Ruggedland, May 2004, 23.95, 339 pp.
While Homeland Security and the department of defense fight a global war against terrorism, most Americans feel the latest OPEC oil manipulations not quite realizing that this time it is more than supply control as third world demand dramatically has increased. However, a greater threat to world peace occurs when, Manuel Villa Lobos de Barranca corners the coffee market. The problem the administration faces as the public screams for impeachment between coffee party riots when Starbucks hits double digits is that Manuel has scored his coup following American capitalist principles he learned at Stanford.
The CIA and the FBI consider Manuel as the world's greatest threat and know they must intercede, but he broke no laws and conducted his caffeine takeover above board. Normally that would not stop them from filtering Manuel by taking him out, but the world is watching what they do to a South American who applied acceptable Bush economics to take over the coffee business. Desperate, as the government runs on coffee, the Feds turn to their greatest weapon, golf hustler Eddie Caminetti because Manuel trusts him and loves the sport. Eddie persuades Manuel to play a game of golf with him and if Manuel loses he will give up his monopoly on coffee.
BARRANCA is cutting edge satire that takes shots at the double bogie American economic policies and the war against terrorism. The story line is fast-paced and witty and never slows until the final holes play out at Camp David make that Trump. Eddie is a terrific golfer, but this time he shares the 18-holes with Manuel. Fans of golfing stories that consist of aces, eagles, and sand traps will appreciate Troon McAlister's fourth hole tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner