“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.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Embiggened O # 2,014: Always Judge A Book By Its Cover Homage

A Minister for Propaganda Elf writes: “Things have been going rather swimmingly for our humble offering THE BIG O of late, people. The good folk at Harcourt recently sent through the art-work for the cover of the forthcoming US edition, with which the Grand Viz was well pleased, mainly because it suggested that the designer boffin responsible had paid close attention to the text, to the point where the ever-radiant Maxine Clarke was moved to suggest that the cover itself might represent something of a plot spoiler. That was swiftly followed by the news that THE BIG O has been short-listed for the Bristol Crime Fest ‘Last Laugh’ award, a huge boost to the GV’s scheme for world domination, not least because the vagaries of alphabeticisation mean that the moniker ‘Burke, Declan’ heads the short-list (literally, if not actually). Hot on the heels of that little nugget of joy came the news that the Book Witch had a quick gander at THE BIG O’s sequel, currently labouring under the unlikely title of THE BLUE ORANGE, and professed herself hugely impressed with GV’s ability to apply the spell-check function. Three cheers, two stools and a resounding huzzah, said we, as we limbered up to breast-stroke through the vat of our Patented Elf-Wonking Juice™. But lo! There’s more! For yea, it came to pass that the eagle-eyed John McFetridge dropped us a line to point up the similarities between our cover and that of an edition of KILLSHOT by some American tyro called Ellroy Leonard, or Elmore Lennox, or summat akin. Well, you could’ve knocked us down with a feather made of microscopic sledgehammers. Still, they do say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, do they not? And, given that THE BIG O is a fourth-rate rip-off of Mr Lennox / Leonard’s style, it makes perfect sense that the Harcourt designer boffins should produce a first-rate homage to one of Mr Lennox / Leonard’s covers. Right, that’s us off for a couple of lengths in the vat of Patented Elf-Wonking Juice™. Be beautiful, people. Peace, out.”

8 comments:

Peter Rozovsky said...

" And, given that THE BIG O is a fourth-rate rip-off of Mr Lennox / Leonard’s style,"

Criminy, do you mean the Leonard also has a gun in the plot? Thanks for ruining it for me.
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
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Declan Burke said...

Erm, sorry Peter. At the risk of further spoiling it for you, KILLSHOT may also feature a man holding said gun, possibly in a threatening fashion. Cheers, Dec

Josh Schrank said...

GV,where do you find your elves? All of the ones I have employed talk like they just escaped from a Tolkien book. I want some that say "Peace out" like yours do. :(

By the way, I think your cover is waaaaay cooler. It incorporates the graphic much better than just slapping it onto a cover.

bookwitch said...

You used a spell checker?

Oh, I get it. Irony?

Declan Burke said...

Josh - What you gotta do is, breed out the imperfections. You want to mate an Oompa-Loompa with a Hobbit, then select for the recessive midgetness gene. Et voila, CAP elves. Ms Witch? A man walks into a bar. He says, 'Oooof!' It was an irony bar, see ... Cheers, Dec

Diane Lawlis said...

Dagnabbit. Josh said what I was going to say. I mean about the cover, not the elves. I know nothing of elves. Or pixies, for that matter.
The U.S. cover is WAY better looking than the original publication. I can't wait to get one!

Diane Lawlis said...

AND it's much more clever and relevant as the end of the barrel is part of the title. It's what Elmore Leonard WISHES his could be. But isn't. And so on, and so forth.

Josh Schrank said...

pssst... Diane? He's not giving anything away in this thread...