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Sleepy Hollow Native Publishes Environmental Satire

John Marshall
John Marshall Photo Credit: Contributed

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. -- When it comes to getting people to recycle, should we simply make them an offer they can't refuse?

That's at the heart of Sleepy Hollow native John Marshall's debut novel "The Greenfather" which uses "The Godfather" to satirize the environmental movement.  The book will be released on May 9.

In the book, Simon, an organic grocery store owner is about to open a new grocery store, but then his father, who is New York's number one mobster, gets whacked. He soon has to take over the family business, under one condition- the mob has to go green.

Soon, the mafia is shaking down people to enforce recycling laws and make sure people are separating their trash and plastics. 

Marshall, a comedy writer who has written for Colin Quinn, Chris Rock, and Bill Maher, started writing the novel as part of National Novel Writing Month. He wrote at least six pages a day and then spent another nine months revising it. 

"I've done a couple of public readings and the reaction has been positive," Marshall said. "I wanted to see how it sounded out loud and it sounded good."

Growing up in Sleepy Hollow (or as Marshall still calls it- North Tarrytown), he began writing funny stories when he was in 2nd grade.

"My teacher always asked me, 'when are you going to write a bestselling novel?'" Marshall said.

Marshall said he became an active environmentalist after seeing the documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth." He uses "The Greenfather" to discuss these issues with a humorous slant.

"The book refers to these issues, but it's not preachy," Marshall said. "It doesn't say this is what you have to do which turns people off." 

Marshall said environmentalists aren't the target of his book, but he hopes people laugh that the mafia is needed to force people to go green.

"I want people to be more aware of environmental issues," Marshall said. "I think now is the right time to make it humorous. I process things by being able to turn horrible things into jokes. That's what people like Chris Rock and Bill Maher do. They turn their concerns into jokes. 

Not believing in global warming is like saying you don't believe in the wheel, Marshall said.

"You have to argue with someone who believes in fantasy," Marshall said.

Marshall said having his book published is "the greatest thing in the world."

"I love that my jokes, my thoughts, and my ideas are all collected in this one place," Marshall said. "I am so thrilled."

To pre-order the book, click here.

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