“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.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Whatever You Say, Say Nothing*

It’s all gone a bit political today, people. First Ronan Bennett hauls Martin Amis over the coals for his comments on Britain’s Muslim community, and now the Belfast Telegraph reports that Sinn Fein is ‘supervising’ James Monaghan’s media appearances while he promotes COLOMBIA JAIL JOURNAL. Quoth the Telly:
Gerry Adams’ publisher has hit out at the “censorious approach” of the republican movement after another of his authors – Colombian fugitive James Monaghan – pulled out of promotional interviews apparently on the orders of the IRA. Mr Monaghan has told publisher Steve MacDonagh that he will not do broadcast interviews for his new book, COLOMBIA JAIL JOURNAL, which was published by Brandon Books yesterday. The book is Mr Monaghan’s account of his arrest in Colombia in 2001 with Niall Connolly and Martin McAuley. The three men were later convicted of aiding FARC guerrillas but fled the country while on bail and returned to Ireland. Mr MacDonagh, who also published several of Gerry Adams’ [right, with James Monaghan] books, said Mr Monaghan’s contract for the book had included a provision to promote it. But he said that shortly before yesterday’s publication, to his “complete surprise”, Mr Monaghan informed him that the republican movement had told him not to take part in any broadcast interviews. As a result, a planned appearance on RTE’s popular ‘Late Late Show’ was cancelled. Mr MacDonagh said his understanding was that the order blocking broadcast interviews did not come from Sinn Fein. However, he said yesterday he has now been told Mr Monaghan’s print interviews will be “supervised by Sinn Fein”. “As far as I understand Sinn Fein will choose which publications he speaks to,” he said. “That isn’t the way Brandon (Books) does business. […] We won’t take part in such a censorious approach. With our authors, we want them to be available to all the media.” The publisher said he was particularly displeased because he had a long track record of campaigning against censorship laws in the Republic, which were frequently applied against Sinn Fein. Mr MacDonagh withdrew his planned promotional campaign for the book but Sinn Fein scheduled their own launch in Dublin last night.
* With apologies, as always, to Seamus Heaney

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