“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Listowel: Tough On Crime, Tough On The Writers Of Crime

Another Irish literary festival, another who’s-not-who of Irish crime fiction. Yep, it’s the turn of Listowel Writers’ Week to virtually ignore the scruffy cornerboys and assorted low-lives who scribble nasty words on grubby pages, with only Benjamin Black’s Christine Falls (left) representing the nauseatingly popular genre. Nominated alongside Roddy Doyle (Paula Spencer), Gerard Donovan (Julius Winsome), Pat McCabe (Winterwood) and Claire Kilroy (Tenderwire), Black is on the short-list for the Irish Fiction Award 2007, to be decided May 30 – even though his biog on the Writers’ Week site makes no mention of ‘Benjamin’, ‘Black’, ‘Christine’ or ‘Falls’. Odd, that – although yon blurb spoofs on about quite a bit about John Banville, for some bizarre reason. Anyhoo, we’re rooting (metaphorically, sadly) for Claire Kilroy (right), partly because she’s the only gal on the short-list (solidarity, sister) but mainly because she’s the hottest fox since they cremated Basil Brush. Boom-boom, etc. Seriously, though, there’s a €10,000 prize going for the Irish Fiction Award, which isn’t to be sneezed at, even if you do win it for (eeek!) writing a crime novel – eh, John?

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