National Parks

What happens when Congress plans to bail out a bankrupt America by selling the national parks to the highest bidders

Fiction - Humor/Comedy
192 Pages
Reviewed on 01/25/2017
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Author Biography

Bestselling author Rolf Margenau has written four novels and published two photography books. The novels feature a main character named Wylie Cypher, first seen as a twenty-year-old college dropout who comes of age during the Korean War. At forty, Wylie is a successful but burned out lawyer with a failing marriage. He tries to find lost youth on a trek with his daughter through the high Andes. Instead, he finds mayhem, murder, a devastating civil war in Peru, and loses a toe.
Retired, in his mid-sixties, Wylie does battle with BIG AG as a Master Gardener. He befriends a group of eco-terrorists who help save the Monarch butterfly. Then in a novel called National Parks, an aged Wylie lives in a dystopian future where Congress attempts to sell off our national parks to bail out a bankrupt country.
The novels featuring a younger Wylie are realistic with a dose of humor. The books about older Wylie are solidly satirical. Critics find them very funny, but meaningful and thought provoking.
Rolf Margenau lives amid farmland in northern New Jersey with his first wife of over sixty years.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite

National Parks by Rolf Margenau is a satire on the current as well as a possible progressively worse future political climate in the United States. National Parks is alternatively funny and sarcastic, with the grim underlying reality of the current state of politics. The novel is set in a semi-dystopian world where the government has run out of funds and is now privatizing the national parks in the country and literally selling them to the highest bidder. The story follows the main characters across continents, but the underlying essence of the book revolves around the theme of how the U.S. government could be heading towards unknown disasters due to debt and a global crisis.

National Parks by Rolf Margenau is a thought-provoking novel, although a lot of it is disguised under light-hearted humor. Still, Rolf’s passion for the subject comes through and definitely provides food for thought. Along with a corrupt U.S. government, the book also showcases America’s national parks and the beauty of nature. This is a fairly short read and I liked the fact that this book comes off as written from the heart with a genuine feeling and passion for the subject on the author’s part. The writing and the plot together make this a worthwhile read.

Deborah Lloyd

A captivating and action-packed futuristic fictional work accurately describes Rolf Margenau’s book, National Parks. Portia Merson, assistant general counsel of the National Green Defense League, heard the disturbing news from Grover, her husband. Serving as the chief counsel to Congresswoman Pert Pewtree, Grover informs her about the House bill to sell the national parks. Portia becomes so alarmed that she accidentally drives through Senator Deborah Hatchett’s front lawn with her ecologically-appropriate Prius. Senator Hatchett, one of the four senators who are pushing the legislation to defund and privatize national parks, is introduced to the reader. The conflict between those who are committed to preserving these national treasures and those who can make tremendous profits from the sales reaches new heights of intrigue and danger. Many other characters are introduced – such as Sneath Naydir, a high-paid lobbyist; Melvin Salmon, a computer wizard; Tureen O’Porto, a savvy, beautiful lobbyist – and complex motivations and actions become more and more convoluted.

The author has skillfully developed complicated, yet understandable scenarios of how a future national government may operate. Aided with new technologies, and nearly unstoppable corruption, the book is truly thought-provoking. Rolf Margenau has presented a comprehensive study of life inside the Beltway. His writing style is concise, and the narratives are believable. He also adds in touches of humor and love scenes to provide a real life balance. The story is fast-paced, and the reader is engaged from beginning to end. A very interesting read!

Trudi LoPreto

National Parks is an interesting fictional story that has a strong non-fiction undertone to it. In a quote by bestselling author David Aretha, he claims that National Parks is a “fresh, scathing, hilarious, and brilliant satire of greedy corporate America and our shamefully broken Congress.” I tend to disagree with this and felt that it was very much like real life as I read about the plan to sell off our national parks to fund a bankrupt America. There were plenty of lobbyists, congressional people and businessmen to go around who were kept busy making deals and plotting against each other to pass the bill, fail the bill, and/or to be ready to purchase a park for their own devious reasons. It was very easy to see the Washington thinking in each of the characters and somewhat scary.

I somehow missed the humor, satire and freshness in National Parks, but found it interesting, possible and an intriguing idea. Rolf Margenau obviously knows his political facts and has written a sharp and clever portrayal of what could happen to our country in the future. I enjoyed reading National Parks and found it to be both entertaining, frightening and daunting, all at the same time. I was pleased with the ending, which wrapped up what was happening to each of the characters once the issue of selling the parks was voted on. You will have to read National Parks for yourself to find out the results and share in the adventures; I do not think that you will be disappointed.