“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, October 24, 2007

Paul Charles: Number 2 With A Bullet!

A couple of interesting snippets from Verbal’s interview with Paul Charles (right), who’s currently getting plenty of much-deserved oxygen for THE DUST OF DEATH. First up is Paul’s thoughts on plotting, or the lack of, to wit:
Surprisingly, Charles is never sure when he begins a book how it is going to turn out. “That’s part of the buzz for me. Finding out what happens. If I knew whodunnit beforehand I don’t think I would write them at all. It’s more exciting not to know. My method is to ‘find’ the body along with my detective and then go off on his journey with him to work out what happened. I go into his life, just like the reader, and meet all the people he meets and draw conclusions, some erroneous at the start, from those meetings. To be honest, I can’t actually remember writing the first line, or starting the book. It’s a kind of organic process. I mull the idea over for a while and then it comes.”
Marvellous. Heading off at something of a tangent takes us from the sublime to the ridiculous via the American Billboard chart, Verbal then tosses in a lovely piece of trivia.
During the early 1970s Charles was manager, lyricist, roadie, sound-engineer and agent for the Belfast band Fruupp, who were signed to Dawn Records and worked around the UK for several years. Sheba’s Song, one of Charles’s songs from that period (co-written with band member John Mason) has just been sampled and covered by America Rap artist Talib Kweli with Nora Jones guesting on vocals. Eardrum, the album which the song appears on, went to number 2 in America’s Billboard chart this month.
Paul Charles, eh? He’s a little bit rock, a little bit roll, a little bit rap-sample champ. It’ll take a nation of millions to hold him back now …

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