Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “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.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Some Thoughts On The Switching Of Horses Mid-Stream

The lovely people at Penguin sent us an ARC of the up-coming Dick Francis novel, Dead Heat, although the reviewer elves noted a rather unusual development in the accompanying press release, to wit:
“ … And more than ever there is a special twist. With forty novels under his belt, Dick feels that the time has come to begin handing over the family business. Felix, the younger of Dick’s two sons, has long been involved with managing Dick’s many publishing commitments and has helped with the research for several previous novels, not least with Twice Shy which drew on Felix’s experiences both as a physics teacher and as a marksman. Felix, in Dead Heat, has for the first time taken a central role in the writing of the book. Over the last year, Dick and Felix have worked closely together, developing plot and character details for this novel, and hopefully many more to come. The result is the searing intrigue-filled blockbuster, Dead Heat, which heralds a new era for the Grand Master of thriller writing.”
Erm, exqueeze us? Shouldn’t that read, “ … a new era for the son of the Grand Master of thriller writing”? And while we’re asking questions ... Is there a danger here that Penguin are taking reader / brand loyalty a step too far? Since when has writing novels been considered ‘a family business’? Isn’t the joy of reading all about immersing yourself in a world created by the unique mind of a writer? Or are we just being na├»ve / pedantic / obtuse (delete as applicable) here? Answers on the back of €20 book tokens to the usual address, please.