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.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Funky Friday’s Freaky-Deak

It’s Friday, it’s funky, to wit: this week’s cornucopia of irrelevancies and fripperies culled from the interweb kicks off with El Blogador’s report that The John Hewitt International Summer School is getting in on the book club phenomenon, with Richard Irvine, Mary O’Donnell and Ian Sansom gathering to debate their chosen offerings in the Great Northern Novel debate, the novels up for wibbling about being Brian McGilloway’s BORDERLANDS, Eoin McNamee’s RESURRECTION MEN, and Flann O’Brien’s AT SWIM TWO BIRDS. Interestingly (or not), both BORDERLANDS and AT SWIM TWO BIRDS are set in the South / Free State / Republic of Ireland (delete according to prejudice), in Donegal and Dublin respectively; and all three writers reside(d) in the South, McGilloway in Donegal, McNamee in Sligo and O’Brien in Dublin, where reports of his death have not, sadly, been over-exaggerated … The latest Crime Carnival, which is hosted by Sharon Wheeler of Reviewing the Evidence, shows up over at Hey, There’s A Dead Guy In The Living Room. Confused? Not as confused as Sharon, obviously: “And then there’s the very charming Declan Burke over at Crime Always Pays, which has Irish crime fiction bang to rights, Guv.” Erm, Declan Burke charming? Shurely shome mishtake, ma’am? … Anyhoo, upward and onward to Marshal Zeringue’s What Writers Are Reading interweb yokeybus, where Irish historian Roy Foster is giving David Parks’ THE TRUTH COMMISSIONER the big-up, “because it’s a powerful novel about Northern Ireland by a writer I deeply admire.” Can’t say fairer than that … Here’s an interesting notion over at the Sigla Blog: an on-line book club trading in short stories. Whenever they get around to dealing with Raymond Carver, we’ll be front and centre, electronically speaking … Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Derek Landy might – his debut offering, SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT, has been voted their favourite book by Scarborough’s cheeky tyke population, who voted it numero uno at Scarborough College on World Book Day. Nice … Finally, Blooking spots “an odd justification for migrating blog characters to print” over at the synopsis for Twenty Major’s THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX PARK at Amazon. To wit: “For three years Twenty Major has written a daily blog. Now though comes a tale so bizarre and abominable that mere words on a computer screen wouldn’t have been able to do it justice. These words need to be on paper ...” Here at CAP Towers, we make the modest proposal that Twenty Major should be skinned, said skin smoke-dried for parchment, said parchment tattooed with THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX PARK, and the whole shebang nailed to the forehead of whoever it was arranged the running order for the Dublin Book Festival. No, don’t thank us, we’re only here to help …