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The Last Volkswagen
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
Charles Sennewald has scored a deftly written and original comedy hit with "The Last Volkswagen," an enthusiastically recommended and entertaining novel about repression of foreign competition that takes ridiculous government regulations of imports to new satiric extremes. Little does the unsuspecting public know that their days of freedom to choose in the market place are numbered. In the best of American heroic traditions, a last stand is taken and held by the owner (a cantankerous rancher in Nebraska) of the last remaining 1963 Volkswagen "beetle". The outcome? That would be telling! "The Last Volkswagen" will make you re-think more than a few stereotypes and assumptions about the ideal American life and what it can cost us to live it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
While I was expecting an historical work of fiction, this turned out to be a completely fictional yarn. Set in a time of extreme government protectionism, all foreign-made goods must be turned in, or they will be placed on a list to be confiscated by a specially created federal bureau. Given the author's background in security and law enforcement, you would want the enforcement personnel to be accurately drawn; no disappointment there. The Nebraska farm family in posesion of the Volkswagen is also believable, especialy Adam, the patriarch of the clan. So, get the book an' get 'er done, eh?
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
Those buying "The Last Volkswagen" are in for a fun ride, full of interesting characters and enough plot twists to keep you reading non-stop to the end. In the book, Sennewald lets us taste what living without imported goods could be, a life no scotch drinker would enjoy! As the story builds, the folly of "Big Brother" becomes apparent and the reader can't help but get pulled into the Nebraska farmer's silent, but effective war against the Department of Import Controls, the aptly named "DIC". Sennewald is a well-known and accomplished non-fiction writer, but with his first fiction effort, he gives the best writers a run for their money. You'll thoroughly enjoy this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I found this book by accident while searching for something else on the topic, but it looked interesting so I checked it out. This is an easy read -- I picked it since I needed entertainment for a long flight and I like old VW's

My main gripe is the story just dropped dead at the end with some epilogues.. Would have been great to (choosing my words carefully so as not to be a spoiler) have the old guy explain what was discovered in the last page or two, and maybe something leading up to why the second epilogue came to be.

I'd read it again though, and I plan to see if this guy wrote anything else so I can read that too.
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on May 16, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I bought this because I'm an old VW fan, and also a foreigner living in the US. I didn't know if it was fiction or not, and after reading it, I could easily be convinced that it's not. This was very well written, and I read the whole thing on a long flight. I loved it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
"After passage of the Automobile Import Ban, owners of foreign-made automobiles had a period of three years to trade in their autos on an American-made car, with a government backed guarantee of the original purchase price as the trade-in allowance. The impact of that one piece of legislation was almost unbelievable."

The newly emerged Nationalist Party is running things, and imported cars have been deemed unlawful by law. In fact, owning one is a punishable Federal offense. Dick Smith, Director of the Department of Labor's Division of Import Controls (commonly known as D.I.C.) has a problem, as does his staff: there are three imported vehicles missing, unaccounted for, and a team of investigators is looking for them. There's a '74 Lotus Europa, a '72 Honda Civic, and one lonely 1963 Volkswagen.

And Nebraska rancher Adam Muller owns it. And the Federal government is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to find it.

It didn't take long for the D.I.C. investigators to locate the Lotus Europa or the Honda Civic, but that '63 VW was another matter altogether. The mystery and the occasional hilarity, along with such events as a Volkswagen shell game, make this a very interesting and well paced tale, and one with a surprise ending.

There's a moral tale under the veneer of Chuck Sennewald's tale, The Last Volkswagen, one involving big government, automobile registrations, smuggling of contraband imported liquor from Canada, a confidential Federal initiative known as "Operation Overview" employing the Space Surfer 1 surveillance satellite, the changing of the American flag, and a clash between a small Nebraska rancher and the powers that be in Washington, DC. In his professional life, author Sennewald is an independent security management consultant and author of books for security specialists, such as Effective Security Management. It's probably this background that gives him the insight for this book, but it's good to see that he also has a dry and witty sense of humor, as can be seen in this novel. Then again, is it a novel or a crystal ball into the future? You the reader will have to determine that as you thumb through the pages, or download it as a Kindle edition as I did.

In truth I wasn't looking for this book... I stumbled into the title while looking through the various Volkswagen items listed on the Amazon pages. This happened while preparing a review on Thinking Small: The Long, Strange Trip of the Volkswagen Beetle, by Andrea Hiott, and I'm glad that I found it.

The Last Volkswagen is a fast moving 5-star read, a fascinating "what if" tale, and one that's hard to put down. It's an "interesting and entertaining vicarious ride" to use Chuck Sennewald's words from his preface.
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