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, November 20, 2007

Books: The Final Chapter?

Prescient words from our favourite Welsh blogger over at It’s A Crime!, people – Crimefic was actually chatting about Picador’s decision to cut down on its hardbacks in favour of the paperback market, but she could just as easily have been talking about Amazon's new Kindle device, as modelled by Jeff Bezos (right). To wit:
“I’m beginning to think that the changes afoot in the world of publishing will actually consolidate in the near future and it’s time to face the reality. Masses of paperbacks of short useful lives aren’t particularly environmentally friendly. Neither is their distribution mechanism. Those digital readers we booklovers shun with horror just might take off. The book as we’ve known it for so long may indeed become a limited edition and at a high price.”
For the record – not that you care, but now that you’re here we might as well toss in our two cents – we’re in the Luddite* camp on the Kindle issue, being of the opinion that books make for wonderful wallpaper, marvellous insulation, and, given that their basic design hasn’t needed to change for about 400 years, represent the most ideal blend of form and function since the wheel. As for hardbacks – they’re clunky, expensive and elitist. For fiction, anyway. Good riddance.

* In the interests of openness and transparency, it’s only fair that we point out that there are witnesses who can testify that CAP Grand Vizier Declan Burke once opined, aloud, that ‘yon email malarkey is only a passing fad’. So his opinion on any technological development should be taken with a Siberian mine-sized pinch of salt.