Reviews

Long Hot Summer

Reflections on the Modern Bahamas

'Jaw-droppingly direct and hideously funny, this book takes the lid off the modern Bahamas. Its opinion of the late prime minister, Sir Lynden Pindling, is the most withering appraisal of a politician that I've ever read.' Jonathan Mantle, author

 

'The book about the Bahamas and its politicians that just HAD to be written. What a story - what a writer!' Ben Absalom, US critic

 

'John Marquis is the best writer I know. All good writers paint pictures with words. Marquis makes movies.' Ron Laytner, Edit International, USA

 

'Arguably the finest journalist ever to have worked on any Bahamas publication since his mentor, Sir Etienne Dupuch,' Bahamas B2B News Website

 

'A damned good writer.' Arthur Hailey, author of Hotel, Airport and The Moneychangers

 

''No matter what you think of his views, you have to admit that Mr Marquis is a very talented journalist.' Anthony Roberts, The Nassau Guardian, Bahamas

 

'John Marquis is one of the very best writers, not just in the Bahamas, but internationally.' Anthony Hepburn, Bahamas attorney

 

'I have always admired Mr. Marquis, because he called a spade a spade. He revealed the corruption, the hypocrisy, the criminality of the political ruling class and the peccadilloes of the people in power who hoodwink the working classes every day in the Bahamas. Those people tried to get his working permit revoked and tried to get him out of the country, because he dared to put the truth in print.' Cosmological Cabbage, Bahamas

'I am currently reading this book for a third time. It is, like all Mr Marquis's books, very enjoyable. In the Bahamas' present predicament, his skills as a journalist and editor are required more than ever before.' Expat, Nassau, Bahamas

Blood and Fire

The Duke of Windsor and the Strange Murder of Sir Harry Oakes

'Brilliantly constructed, this book would make a great James Bond movie. I rate it in the top five books about unsolved murders.' Edward Jay Epstein, Wall Street Journal

 

'An awesome read by a brilliant wordsmith.' Chester Thompson, author of The Fledgling

 

'Exquisitely conceived, this book makes the James Bond novels look pale by comparison. John Marquis is one of the most outstanding talents I have encountered during a lifetime in publishing.' Julia Tan, publishing executive, LMH Publishing

 

'This is the most explicitly accusatory of all seven books published to date about the ever-fascinating Sir Harry Oakes murder mystery.' Sir Christopher Ondaatje, The Canada Post

 

'The first book I have read from cover to cover in one sitting for a very long time. John Marquis is an excellent writer by any standard.' Henry Toledano, author of The Bitter Seed and A Sort of Justice

 

'A riveting read...I wish it had been 200 pages longer.' Ivan Clifford, Deputy Editor, Mid Ocean News, Bermuda

 

'My half-blind father-in-law, now in his nineties, read this book from beginning to end over the Christmas holiday, painstakingly using a giant magnifying glass. This is probably the best testimonial any book can receive.' Bahamas reader

 

'Marquis is probably the greatest unsung talent in British journalism.' Thomas Arms, publisher

 

'Of all the books published about the Oakes murder mystery, this is the best-written.' Art Paine, US critic

 

'Perhaps the most revealing book yet written about the Oakes murder case. Definitely one I'll want to keep on my shelves.' Art Montague, Canadian crime writer (True Crime Ink)

 

'He is a brilliant craftsman of the English language, a master of his profession.' Eileen Dupuch Carron, publisher and CEO of The Tribune Media Group, Nassau, Bahamas 

 

'Blood and Fire is a fascinating and forensic examination of the murder of Sir Harry Oakes. It simultaneously exposes the bizarre theories around the case, and the bungling and sabotage of the investigation, whilst giving you a fly on the wall feeling of being at the outrageous dinner parties with the Duke of Windsor and his wife in exile in the small-minded and insular ex-pat community in the Bahamas, thick with affairs, intrigue, spite and scheming. Be warned – it may well keep you up accidentally until 2am.' Jo Casebourne, The Reading Project

'Of all the authors who’ve written about the Oakes murder case, I think John Marquis comes closest to the truth.' Bill Selnes, Lawyer, Saskatchewan, Canada

'It's a heck of a piece of reporting.' John Perry, King Features, USA

'Written as a narrative, I found this historical report of a famous murder spellbinding. Truth is often more interesting than fiction, and this proves it.' Ella M. Rydzewskion, Amazon

 

Papa Doc

Portrait of a Haitian Tyrant

'A really good read! Learned a lot about the history of the time and what cads the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were.' Carl Margolies, Amazon

'Compelling stuff for any lover of true murder mysteries. A really good read by a veteran journalist who has studied the case for four decades.’  Open Library

 

'One of my favourite books,' Michael Jepson, Goodreads

 

‘John Marquis is one of the finest journalists to have worked in the Bahamas, and his investigative skills and writing talent are displayed in abundance in this first-class re-telling of one of the great unsolved murder mysteries of the twentieth century.’ T.Seelye, Amazon

 

 

‘It’s a five-star rating for me.’ Mark Lazenby, Goodreads

'The scenes of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, were so vivid that I was convinced the author was a  Haitian. The book is compelling, clearly written by a star journalist.' Eliezer Regnier, Haitian attorney

 

'A very good book with some fascinating tales to tell about Duvalier and his cruel regime.' Roberto Ardon, Guatemala

 

'Without doubt one of the best books about the Duvalier regime. The chapter on Fort Dimanche, Papa Doc's slaughterhouse for political dissidents, was particularly powerful.' Jay Nembhard, New York

Evil and Son

The Life and Crimes of Sante and Kenny Kimes

'Mr Marquis is the first journalist to have given a voice to Sante Kimes.' Kimes Foundation for the Wrongfully Convicted

 

'His face-to-face meeting with the killer Sante Kimes is enthralling journalism. It would have made a great television interview.' Henry Hosier, reviewer

'A superb book about one of the most degenerate individuals in the annals of American crime.' Anne Elline, Boston, USA

'A wonderful insight into the oedipal relationship at its worst. How Kenny Kimes became his mother's hitman is one of crime's most tantalising conundrums.' Robert Valtern, San Francisco, USA

Flushing: A People's History

(Hardback Collectable Edition)

'A truly lovely book that will be well treasured.' 

'Beautifully produced, with many fascinating old photographs.'

'I've spent three whole days immersed in this book. It is amazing.'

'It contains so much more material than I was expecting.'

'For a signed and numbered limited edition, it is a snip at £35. It should have been £40 at the very least.'

'My wife and I have spent hours reading this book. It is a tremendous achievement, the result of what must have been hundreds of hours of work.'

'Guess what? I found reference to my great, great grandfather in your amazing book. It's a wonderful read.'

Various reader responses after the book was published in November, 2016

'What a fantastic book. I have yet to put it down.' F. Grigg, Cornwall

'A wonderful book. I've learnt a lot already.' Reader, Cheshire

‘I must congratulate you on an absolutely brilliant book. The mind boggles at all the time and research that must have gone into it, with a quite extraordinary depth and range of detail and illustration. To have created this book alone is an immense achievement, and to put it into the context of all the other things that you do just takes the breath away.’ Fellow journalist, West Country

Website: johnmarquis.net

(Comment section)

'Absolutely brilliant - worthy of a far greater audience and right up there with the best in the business.' Retired journalist, Cornwall

'Deliciously vicious - surely a contender for Blog of the Year.' Ray Bastion, journalist and PR consultant

'A very fine mind matched by a unique writing voice. Your excoriating prose rings the bell every time.' Marie Hedler, Switzerland

‘An utterly compulsive read - the Comment section, in particular, has become a Total-Must daily check for me, so much so that I feel cheated when there’s nothing new there.’ Mike Truscott, leading (recently retired) Cornish journalist, PR consultant and writer

'Your piece on Tony Blair (The Messiah seeks redemption to no avail) was brilliant, truly brilliant. Like so many of your pieces, I read it twice, just for the sheer enjoyment.' Media professional, West Country

'I love your commentaries or blogs on current affairs and world politics. Very amusing, informative and educational. Great stuff from the Old Master.' Newspaper editor, Caribbean

'Spent a thoroughly entertaining morning reading through your blog. Keep it going. You have a dedicated follower in the Middle East.' AJ, Emirates 

'I  think your comments are outrageous - compelling, but outrageous. Keep up the sterling work. You go where others fear to tread.' APS, Aberdeen

'I rarely agree with you, but I do enjoy reading your comments.' TA, London

'Thanks for two more utterly brilliant blogs (on academics and colour) which I devoured voraciously.' Media figure, West Country

'I have taken note of your boundless admiration for H.L.Mencken. May I suggest that, good as he was, you run him a very close second? Few journalists write as sparingly and effectively as you. Mencken would undoubtedly have approved.' Bill Morris, Cambridge.

‘In amongst a wealth of unmissable star turns, I reckon your latest blog (Corbyn) has to be one of the very best I have ever read.’ Falmothian, Cornwall

'I love your excellent commentary. Great stuff.' Media executive, Bahamas

'The blog on Kim Kardashian's backside is one of the most priceless pieces of journalism I've read in years. Please grab a contract on one of our national papers. Please...everyone else is a pussycat, you are a lion.' G. Adams, Sheffield

'By a country mile the best blog on the internet. Sensationally good, brutally  honest, invariably right. How you keep up the pace, and the standard, is beyond me.' Neil Evanson, Cambs.

'Your commentaries on current affairs are absolutely disgusting, I'm very pleased to say.' George Barrington, Yorks.

'A journalist friend recommended that I take a look at your commentaries on national and international affairs. I have to say that, while your views are uncompromising, your use of language is incomparable, far better than anything I have read in the New York Times or other august journals of note. You saw through Trump long before the US electorate did and hit the bull's eye on Brexit. By any standard, a powerful and prescient commentator.' Joel Hartigan, Detroit, USA

'Your blog is the only one I check out every day, without any kind of prompting, as a must-read favourite.' Media professional, West Country

'I've just spent two hours reading your website. There is something strangely mesmerising about your style. Some of your views are way beyond the pale, but you seem to be a wide-eyed innocent on the one hand, and a brutal verbal thug on the other. Little wonder Bahamas politicians were terrified of you.' L.Wychwood, Derbyshire

'You are the most provocative commentator on the internet, with the most withering put-downs I've ever read. I hope the day never dawns when you feel inclined to turn your verbal guns on me. But your stuff is outstanding, absolutely top-notch.' Kevin Rollings, Yorks.

'By far the best blog anywhere. Breathtakingly good and so, so wise and well-informed.' Nick Hill, Somerset.

'I love your art, but hate your blog. It is vicious and highly personal. That said, I read your comments every day. I suppose you will see that as some kind of triumph.' Wanda Bruce, London NW1

'The whole site is a revelation, but the Comment section is amazingly good. I found it during an internet trawl and am now addicted. Every evening I sit down with my computer and a glass of something potent and just marvel at your comments on world affairs. For a more frivolous counterpoint, I turn to your artwork - so colourful, so amusing.' M. Draper, Cumbria

'Priceless, absolutely priceless.' DB, Edinburgh

'Your word power is breath-taking. You manipulate language like no other. Truly superb stuff from an obvious master.' A.Bellamy, Glos., UK.

'Your commentary is unwaveringly good. I keep waiting for you to flag, but you capture the public mood with deft phrases that keep me pinned to the page. To be frank, I wish you'd write more because I can't get enough of it.' Galloway, Brighton

'Though it pains me to say it (I disagree with your comments on Brexit and nearly everything else) I pay due homage to your brilliance, both as a writer and artist. You are evidently a Jekyll and Hyde - a formidable polemicist on the one hand, an astonishingly original artistic talent on the other. Along with my evening Martini, you are my guilty pleasure.' Jane Hempring, East Anglia

'As a working journalist, I respect your word power. But, more importantly, I admire your willingness to push the boundaries of commentary far beyond what is normally permissible under the editorial code. In every free society, there are things that must be said by those with the eloquence and intellect to say them. You are blowing up log-jams in the public discourse. You are thinking the unthinkable and saying the unsayable. Unfortunately, there isn't a paper in the world with the courage to carry your stuff, which is a shame.' Greg Heppenstall

'I read your commentary regularly and have it bookmarked. I always look forward to your attacks on the world's idiots, of which there seem to be more and more.' Emirates

'The really worrying aspect of your blogs is that, though outstandingly good, they fall outside what is now considered legitimate discourse. No newspaper could possibly run  your stuff because it doesn't conform with restrictions forced upon us by unseen influences. Yet what you say is invariably right and needs to be said. I just wish you were read by millions.' JE, London

'What I find intriguing is that your website presents itself as an innocent showcase for your art. Yet tucked away in a back cupboard is the most explosive verbal weaponry I've ever encountered. Your grenades, whizz-bombs and incendiaries are devastating but addictive. You expose the political class for the useless tossers they are.' B.H, Edinburgh

'Your description of Jeremy Thorpe as the Beau Brummel of The Buggering Brigade must be the best one-liner of the year.' P. Etherington, Somerset

'Please keep up your superlative writings.' Observer, Caribbean

'You are, without doubt, the Lionel Messi of bloggers. Different league, different class, different universe. Blindingly brilliant in so many ways.' Ivor Keeling, South East.

'Please never give up on your utterly brilliant blog,' Journalist, West Country

'I can't think of a single commentator in the British press who even comes close to you in terms of eloquence and fluency. Behind the unparalleled style is a brain that buzzes like a bee-hive. Tremendous stuff.' M.Pallett, Glamorgan

'I believe many of your stock phrases and nicknames will eventually enter the language. Will lying Tony ever escape Bliar the Messiah? Will Ken Clarke ever survive being called The Baggy-Eyed Lardball? Your Bercow the Clown piece was hilarious - and so, so apt.' Greg Billington, Essex

'I've been reading your blog now for more than a year. Most newspaper columnists come and go - sometimes they're good, sometimes they're not - but you are astoundingly consistent. Your writing is right off the top shelf, and I say that as a media professional who knows what's kosha and what isn't.' Alison Bleat

'Your column is far better than anything in the British press. You're an off-the-leash iconoclast who hits the bull's-eye every time.' E. Rale, Tyneside

'He who is tired of Marquis most certainly is tired of life. Today's piece on Samuel Johnson was pure vintage Marquis.' Fan, West Country

'The comment about Samuel Johnson must go down as one of the very best you have done. I've been reading your stuff now for two years and this was a true star among stars.' J.Gordon, Hants

'You are, first and foremost, a great journalist.' TSA, London

'I collapsed with laughter when I read your item on Samuel Johnson. You're so f.....g right! Why did no-one else think of it? Every time I read your blog, I feel my brain expanding. That's meant as a compliment, by the way.' Ed Clemence, Yorkshire

'I've been trying to think of one word that sums up your blog, but I give up. The language doesn't account for material this good. You are so far ahead of the pack that you're out of sight. It's just f.....g great stuff, so it's congratulations from California.' Expat, Bay Area

'I read your blog all the time and am filled with admiration. Your use of language is as good as I've seen anywhere, a case study for English students everywhere. Where did you acquire that eloquence, that precision of expression?' Lorna, France

'Your piece on hate crime was a classic. So bloody amusing.' Ben Brier, Oxford

'I hate your views on Europe so much that I want to scream, but I can't help coming back for more of your scintillating prose. You're a bastard, an absolute bastard, but I'm like a besotted wife who can't get enough of you. Write on, big boy!' Delirious, Antibes

'By a long way the best blog on the internet. You write riveting stuff. Top of the pile, king of the block.' Jack Nott, Durham

'Your piece on the MCC decision to ban the term Man of the Match was masterful. Your wordplay is unmatched. Ace material from an acknowledged king of the genre (or should that be 'monarch' to avoid upsetting the PC crowd?)' Clive Herbert, London

'The mix of superb naive art and excoriating prose of the highest order has set my head spinning. Finding your site was like stumbling into a diamond mine.' J. Linegan, Eire

'You are a Neanderthal version of Jeremy Clarkson, a 21st century caveman.' Wally Wandsworth

'You probably don't have the greatest following, but I bet there isn't one more hooked.' South West follower

'By a country mile the best blog around. Wise, witty and - most importantly - written by someone who knows the English language from back to front. Breathtakingly good and brave with it.' Leo Gooding, Hants.

'I've just read your piece on Plunck the Drunk. Please don't stop. Reading your blog is like mainlining. I get high on it.' Grecian Apple, St Albans

 

'You are a shit - an intelligent shit, but still a shit.' Anon

PRINTS section

'A truly original talent. Your art is strangely at odds with your writing - the pictures are light, whimsical and amusing, while your blistering commentary is the most incisive and exact I've ever encountered.' Elaine Hill, journalist, USA

'Just to say I bought one of your prints AND one of your books while on holiday in Cornwall. What a talent!' Kim Bleasdale, Yorkshire

'Several of your prints would make great textile designs. Have you ever thought of getting into the fabric design business?' Lover of Cornwall, Manchester

'Your print called Crows in a Wintry Field is a minor classic - maybe even a major classic. Time will tell.' Eveline, Surrey

'I love your prints. So colourful, so amusing.' Sandra (Tourist) 

'Your print The Falmouth Fishmonger is lovely - very amusing.'

Celia, Bristol

'Just seen your minimalist art. Brilliant. The bull, in particular, is stunningly good.' Fan, Bristol

'You won't need me to tell you this - you're bloody good.' Cumbrian admirer

General comments

'Marquis is the greatest crapslinger in the world.' Online critic

 

'He is the most colourful and controversial newspaper editor in the Caribbean region.' Support group, Nassau, Bahamas

 

'Life in the Bahamas would be very different without the sharp, insightful comments of Mr Marquis.' Fred Smith QC, attorney and human rights campaigner, Grand Bahama

 

'I once worked with John Marquis.  He has always been a robust and colourful journalist.' Andrew Grant-Adamson, University of Westminster, London, UK

'I worked with John  Marquis thirty years ago. Whenever I hear of Halls of Fame or Britain's top fifty, I always ask myself: that's all very well, but how would they compare with John M? Terrific operator.' Ray Miles, London (Hold The Front Page)

 

'As an editor, Mr Marquis did more for the cause of poor blacks than any other Englishman since William Wilberforce.' Rodney Moncur, leader, Bahamas Workers Party

 

'Marquis and The Tribune have done more for the cause of democracy in the Bahamas than all the political parties put together.' Gladstone McEwan, Secret Ballot Campaigner

 

'Marquis deserves a knighthood for what he did for journalism in the Bahamas.' Lincoln Bain, Controversy Television, Bahamas

 

'Mr Marquis was regarded as a treasure in the Bahamas because he fought for justice on behalf of the people. His departure was a great loss.' Clever Duncombe, Fathers for Justice

 

'The government tried to get rid of Marquis, but Marquis got rid of the government instead.' Dr Rudolph King after the Bahamas government fell at the polls following a scandal involving a Cabinet minister and the American starlet Anna Nicole Smith

 

'He is cussed, bloody-minded, immoveable, unshakeable and an all-round bloody nuisance - just the kind of guy we need editing our leading national daily newspaper.' Tribune reader, Bahamas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You have such tremendous capabilities as a writer that you could persuade people to walk down Bay Street bald-naked to do their shopping. Our people want to concentrate on loving you, not on fighting you.” A Tribune reader known only as 'Bond', who was writing in response to a controversy during which Marquis was widely criticised for vilifying the late Bahamas prime minister Sir Lynden Pindling.

 

'As a writer, he is without equal. As an editor, he echoes what Napoleon

Bonaparte said - that a hostile newspaper is more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.' Paul Bower, chief executive, Star Publishing, Bahamas

 

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'John Marquis is one of the best journalists I've ever worked with.' Richard Meredith, publisher, editor and travel writer (ex-Daily Express)

'When I worked in Nassau, my weekly treat was The Tribune's Monday INSIGHT column, when the editor John Marquis vaporised corrupt politicians and crooked lawyers with ruthless efficiency. The political class lived in fear of this man, and no wonder. His words were like shards, tearing apart everything in their path.' George Hillington, accountant

'Two things I'll say about Mr Marquis - he writes extremely well, and he's nearly always right.' Online response to letter in The Nassau Guardian

On his retirement from full-time journalism in May, 2009, The Tribune editorial commented:

'There was much eye-daubing and clearing of choked-up throats as Tribune staff said farewell Friday evening to their managing editor. In the past 10 years such a mutual feeling of respect, trust and affection has been built up between the seasoned editor and his staff that it was hard to let go when retirement finally came. Short speeches of thanks were made with our oldest staff member asking to be excused - she had prepared her 'few words,' but was too emotionally overcome to deliver them. It was like the 'passing of the guard,' said News Editor Paco Nunez. 

'Having lived in the Bahamas during the Marquis era, I saw him as a journalist for the cowed and oppressed. He was savagely and remorselessly hostile to the political elite and was seen as a major inconvenience for those who were in the business of abusing power. To be frank, they were terrified of him. No wonder.' Jule, Europe

'You are, first and foremost, a great journalist.' Self-proclaimed 'ardent' fan, London

 

'John Marquis, the writer with a magic way with words.' Bahamas B2B News Website

'I've read all of Mr Marquis's books. By any standard, an outstanding writer and journalist.' Caribbean media professional

 

'A supreme master of his craft.' Ivan Johnson, publisher, The Punch, Bahamas
 

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