“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.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

This Week We're Reading ... Sideswipe and Skinny Dip

Yep, the weather broke, damn its beautiful eyes, so we took ourselves off to the sunnier (albeit significantly seedier) climes of Florida, courtesy of Charles Willeford's Swideswipe, the second in the Hoke Moseley police procedurals ... except Hoke's bailed out of the force after a nervous breakdown. Be warned: deceptively laidback until the cataclysmic final chapters, Sideswipe is a very slow burner. "No one writes a better crime novel than Charles Willeford," says Elmore Leonard, and few of these here folks will disagree ... Anyhoo, it being so balmy in Florida, we stuck around with Carl Hiaasen's Skinny Dip, which pretty much retreads every book he's ever written but does it with some style: "a screwball delight so full of bright, deft, beautifully honed humor that it places Mr. Hiaasen in the company of Preston Sturges, Woody Allen and S. J. Perelman," says the New York Times above the racket of a host of reviewers clamouring to agree. Oh, and while we're on the subject, Hiaasen's latest, Nature Girl, is on its way ... which is nice.

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