran, an ex-Marine special ops officer who’s lost a hand and is now a molecular biologist, thwarts the first attempt on her life. As dead bodies accumulate and Lucy and Grant struggle to defend themselves, they begin to wonder whether the Longevity project should survive.
Public Information - Second Edition 2016
"Modern Candide. Warm and funny. Veterans and adult readers love it." The New York Review of Books
Freshly minted infantryman, twenty-year-old Wylie Cypher, arrives in war torn Korea in 1952. Every indication is that he has limited chances for survival. As an enemy bomber looms overhead, he prays that he can survive a sixteen-month tour of duty without, as his sergeant says, getting his ass shot off.
Wylie is recruited to join the staff of a Division Public Information Office (PIO) where he reports on many aspects of the conflict. He uses his infantry training in bloody combat, makes many colorful new friends, learns how to maneuver through the military system, finds love and loss, and grows up in the turmoil of combat and the war’s aftermath.
Veterans have hailed the story as accurate, believable, touching, funny, and “the way it really was.” The story is based on the author’s experiences, careful historical research, and the 300 letters he sent his future wife from Korea. He touches on prisoner of war experiences on both sides of the DMZ, the armistice, realistic scenes of combat, the many United Nations forces engaged in the war, and poignant and funny aspects of military service.
The second edition of the book includes recently disclosed information, and scenes and observations drawn from the comments of many veteran readers. The book is dedicated to the dwindling number of men and women who risked their lives to preserve democracy in South Korea.
The Korean War is often forgotten in the overlay of conflict in the twentieth century. "Public Information" is a novel from Rolf Margenau writing of Wylie Cypher, a man whose entry into the military in 1952 finds him ending up in the Korean conflict. As he travels the region, he learns much about the world, the army's brotherhood, and life. "Public Information" is a fine read well worth considering for historical fiction collections. John Burroughs, Reviewer - Midwest Book Review
"The sense of place he (Margenau) creates is strong and true. He also ably fleshes out his supporting characters and brings the disparate elements of his plot to a satisfactory conclusion." Publishers Weekly