“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.

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Embiggened O # 2,012: Achtung, Baby!

Who says Germans have no sense of humour? Bernd Kochanowski over at International Crime was kind enough to review our humble offering THE BIG O, introducing us in the process to the phrase ‘trip to Jerusalem’, for which we will be eternally grateful. With apologies to Bernd for the quality of the writing, which is the result of our using a translation device, the piece runneth thusly:
With the “trip to Jerusalem” THE BIG O would have no chance: The book falls between all chairs. It is no humour crime film, but rather subliminal funnily, it does not show off with local colour, still plays recognizably in Ireland, it is no real thriller, nevertheless, uses this form and it is nobody noir, however, is to the direction … If one did not know it already on account of regular reading of the Blogs Crime Always Pays whose guardian Declan Burke is, at the latest to THE BIG O would be clear that here an eminently widely-read author was at work who has done many thoughts to himself about the manifestations of the genre.
  Exceptionally it is fairly difficult to summarize the book. Too easily it could happen that affectionately from the author laid out feints are betrayed. Besides, the idea underlying to the book is easy. Mostly single scenes are told in short chapter from the point of varying persons. Now and then a scene of a person becomes next hand over, so that the reader receives two (often different) representations. If these are at the beginning single action threads which the author lays out, these are intertwined in the course of the history with each other and intertwined again to a respect network hardly to be overlooked has originated. Relentlessly Burke speeds up the history. Always new dependence between the trading appears and constantly it differently comes than one expects.
  All together these are 6 heads and some Nebenpersonen which appear before a scenery which could be everywhere - the book walk formally to be performed as a stage play. Typically Irish is here in particular the language which speak the people and thus it also takes no miracle that the dialogs carry an essential part of the action.
  THE BIG O is great fun: The humour comes from the back, without laughters from the canned food announce that a joke comes. The persons are drawn hard, however, always consistent. The special situation Ireland as “Celtic tiger” is a part of the background and the book is exciting always. Even if the reader from a certain point can anticipate where the whole will lead, one asks himself with all involvements how the author wants to bring this with dignity to an end.
  The book is convincing (at the stately end and) also, because it is independent absolutely. Here somebody risks what … and wins. Published by the author with Hag’s Head Pressing appeared book will come out in the lifting in the USA at one of the big publishing companies. Past then the times where the author can report about the fact that the book is offered as a reward with Amazon for 195.36 US $.