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Carrot! Rehana Rossouw on Death in the New Republic

Death in the New RepublicDavid Dison’s novel, Death in the New Republic, has started the closest thing to an inter-newspaper literary debate in South Africa in several months. Readers will recall the very large stick with which Dison’s book was beaten not so long in the M & G. Now here’s a Saturday knight who’s all right for fighting, erm, back. With, erm, a carrot: The Weekender‘s Rehana Rossouw.

Not only did Rossouw enjoy the book, she’s also intrigued by the issue of Death‘s autobiographical slant. The author has had something of a chequered career in his life as a lawyer – just like Nossel, his main character. For Roussow, this makes the read all the more fun; find her carrot below.

PEOPLE who know or know of David Dison will undoubtedly wonder, while reading his first novel, how autobiographical it really is.

His protagonist, Jerome Nossel, is a former National Intelligence Agency (NIA) lawyer who is suspended after investigating the misappropriation, by leading figures, of the political class of funds meant to improve the lives of former political prisoners.

Dison, a former civil rights lawyer, was struck off the roll in 2004 after being found guilty of the misappropriation of funds. He had represented a consortium which included former political prisoners in a business deal which took years to settle in courts. Dison rolled over money from his trust fund to cover expenses in the case while waiting for settlement.

Nossel’s wife Judith stands by her man after his fall from grace in the NIA, and in the minds of his former colleagues and comrades, but she is haunted by her childhood experience of her father, also a lawyer, being jailed for eight years for stealing trust funds.

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Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://daviddison.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">David D</a>
    David D
    November 8th, 2007 @17:37 #
     
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    Perhaps the stick brought out by the M&G relates to the low level of tolerance of the Mother Theresa brigade that has taken control of the paper. In Death in the New Republic, Nosssel muses on the lack of humour and spunk in the paper, and, in miffed fashion, they retort with the churlish "and you too" defense.I suppose it would have been more politic of me to have Nossel fawning over their reportage, but that was never my style, nor, for that matter, that of the late, great, Weekly Mail.

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  • <a href="http://crimebeat.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Mike Nicol</a>
    Mike Nicol
    November 9th, 2007 @06:43 #
     
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    Here's more stick, David, and public humiliation. You owe Crime Beat a list of your top ten krimis. Suggest you do it. Our heavies can make things really ugly.

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  • <a href="http://daviddison.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">David D</a>
    David D
    November 9th, 2007 @08:45 #
     
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    Mike, you have shamed me brother. I will do penance as follows: I will get my heavies to do lunch with your heavies at their usual meeting place at the Bird Sanctuary off Assassination Row; I will make sure they pay respects for this oversight, by handing over a complete set of Martin Cruz Smith's extraordinary novels for your delight and edification, and by throwing in a bucket of KFC; and I undertake not to leave the house this weekend before submitting my top ten krimi list to you. Deal?

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  • <a href="http://crimebeat.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Mike Nicol</a>
    Mike Nicol
    November 9th, 2007 @08:58 #
     
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    Make it two buckets, a single malt and sprinkling of blood stones, 'n I'll hold the hitman. You have till Monday.

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  • <a href="http://www.ronirwin.com" rel="nofollow">Ron</a>
    Ron
    November 11th, 2007 @20:50 #
     
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    Don't threaten my author, Mike. I happen to know people who know some people overseas who were asking about this Dison guy. That's all I'm saying. But they were asking pointed questions indeed.

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  • <a href="http://crimebeat.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Mike Nicol</a>
    Mike Nicol
    November 12th, 2007 @06:48 #
     
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    I can understand that. Wouldn't surprise me if there was a hit on him. But know this, as we speak somewhere someone is screwing on a can, flexing his fingers into his black gloves. The DD guy's got a few hours left to deliver. Silence is golden.

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  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    November 12th, 2007 @10:15 #
     
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    I've heard a hit is very good for sales.

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  • <a href="http://daviddison.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">David D</a>
    David D
    November 12th, 2007 @14:45 #
     
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    Ok Mike I have delivered...wow there's living on the edge, which I've grown pretty used to of late, and then there's LIVING ON THE EDGE!
    Even though I've delivered, there's no way I'm going home via the Bird Sanctuary tonight...anything could happen.
    May the ghosts of Hazel and Brett protect me, God rest their weary souls.
    If only Mother Theresa were here to help me now.

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  • <a href="http://crimebeat.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Mike Nicol</a>
    Mike Nicol
    November 12th, 2007 @16:00 #
     
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    Rest easy. The contract has been cancelled. Even as we speak the hit man is unscrewing his silencer. A tip: always avoid sanctuaries.

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