Jean-Jacques Cornish


"The low down on African affairs"

Probe into death of iconic codebreaker

“Fall Of Man In Wilmslow,” by David Lagercrantz is a detective novel about the investigation into the death of iconic English codebreaker Alan Turing. The procedural genre, best left to Swedish writers in my opinion, draws one deeply into the investigation. The quintessential Englishness of this book, written in Swedish, is a tribute to the translator George Goulding. There are fascinating extra dimensions to this book: the liar’s paradox for, example, that makes the statement “I am a liar” an enunciation of the truth. There is also a unsettling blast from the path with Turing being hounded, and convicted, for

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Is Donald Trump backing out of the US Presidential election?

It was just a matter of time. President Donald Trump must have been deadly serious about wanting to postpone the U.S. election on November 3.  After all, he tweeted about it. This is the first concrete indication he has given us that he fears he cannot beat Joe Biden. If it were not delaying the poll, then it would have been – could still be – a health scare. Donald Trump cannot lose the election. The more we learn about the  sort of person the voters put in the White House, the more we know is that he simply cannot

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Harry Bosch gets a murder book from the widow of a mentor

“The Night Fire,” by Michael Connelly brings Harry Bosch into partnership with Detective Renee Ballard. There is also a link with his lawyer half-brother Mickey Haller. Bosch is given a murder book by the widow of his mentor John Jack Thompson. The investigation into a young ex-con in an apparent drug-related killing has not been pursued by Thompson. He seems to have hidden the details of the detectives work to prevent others from finding anything. Ballard and the retired Bosch take this up in their under-the-radar collaboration. En route, Bosch discovers that a judge’s murder has been incorrectly pinned on

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Contemporary thriller from a writer who has done his homework

“Prooi,” by Deon Meyer It is not hard to see how Meyer has become the most popular writer in Afrikaans. This very contemporary page-turner will thrill his fans in his huistaal and doubtless earn him many more followers in English and the other languages he is translated into. This the second book of Meyer’s that I have read and Afrikaans and by far my favorite. I am sure the Afkrikaanse Taal en Cultuur Vereniging, if they still exist, will have something disparaging to say about the amount of English that appears in the Afrikaans edition. Ma dis die way Vaughn

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Important polemic on the existential threat to democracy

“Revolting,” by Nick Hume A.C. Grayling expounded on the threat to democracy in an eye-opening “Democracy And It’s Crisis” Times  columnist, Editor of Spiked and self-proclaimed leftie Mick Hume goes to the mattresses against those undermining  democracy. And among those he takes on is Grayling, whom he accuses of being among the cleritocracy who believe democracy requires a clear-thinking elite guiding the unwashed, ignorant masses on how to vote. So who is this whippersnapper? asks my friend Quinten who is on first name term with Grayling. This makes Hume’s point exactly. Denegrate and belittle opponents  and those daring to speak

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A discovery both thrilling and exhausting

“A Death In The Family,” by Karl Ove Knausgaard. Ten minutes into this book I was seized with the excitement that I felt when I first read J.D. Sallinger, Richard Brautigan, Ernest Hemingway or John Steinbek. Those were all more than 50 years ago. So how lucky I felt to have made a literary discovery to brighten my autumn years. Knausgaard’s powerful detail stretches beyond the wrenching honesty of his harrowing examination of death. His meticulousness and passionate detail keeps one enthralled and not a little exhausted. It took me weeks to finish this story examining childhood and teenage years

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