A “teachable moment” book for those curious about both Miami and South Africa

As fewer Americans travel to South Africa because of level two travel advisories, and we become less familiar with the culture, a new fictional book by a chief scientist explores South Africa’s challenges with poaching and illustrates how meaningful the country is today along the path to safety for its wildlife.

“Deadly Game: The Horns of the Rhino,” takes us around the globe to show us how poaching affects all who are involved, in the US, China, and South Africa, but from a unique perspective. It is written by one of the chiefs of surgery at the University of Miami, Dr. Robert Marx, and will be available on November 21. He chronicles, through fiction, his experience with African wildlife and has developed complex, relevant characters who join the illegal game of poaching, as well as the heroes who seek to put a stop to the deadly practice.  The experiences of a couple challenged by the dangers of South Africa, the racism, and the stories of the poachers, who often see no way out of these crimes, are explored.  The book tells the story through the eyes of a surgeon deeply touched by his experiences in South Africa.

“Many people understand the effort to stop rhino and elephant poaching, but I don’t think we understand completely how poachers come to the practice or what we need to do to stop it,” says author Dr. Robert Marx.  “I wrote Deadly Game for all of us, to celebrate the heroes who prevent the very violence we see in poaching and other violent crime in general.

Surgeons and physicians often see societal woes from a unique perspective, and this is exemplified in Deadly Game’s story.  How the problem is broken down, culture to culture is addressed in the book, from the demand for rhino horn as an aphrodisiac in Asia to the desperate populations of South Africa who are drawn to poaching, to the lack of awareness of the culture of poaching around the globe. The book also highlights beautiful areas and amenities in South Africa and how they fit into the culture.  Americans, from Miami, are featured as visitors, as lovers, and as researchers, including a chief surgeon, who finds himself entangled in a web of deceit by pharmaceutical executives.

“We should all know South Africa,” says Bill Youmans, former professional baseball catcher.  The country provides so much beauty, so much adventure and cultural lessons for all of us, as taught by Dr. Marx’s new book.

The publisher offers Deadly Game:  The Horns of the Rhino as the newest book in a trilogy that portrays the life of a chief surgeon and his co-workers and family, claiming that it continuously touches on  “teachable moments” between our two cultures. Marx means to show us that only close guidance and the attention of those who have been left out will heal the problem.

“If you want to hear a deep, genuine story, read Dr. Marx, says Dr. David Frost, past president, The American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.  “This is his best novel yet, because it defines a land he loves.”

This October marks one year since the U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 2 travel advisory for South Africa, which recommends that visitors exercise increased caution. Specifically, the advisory warns about the prevalence of violent crime, especially in major cities after dark. Travel advice from the British government has also issued similar warnings.

South Africa is often portrayed by international media as a dangerous place to visit, with a high rate of violent crime, but thousands of visitors travel to South Africa every year without incident, describing the most beautiful scenery on Earth, with abounding oceans, clean beaches, rugged mountains, and game-filled reserves.

The New York Times and other publications have reported that researchers in South Africa are turning to genetic fingerprinting and sophisticated sensors to track down poachers for prosecution.

The book, now available to the public through Amazon and independent bookstores is available nationwide.


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