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Landmark Status is the kind of book that you might try to retell in three sentences or less, but before long you realize that you really can’t. In the same way that many of Mark Twain’s stories forestall a simple recap and always lose something, Alan Rolnick’s story is packed with oblique references, literary play on words, and situational comedy that you really need to read to appreciate. Even though he is a lawyer, his novel does not read like the average legal brief! Instead, it is funny, at times serious, consistently has the unexpected happening at the oddest times, and even when you wonder just what outlandish stunt could possibly happen next, you will still be surprised when you turn the page. This is a great read and you will not be disappointed!
Reviewed by Sylvia Cochran
A novel about real estate in Miami? I was not convinced I would enjoy it. I had thoughts of tawdry love affairs among realtors, and boardroom struggles between power brokers. But instead I found a hugely entertaining, and side-splittingly funny novel that makes me chuckle every time I see the cover. This is humor at its very apex. Humor is a hard genre to be successful in but this author definitely has “The Write Stuff.” Alan Rolnick has created a vignette of life in Miami with Landmark Status that deserves a spot on the best seller list. The characters are wild, bent politicians, bent land developers, and even a Ponzi scheme thrown in for good measure, and what finer setting than Miami?
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The characters that Alan Rolnick has created are wild. But they are so well crafted they take on a reality in the reader’s mind. From the accident prone Benjy, to the money hungry mayor Oscar Torres, the even money hungrier would be land developer Chuck Steinberg and his slightly aging trophy wife Evelyn, they are all so well described I can guarantee you will love them. And these are just the beginning, we also have love interest from the Mayor’s niece Delia, we have Raj the Cigar Man, oh, and of course Rico the bungling bodyguard!
This is a riotous book, you are laughing on page one, and you are still laughing on the last page. There are cars wrecked, planes burned, Voodoo curses, even cemeteries desecrated, and this is all achieved with a dark humor that I find hard to believe comes from a first time author. This is also a book that would transition easily into a very very funny movie. And I did note that Alan Rolnick is not only an attorney, and an author, he is also a director, so come on Alan, make it happen!
Landmark Status is a must have for anyone who enjoys a great romp, you can order your copy from Amazon.
Reviewed by Simon Barrett
Walter Marsh, owner of the historic and legendary Century Club found himself in a dilemma. His deposit from an out-of-state investor’s group on their option for the club property was nearly all spent. The option was ready to expire. Business was at its lowest ebb. A major convention center complex was in the planning stages. Local political forces were in a battle for control and needed Walter’s property. Rolnick has fully developed a cast of colorful characters to keep a fast-paced plot moving forward. Walter Marsh calls on lawyer Benjy Bluestone for advice. Smart and stunning, Delia Torres represents a local developer.
Add a few high rollers in Miami real estate and political circles, a mentally-challenged bodyguard chauffer, a novice newspaper reporter, a Bahamian-American politician, and a Cuban cigar importer, and you get the idea of the complex direction and zany antics that follow. Greed, political power, legal maneuvers, and romantic trysts are interwoven into an engrossing plot that replicates the TV series “Miami Vice,” with an on going comedic, satire and tongue in cheek humor.
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Alan’s writing is entertaining, and witty. Transitions flow naturally, his characters are easily recognizable and memorable. I was pleasantly surprised at the insight I gained into the land development and real estate industry in South Florida. Another aspect I enjoyed was a glimpse into the historical origins of Miami, and the ethnic influence in the politics of Miami.
I was hooked from the opening wrecking ball to the final explosion.
I am sure that in the near future, attorney Alan H. Rolnick, will be reviewing contracts for the movie rights to “Landmark Status” and will be moving on to write a series of stories based on the legal shenanigans of lawyer Benjy Bluestone. I am looking forward to the sequel.
Miami has always held a magical aura to me. The warm weather and beautiful scenery is so picturesque that I want to know more but have never been able to visit. Landmark Status is a beautiful inside look at the city and nearby areas that truly made the city come alive.
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This mystery unravels with exciting plot twists and amusing snafus. I loved the ride and anyone else who likes a good problem to solve will too!
Reviewed by Sabrina Sumsion
Lawyer Benjy Bluestone is having a tough day. Having just left home he gets the convertible top of his just-fixed 65 red Mustang ripped off by a wrecking ball and meets the woman of his dreams by almost running her down at 80 mph. This is only the beginning of drastic changes about to occur in his quiet life and pleasant though unexciting law career.
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This caper was immensely entertaining and I laughed out loud at several points. Author Alan Rolnick writes ingenious comic scenes where his colorful characters come to life. The political corruption was toned down to be dangerous but somewhat less than evil. Rico is the only really bad guy but is just too ridiculous to take seriously. His scene with Mistress Distress was very funny, especially when she said he was impertinent and Rico wondered why since he had never wet his pants. My favorite part was the midnight skeleton burial scene where he painted his face with a two color NATO camo paint stick purchased from the Commando Gear Store. Rico always goes the extra mile in the affect department.
Wacky courtroom scenes caught the flavor of the story with some truly laughable moments. It came as no surprise to learn that Alan Rolnick practiced law for twenty years in
Reviewed by Jaimie Bell
This comedic mystery is a hoot, especially if you are familiar with the Miami/Southern Florida region. Protagonist Benjy may have adequate funds to afford a comfortable lifestyle, but he has terrible luck. The book opens with Benjy and his classic 1965 Mustang parked in the wrong place at the wrong time—a wrecking ball breaks loose from its cable and rips off the convertible’s roof, barely missing Benjy. His luck goes downhill from that point.
All the situations revolve around typical Miami characters and its wacky real estate scene. This book makes for an enjoyable romp through a hilarious scene revolving around greedy developers. Purloined skeletons, tribal leaders, and loony PC do-gooders play important roles alongside Cuban politicians and long-time residents all come together over an old bar and the land on which it sits. We rated this fun read four hearts.
Reviewed by Bob Spear