“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.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

“No Crime Fiction, Please – We’re Irish” # 113

We’re in something of a quandary, folks. The good news is that of the six Irish writers nominated on the long-list for the €100,000 2008 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award – Claire Kilroy, Patrick McCabe, Colum McCann, Alison Jameson, John Boyne and Michael Collins – Kilroy, Boyne and Collins tend to use crime plots to keep their pages turning. Trouble is, neither the delectable Ms Kilroy (TENDERWIRE) nor the pout-tastic Collins (THE SECRET LIFE OF ROBERT E. PENDLETON) are particularly impressed by crime fiction, while self-confessed crime nut Boyne has been nominated for THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS, which is acted out against the backdrop of one the greatest crimes of the 20th century but isn’t a crime novel itself. Boo, etc. Meanwhile, kudos to the Irish Times for milking every last green drop of Irishness out of the list thusly:
“Three other nominees with Irish connections are Dane, Christian Jurgensen and English writer David Mitchell, who both live in Ireland; and Canadian Peter Behren, whose novel THE LAW OF DREAMS is set during the Famine.”
Unfortunately, the Old Lady missed out on an Irish connection. But lo! The Irish Independent spotted the dropping ball and dived in to save the day, to wit:
“Another strong contender is Maggie O’Farrell [nominated for THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX], who was born in Northern Ireland, and whose debut novel AFTER YOU’D GONE was a huge bestseller in Britain.”
Phew! That was a close one. Hearty congrats to all nominees; the shortlist and winner will be announced early next year.

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