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.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

On WHAT WAS LOST, And Losers

Sinead over at the very fine Sigla Blog has been raving about Catherine O’Flynn’s Costa Award-winning WHAT WAS LOST for some time now, but even though O’Flynn is second-generation Irish we didn’t want to jump on the bandwagon in case the novel was a literary effort (given it won a literary prize) that simply utilised crime tropes, an issue that has unduly exercised the elves of CAP Towers over the last few weeks. However, with Mark Lawson in The Guardian claiming WHAT WAS LOST as a mystery story, and Karen Meek reviewing it at Euro Crime, it’s starting to look like WHAT WAS LOST is due some very belated and entirely useless congratulations from the CAP crew. Three cheers, two stools and a resounding huzzah, then … Incidentally, O’Flynn was one of four women to scoop a prize at the Costa Book Awards, and the utter absence of disgruntled men complaining about the (non-)issue stands in stark contrast to the outcry about the lack of women nominated for the Edgar’s ‘Best Novel’ category, if this Sarah Weinman-sponsored thread is anything to go by. Are men better losers than women? Or just losers, period? Answers on the back of a used €20 note to the usual address, please …