MARK's BOOKS

MAX, THE BLIND GUY (on sale now!) 

This is the story of Maximilian and Greta Ruth, their 40-year relationship, and all the demons that show up as they find that life rarely goes according to plan.

Max daydreams in colors which his eyes can no longer see. His wife is leading them on a six-city European tour. Greta Ruth calls this trip their “last hurrah.” She hasn't had the best from 40 years with Max. But Max takes their life differently: marriage is an affair of more than the heart’s journey. This pair of American originals have known passion, riches, and sorrow. Today, these roads lead them through Europe’s famed cities, but Greta wonders if the plan will see her through to the promised “champagne on the Grand Canal.” 

Their Elite Travel tour-mates are getting on each other’s nerves. They are characters found next door, on everyday streets, under black-eye days, and across lost-memory nights. The highlights and sights, the posh lunches, the gamy conversation over drinks in the bar – and of course the "tour friendships" – all make their faux-camaraderie sometimes combative but never boring. A story rife with modern perils – too much time, too much money, just enough libido, secrets revealed – Max and Greta Ruth don’t wait for what the future may bring. 


Oft times a dark, anti-romance, Max, the blind guy is also the story of choices a husband and wife make, which, apart from their ardor and honor, erode trust but leave the fibers that do not allow them to pull away so easily; they must therefore feel their way toward some shared middle-ground.


Available from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

Read an excerpt of Max, the blind guy not found at on-line shops.

WHAT BEAUTY (2012) 

How might the Olympian Gods change if we were to allow our imaginations to see their true ages? Time changes all people — even gods — and when their day-to-day mischievous lives no longer play a role in human affairs, what then do they become? The image of shriveled skin is too apt to ignore. And, above all, what do we associate with the aging of these gods within the condition of our modern times? 

Minus Orth has an idea which can explain this, and give our imaginations the figures to uphold. He is sculpting the mighty figures of myth — and the not-so-mighty — in an art cycle he has titled "Mythical Gods in Their Twilight" without the least irony. And his creations have not come without a price.   

One day Minus crosses paths with Karen Kosek, best remembered as a culture critic of the 1960s. Karen dropped out of sight years ago. Now she dresses as a bag lady — ragged clothes, a garbage smell, and bulging plastic bags she carries as if they hold the secrets to the good life. Minus orchestrates a tenuous relationship with Karen, and discovers in her a woman who has not been trampled underfoot, but is burrowed deeper in society’s crust than anyone could imagine. Thus begins an odyssey in which Minus becomes obsessed with Karen’s past and present, obsessed with creating his sculpture cycle, and with the role artists play in society’s split personality. 

“Do you have what it takes to make something beautiful?” is a question that comes to the minds of many characters in What Beauty. Their answers are hilarious, confused, self-delusional, virtuous, or simply truthful, because the people who create beauty are different from those who value beauty, and far afield from the powers able to help it flourish … or destroy it. 

Available from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

Read an excerpt of What Beauty not found at on-line shops.


THE VILLAGE WIT (2010) 

American Richard Bentley settles in rural England, looking for the contented life of a bookshop keeper and some fun with the local women. His wife of fourteen years left him out of “marital boredom,” so Heath-on-the-Wold seems the ideal place to get lost in work and forget the past. Bentley then hires Peggy White, a mid-forties townswoman who seems his match in sass and intellect. Soon, the rules of attraction open a new chapter in their lives.


The Village Wit follows Richard and Peggy’s often humorous and sometimes dark odyssey through village life, love’s fall, sexual politics, and that place where memory and modern love intersect. This novel explores, from the male point of view, the acts of love and its betrayal, loss and longing, and the steps one makes to find love again. 

Available from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

Read an excerpt of The Village Wit not found at on-line shops.