Interesting piece in today’s Metro about John Banville’s new novel. THE SILVER SWAN is a break from his usual literary output. It’s a thriller, based on something that happened in his local Dublin neighbourhood. Writing as Benjamin Black, Banville has set the novel in the 1950s, exposing the dark side of Ireland, where church and state ruled with a grimness rivalling regimes behind the Iron Curtain … Adopting a different style seems to have helped Banville get back on track with the style which won him the Booker in 2005 for THE SEA.Insert your own ‘Homeric struggle’ punchline at your leisure, folks …
“... I wrote the Black books, [says Banville] which are all about character and plot, to give myself a bit of a kick.”
It seems to have worked – he’s 6,000 words into a new Banville novel, although he says that, for a writer, all that matters is writing the perfect line: “Each time I sit down to write, I think of Bart Simpson inscribing on the blackboard, ‘I must write a better sentence.’ And I’d sacrifice anything to get a sentence right.”
“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. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “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. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Ay Caramba! ’Tis John Bartville!
It may be a little behind in its Benny Blanco from the Bronx (aka Benjamin Black) coverage, but given that the elves are huge (as in, tiny-but-keen) fans of The Simpsons, we couldn’t resist the following post from The Writer’s Times :