“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.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Death, Where Is Thy Sting? Oh, There It Is

Michael Collins’s The Death of A Writer – aka The Secret Life of Robert E. Pendleton – gets a paperback reprint in the US this month, hardly surprising given the stack of big-ups it’s received to date. “Michael Collins tears into literary academe with great comic gusto,” reckoned Marilyn Stasio in the New York Times, although Publishers Weekly was a tad more circumspect, to wit: “The philosophical and literary digressions may annoy some readers, but all should appreciate the fully-realized characters, lyrical place descriptions and dark, circuitous plot.” As for Mr and Mrs Kirkus, they could hardly restrain themselves: “Mystery, tragedy and farce converge in this engaging novel of considerable psychological depth … The suspense makes this a page-turner until the climax, as Collins’s plot combines academic satire, philosophical speculation and tragedy.” Hurrah! Sorry, folks, we’re kind of busy this week, so you’ll have to insert your own ‘Death, where is thy sting? It’s in the tale’ gag here …

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