Quick look at a huge book

If you stumbled across Alan Turing because of the film „The Imitation Game“ starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role, you may be aware of Andrew Hodges‘ biography „The Enigma“ – the basis of Graham Moore’s Oscar awarded screenplay.

A much deeper inside look at Alan Turing’s work which helped breaking the German enigma code, shortened the Second World War by at least two years and saved millions of lives, you should read the huge book „Alan Turing – His work and impact“ by S. Barry Cooper and Jan van Leewen. Yes, there are lots of mathematical theories, even formulas (something very awful for people like me unable to cope with numbers) but the more than 870 pages, accompanied by indexes and bibliographies are worth reading, browsing through essays about and from Alan.

„He was a genius: he was ‚a Wonder of the world‘.
Bernards Richards about Alan Turing

One essay that strikes me most  – besides the ones by Alan himself which offer a look inside the brain of a man a colleague described as „a Wonder of the world“ – is the piece „Why Turing cracked the Enigma code and the Germans did not“ by Klaus Schmeh. The German computer scientist explains that Germans were unable to bring their cryptographers together to find a possible weakness in the Enigma code itself. Despite the fact that German experts were aware of a possible breach, Britain’s success in breaking Enigma was only revealed in the 1970s when details about the codebreaker’s work at Bletchley Park became public.

„Alan Turing – His work and impact“ may not be an easy read. But it is worth every try.

S.Barry Cooper, Jan van Leeuwen: Alan Turing – His work an impact, Elsevier, £ 53 can be ordered here.

Foto: pb

Foto: pb

„The Sherlockian“ for – Sherlockians

It’s all about diaries. At least the missing one (or a collection of papers) of Arthur Conan Doyle’s that inspired many Sherlockians for years. And it obviously inspired Graham Moore, the script author of the film „The Imitation Game“  to write the lovely novel „The Sherlockian“. As you may guess from the title: it really is a story that only true Sherlock Holmes-fans will appreciate.

Harold White is a brand new member of the Baker Street Irregulars in New York and bursting with pride and excitement when he joins other members for a meeting. While he suddenly finds himself dealing with the murder of the leading Holmes scholar, he is sure to find the answers to that case in London.

In the London of the 1890/1900s, Arthur Conan Doyle has to deal with fans who wouldn’t accept that the author has killed Sherlock Holmes by throwing him into the Reichenbach Falls.

Arthur Conan Doyle curled his brow tightly and thought only of murder. „I’m going to kill him,“ her muttered.

The story switches with every new chapter between modern times and the past and while you sometimes are about to either throw away the book or go straight to the next chapter because you just want to know what Doyle or Harold will do next. But of course you just go on reading simply because this book has hooked you from the beginning. At least if you are a Sherlockian.

Sherlockian

Cover of „The Sherlockian“ Foto: pb

Graham Moore: The Sherlockian, Hachette, 6,10€/ £8,40