“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, November 7, 2007

The Boy Who Followed Ripley

The Crime Always Pays elves wouldn’t have thought John Boyne (left) – nominated yesterday on the long-list for the 2008 IMPAC Award for THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS – the most overtly crime-minded Irish author out there, although maybe we should have been tipped off by the title of CRIPPEN: A NOVEL OF MURDER. Anyhoo, it was a pleasant surprise to stumble across Boyne’s essay on Penguin’s interweb yokeybus, in which Boyne offers an insight into the inspiration behind NEXT OF KIN, to wit:
“Readers of this novel will recognise the debt that I owe to Patricia Highsmith [right] in the creation of Owen Montignac. I have always been an avid fan of Highsmith’s fiction, particularly the five Tom Ripley books, and admire the manner by which she consistently created flawed, damaged characters, capable of both extraordinary moments of cruelty and unexpected bursts of humanity. For me, Ripley is one of the most well-rounded characters in fiction and I hoped to create such a dichotomy of characteristics in Owen Montignac.”
Well said, that man. In the wonky world of Crime Always Pays’ crude understanding of algebra, ‘Patricia’ + ‘Highsmith’ = ‘Genius’.

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