“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “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. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Talent Borrows, Genius Steals

The guys over at The Rap Sheet run an occasional post on books by different authors which use spookily similar art work, but the latest offering from Maverick House may have even them perplexed. First off, here’s Alan Sherry’s THE A-Z OF IRISH CRIME, which was released last October, about which the Maverick House elves had this to say:
THE A-Z OF IRISH CRIME is an in-depth reference book on modern Irish crime concentrating mainly from 1996 to present day, focusing on key gangland figures and murders. The book also focuses on key criminal agencies, weapons of gangland Ireland, drugs, missing persons and all serious crime. An A-Z of Irish crime has not been done before. This should be a comprehensive, original book giving a wide perspective of crime throughout Ireland.
So far, so straightforward. Except now Maverick House have released THE A-Z OF IRISH CRIME: A GUIDE TO CRIMINAL SLANG IN IRELAND by John Mooney and Jean Harrington, about which the blurb elves have this to say:
This book is a highly entertaining introduction to the world of criminal slang. Those who are hell bent on breaking the law have created their own unauthorized and underground language that is often more colourful and vulgar than plain English. If you are interested in speaking the language of the street, or want to converse with fences, street walkers and the army, this book is for you. Forget what you learned in English class, this book is the definitive guide to the ever changing language of the street.
Erm, we call on J. Kingston Pierce to mediate. We’re off for a lie-down in a darkened room …

9 comments:

Peter Rozovsky said...

I hear that the book is called "The A to Zed of Irish Crime" in the U.K. and Canada, but "The A to Zee of Irish Crime" in the U.S. Why bother with title changes like that? They only confuse readers.
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Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

Josh Schrank said...

I'm confused.

Peter Rozovsky said...

Canadians and the British will tell you the last letter of the alphabet is "zed," as in my Canadian childhood. Americans call the letter "zee," as in my American adulthood.

I have always liked "zed" because of its fond childhood associations and because it sounds like the name of a creature invented by Dr. Seuss. But let's ask our Grand Vizier: What do the Irish call the last letter of the alphabet? Or, to state the question in mystical terms, what comes after y?
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

Declan Burke said...

Peter - The Grand Viz has asked me to remind you that in the song that finishes up, "Now I know my A-B-C / Next time won't you sing with me?", the 'Z' is pronounced 'zee'. So let's have no more of this 'zed' heresy ... Cheers, Dec

Peter Rozovsky said...

A little dissonance is good for the soul; always has been:

"Double-u and x, y, zed
"Now I know my A-B-C ... "
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Detectives Beyond Borders
"Home of the Zed Heads"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

Josh Schrank said...

*chuckle* Sorry Peter, they don't have an emoticon or similar to express stoic sarcasm. I use to live in Michigan's upper penninsula where 49 out of 50 Americans thought it was part of Canada. I understood your post, I was just trying to add my wit to it.. I guess I need to practice up on that a tad, eh?

Peter Rozovsky said...

It's good to err on the side of confusion, so I'm still pleased that I posted my explanation.

I know the Upper Peninsula is one of North America's oddest bits of political geography. Do people there compound the eccentricity by saying "zed"?
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

Josh Schrank said...

No... Actually people there interject Finnish words when the can't think of the English one. It's the only place in the US, that I am aware of, that has a Finnish language TV station. There's your late Monday night trivia for this week. Now, it's time to put this little pocket gizmo away. I think the barkeep considers me anti-social.

For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.

Peter Rozovsky said...

Order me a gin and tonic, would you?

I'll get the next one.
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/