Language Barrier

Fiction - Supernatural
102 Pages
Reviewed on 11/26/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Russell Cornhill was born and he hasn’t died yet. Those are the highlights.

For those who wish to know more, Russell has spent most of his life living inside his head. The rent was good, but the view was depressing.

There came a time in his life when he no longer wanted to be part of the human race. Full time writing was his excuse to hide away in a proverbial cave and only come out when he had to. But life is ironic, and the writing slowly dragged him, kicking and screaming, back into the real world.

He runs a writing group on Facebook and has conducted a number of writing events on the Gold Coast, Queensland. He has seen several of his writing buddies publish and decided it was time to publish or perish himself.

He hopes readers enjoy his ramblings and that his pessimistic view of life hasn’t tainted the stories too much.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Language Barrier is a work of fiction in the humor, paranormal fantasy, and magical realism sub-genres, and was penned by author Russell Cornhill. In this whimsical, dry, and highly amusing work, we met protagonist Daniel Nichols at the tender age of seventy-three. When Daniel is told by the three angelic voices in his head that he has been chosen to rid the world of all evil, this faithful fogey embarks on a wild quest to discover who the real heroes and villains are of this dimension and countless others. What results is a fast-paced novella filled with hijinks and mirth for anyone looking to escape reality for a while.

Author Russell Cornhill has crafted a wry and sardonic novella which fans of both the surreal and the sublime are likely to enjoy. One of the particular highlights for me was the crafting of the dialogue, which serves to strongly characterize Daniel and his three angels right from the start, but also delivers some really cutting one-liners and moments of dry genius. The novella begins at a very sudden point of action and never lets up from there, delivering some witty yet bittersweet home truths about old age, whilst also providing an adventurous and twisting plot which would be impossible to predict from the outset. I was also a fan of such an underrepresented hero and the ways in which Daniel, who has some quite unlikeable qualities, becomes an endearing hero the more the story goes on. Overall, I would definitely recommend Language Barrier to fans of quirky fiction with a bite as good as its bark.

Foluso Falaye

Seventy-three-year-old Daniel gets a surprise visit from three angels who tell him he has been chosen to spearhead the fight against the Evil that has been afflicting the world for centuries. Equipped with nothing but a banana, a baseball bat, and a special pair of spectacles, Daniel begins his quest to different dimensions to find the elusive Evil while meeting heroes, villains, and different creatures with different languages. Does the baseball-bat-swinging, banana-waving hero have what it takes to save the world? If Daniel can get past the tempting traps, find his way through the confusing trail, and heed the counsel of the angels, he might just have a chance. Russell Cornhill's Language Barrier is a greatly creative and humorous hero story that challenges the imagination and launches readers into a multidimensional adventure.

I appreciate writers who create unique ideas and plant new concepts in my mind through their books. Language Barrier had me in a different, clearly described world while wishing the world was as exciting as the many fantastic things the protagonist experiences in his quest. I laughed all through the book, and as the story got more bizarre and unbelievable, the outbursts of laughter became louder and more frequent. Though the story has a religious theme, I do not recommend it to Christians as they might find some scenes offensive. However, I recommend Russell Cornhill's book to anyone who wants a good laugh out of a story that mixes sci-fi concepts with religious ones to create a one-of-a-kind experience. Beware that the book contains heavy language and a few scenes of sexual assault. From the touching dedication to the wild story and the relatable author's note, I loved every page of Language Barrier.

Lesley Jones

In Language Barrier by Russell Cornhill, Daniel Nichols is 73 years old and cannot believe he agreed to move into a nursing home. He misses his wife Elizabeth and wonders what the future holds without her. Suddenly voices are heard in his bedroom. Armed with only a baseball bat and an over-ripe banana, Daniel is ready to attack if he could only get his fragile body out of the bed. To his amazement, his bedroom guests are not burglars but three angels who want him to complete a mission. Daniel is told he is the Chosen One; his mission is to travel across many different dimensions and destroy Evil. He agrees as long as he is back for his grandson's birthday and, armed with the bat and the banana, they begin the adventure. Daniel visits the College of Business Malpractice, a cemetery filled with violent thugs, the eternal wormhole, The Pink Place, and meets Mr. Satan himself. Will Daniel manage to complete his mission and discover the source of Evil. More importantly, will he ever return to life as he knows it?

On the surface, the plot of Language Barrier by Russell Cornhill is uniquely quirky and really hilarious but there is a poignant message hidden within the layers of the story. I absolutely adored Daniel; his sharp wit and endless comical observations made me laugh out loud. The characters are so extraordinary and imaginative, especially the three angels; I adored their individual personalities. I found many scenes quite thought-provoking such as the office scene and the line, 'The longer you stay, the stronger the tie becomes.' This was extremely powerful. Daniel's experience in the graveyard also relayed a very important message about human behavior. Throughout the adventure, you discover to be wary of Evil as it tries to tempt and deceive you and you wonder what it could possibly be. I never could have guessed the events that occurred in The Pink Place - they were absolutely hysterical. I love a novel that makes you think about the deeper meaning of life and happiness and Language Barrier did that perfectly.

Vincent Dublado

Language Barrier by Russell Cornhill is a humorous supernatural tale with an unlikely protagonist. Daniel Nichols is the Chosen One. At first, the seventy-three-year-old pensioner thinks that it will be like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, wherein he will be battling vampires to save humanity, and the whole concept appears absurd to him considering his infirmities. But the three angels inside his head who speak in the most immaculate choir tone, with a Clair de Lune soundtrack, insist that he is the one who must travel to different dimensions to help rid the world of evil (although sometimes they doubt if Nichols is really the one). To prepare him for the task, they equip him with large round lenses with a small keypad on the nosepiece for his dimension travel, a baseball bat for his weapon, and a banana to navigate his way into crossing dimensions (he resents that they gave him the Cavendish variety rather than his favorite Lady Fingers). In being the Chosen One, he will come to understand the nature of evil and why it has been plaguing mankind.

Language Barrier is a short but profound story that tries to answer the very nature of evil. Cornhill explores the consequences that exist from different subjective ideas. The story becomes philosophical without the trappings of being preachy. The protagonist arrives at his own idea about the concept of evil after his encounters with crazed humans, dark phantoms, ruthless thugs, and Satan in his not so impressive office. It appears that individual ideas about the nature of evil hinge on our own empirical evidence. The writing is direct and is injected with funny moments that spring from Cornhill’s ridiculous take on venturing into the unknown at an advanced age. This is a little tale that offers a huge romp of an adventure, and it is easy to forget that the hero is a septuagenarian as you join him for the ride. It is a great story that you can finish in one sitting.

Soumya Sreehari

Imagine if you were selected to root out all that is evil in the world? Would you jump at the chance? Or would you say, “Thanks, but no thanks”? Suddenly, one night, Daniel is given this impossible choice by a group of three angels. Language Barrier by Russell Cornhill explores Daniel’s journey as he traverses different dimensions in search of evil. He meets interesting characters and scenarios in his search. His helpers in this bizarre journey are a pair of special eyeglasses and a banana. Not to mention the three angels in his head. Daniel’s journey is far from ordinary. He enters familiar and unfamiliar places and meets heroes and villains of all shapes and sizes. Does he finally find evil and destroy it? Read the book to find out.

Daniel is a happy man contemplating his future days in a senior living home. Suddenly, his life is turned topsy-turvy by the visit of three strange angels. They name him ‘The Chosen One’ and whisk him off on a journey to destroy evil. Russell Cornhill’s Language Barrier is a story of search. Daniel travels to dimensions that he could not have imagined before. He finds strange people and places, some he understands, others are beyond comprehension. Language Barrier was something of a difficult read for me. The subject is abstract, the descriptions are graphic, and there are different interpretations of Daniel’s experiences. However, I really liked the liberal doses of humor. In a difficult setting, the humor kept my reading experience grounded. Pick up this book if you are ready to explore beyond the ordinary. It is thought-provoking, for sure.