NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Palm Beach Gardens, FL, United States, 2007/11/07 - New novel by WCI Communities executive pulls no punches in satirizing Florida's current real estate market woes along with the characters, culture, and concerns behind it all [NYSE: WCI].
The headlines, storylines, and fallout surrounding Florida’s current real estate bubble burst have sent many running for cover. In Ocean Raton, the recently released debut novel from South Florida-based author and industry insider John Manrique, no place is safe to hide.
“It’s easy to point the finger at the industry for the current market woes,” says Manrique, a real estate veteran of over ten years who currently serves as Vice President of Marketing for WCI Communities, a high-profile developer based in Bonita Springs, Florida, recently making headlines with billionaire financier Carl Icahn.
“Consensus says builders, bankers, and investors created this monster and should pay the price. Voraciously complicit I agree, but monsters are typically born and raised on the characteristics of a culture,” Manrique contends. “In my mind, the tale of the real estate market is an embodiment of our times. Those attributes and attitudes are my focus in Ocean Raton, the real estate bubble burst a natural by-product of a status-based culture fueled by conspicuous consumption and greed.”
Manrique satirically illustrates this via the novel’s fictional namesake. A luxury high-rise under construction in Pompano Beach, Ocean Raton is struggling in July 2006 when the building’s eccentric developer, growing desperate in the face of mounting financial pressure and dire market forecasts, employs a sales force of exotic dancers to stimulate sales. From there, the story takes an irreverent rollercoaster ride through the colorful characters, culture, and climate that shape South Florida's outlandish landscape, culminating in a face-to-face showdown with the past that leaves no one immune from answering the question, “At what price?”
“Ocean Raton is fiction,” the thirty-seven year old Manrique shares, “though I have no doubt readers will find the faces, places, and follies described very familiar. While satire provides a writer the freedom of exaggeration, its foundation is reality and exposing what you find ridiculous.” He adds with a smile, “With everything happening in real estate and in Florida over the last year, my challenge was determining what not to include.”
According to the close-circle of colleagues who reviewed the manuscript prior to publication, what Manrique chose to include will likely ruffle feathers though he is not concerned. “A good parody should get some noses out of joint, and in the world of Ocean Raton, there’s no shortage of plastic surgeons to deal with the bumps.”
Ocean Raton (OceanRaton.com) is published by iUniverse in strategic alliance with Barnes & Noble and exclusively available for purchase online at Amazon.com, BN.com and other premium etailers.
About The Author
John Manrique has been involved with Florida real estate since 1996, his time in the industry spent exclusively with WCI Communities. A Florida resident since 1994 and Stetson University alumni, he currently resides in Palm Beach Gardens with wife Michelle, two children, and a gaggle of pets.