“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.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

All The World’s A Stage And Each Must Write His (Or Her) Part

Better known to the wider world for his stand-up comedy, TV work and acting, renaissance man Sean Hughes recently turned his hand to crime fiction with The Detainees. Which, by our reckoning, makes it Pauline McLynn, Tana French and now Hughes making the leap from full-on thespianism to wilful Irish crime page-blackening. It makes a certain kind of sense, we suppose: actors and writers both need to fully inhabit their characters to make them plausible, and both will go to almost any lengths to ensure they never have to do a decent day’s work. Anyhoo, The Detainees: “Irish comic Hughes loses the comedy in favour of a fairly clever piece of revenge fulfilment,” says one happy punter over at Amazon UK, while another adds, “I was deeply moved by this novel and highly entertained. If this had been printed under a pseudonym people would have been rating it up with the likes of Martin Amis. Totally excellent.” Ah, but what if he’d chosen ‘Martin Amis’ as his pseudonym? Makes you think, no? No? Okay, be like that …

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