“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, September 19, 2007

We Come Not To Bury Julius, But To Praise Him

I THINK I HEARD THE SHOT.
It was a cold afternoon at the end of October, and I was in my chair reading by the wood stove in my cabin. In these woods many men roam with guns, mostly in the stretches away from where people live, and their shots spray like pepper across the sky, especially on the first day of the rifle hunting season when people from Fort Kent and smaller towns bring long guns in their trucks up this way to hunt deer and bear …
If you haven’t yet got your grubby mitts on Gerard Donovan’s Julius Winsome, we urge you to do so with all due haste. In essence it’s a tale about a man who picks up his gun to avenge the death of his dog, but what makes it special is the voice, a hauntingly compelling tone that verges on the hypnotic, delivered by a character who is the antithesis of that old crime fiction staple, the unreliable narrator. For a shorthand reference, you could do worse than try to imagine Jim Thompson dabbling in the dark arts of literary fiction. If that’s not seductive enough, try a few sample chapters and immerse yourself in the workings of a unique mind …

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