“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, March 12, 2008

Brain Candy

Just in case you thought we were over-stating the case just a tad last week in our review of neurologist Liam Durcan’s (right) rather fine debut novel GARCIA’S HEART, we herewith present a selection of big-ups and hup-yas from Durcan’s Canadian hinterland, to wit:
“Engrossing. . . . Durcan doesn’t offer any easy answers in this searching, meticulously observed novel of moral complexity. He does offer plenty to think about.” — Toronto Star

“Lucid and subtle. . . . Durcan has crafted an entertaining and convincing portrayal of a man awkwardly perched atop a precipice of identities and histories on the verge of collapse.” — Montreal Review of Books

“Stunningly well-written. . . . Durcan writes the way one imagines a brain surgeon employs his tools — with strength to cut through bone and feather-light delicacy to excise minute strands of tissue. Durcan’s style is a mixture of precision and playfulness, irony and moral seriousness reminiscent of British master Ian McEwan, or even a slightly restrained Martin Amis … A remarkable accomplishment.” — Winnipeg Free Press

“With this remarkable debut novel, Liam Durcan … has firmly ensconced himself within the hallowed ranks of doctors making successful forays into literature, a line running straight from Chekov through William Carlos Williams and W. Somerset Maugham to, most recently, Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Vincent Lam. . . .There are evocations of Ian McEwan’s SATURDAY here . . . Durcan beats McEwan at his own game by resisting the tendency to show off and, in doing so, produces a restrained, artfully paced work built around its central ethical question, which is not so much “what is evil?” as “what, exactly, is the nature of good?” — Quill & Quire (starred review)

“Like a cross between John le CarrĂ© and Ian McEwan – GARCIA’S HEART, treads the line between an elegant, elegiac novel of ideas and a sophisticated political thriller. It was exciting, intellectually compelling, and beautifully written. It was also that rarest of books: A literary work with an intensely humanistic core. I am so happy to have discovered Liam Durcan; he will be a major writer for years to come.” — Pauls Toutonghi

“Eloquent and haunting, GARCIA’S HEART fearlessly explores the moral ambiguities of the modern world. Durcan demonstrates his supreme versatility with this psychologically penetrating, technically assured, yet empathic and human portrait of a man struggling to come to terms with a terrible angel.” — Eden Robinson,

“In his debut novel, Liam Durcan skilfully performs complex forensic procedures: autopsies on mysteriously damaged hearts, brain scans on characters whose deepest thoughts remain beyond diagnosis. Throughout, Durcan writes with operating room precision. A grim, gripping, confident, and provocative book.” — Steven Heighton

“Liam Durcan raises complex and important issues in GARCIA’S HEART, exposing the frailty of human nature against the background of medical science. It’s an intelligent book, thought-provoking and satisfying — a meditation on the workings of the mind. I found myself thinking about it for a long time afterwards.” — Clare Morrall
So, there you have it. Liam Durcan. GARCIA’S HEART. Make yourself happy, people …

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