“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.
Monday, May 12, 2008
The Monday Review
It’s Monday, they’re reviews, to wit: “These books continue to be written extremely well, with engaging plots, excellent new ideas, and plenty of unexpected twists and turns. If he finishes the series in the next few books, I’ll be very surprised,” says Faith at Faith’s Blog of ARTEMIS FOWL AND THE LOST COLONY. Over at Bookphilia, DreamQueen agrees: “I see Eoin Colfer’s character Artemis Fowl as a sort of antidote to Harry Potter … This is all quite charming and chuckle-worthy … there are the usual crazy action scenes and the usual abundance of bad puns and jokes.” Staying with YA novels, and Jill Murphy at The Book Bag likes Siobhan Dowd’s THE LONDON EYE MYSTERY: “That’s the wonderful thing about THE LONDON EYE MYSTERY; it’s such a romantic story. Not only is the hero bright and brave; he must also battle tremendous odds … It’s beautifully written … I loved it.” The Mystery Bookshelf gives John Connolly’s THE UNQUIET the hup-ya: “This is the best novel I’ve read so far in 2008. It is unlike the vast majority of mysteries written today and unlike anything else I’ve ever read … Connolly takes you into a world where evil exists, but there are other forces at work and you have no idea which side they’re on. Highly Recommended! *****” Nice … They’re still coming in for Brian McGilloway’s sequel to BORDERLANDS: “McGilloway’s prose paints vivid, atmospheric pictures of this dark green land that hides its secrets and its ancient tensions, as well as the modern phenomenon of social exclusion … McGilloway is a fine novelist, an expert builder of solid, credible plots who keeps a strong command of twist and turn in what at times is a complex, muddied trail. But more than that he is a very gifted writer, poetic in his tone and turn of phrase, artistic, like a watercolour painter, with his descriptive powers. It is seductive, compelling combination: impeccable characterisation, beautiful writing and a first class narrative. BORDERLANDS is a terrific book, GALLOWS LANE an even stronger sequel,” reckon the good folk at Material Witness … The latest on Benny Blanco runneth thusly: “In this stunning follow-up to 2007’s CHRISTINE FALLS, Black spins a complex tale of murder and deception … Laconic, stubborn Quirke makes an appealing hero as the pieces of this unsettling crime come together in a shocking conclusion,” reckons The Journal of a Good Life … Meanwhile, over at the Sunday Business Post, Alex Meehan likes Declan Hughes’ latest: “This is a brash and unapologetically stylish book, full of quick-witted banter and unpredictable characters doing unpredictable things, likely to skew the plot in a different direction at any moment … THE DYING BREED is a fine addition to the canon of Irish crime novels, delivering a payload of stylish noir, with a considerable amount of confidence and a witty turn of phrase.” Sweet. Finally, they’re tumbling in good-o for John Boyne’s latest, MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY. First up, John Lloyd at The Book Bag: “Turnstile is a brilliant creation … Also of superlative note is the way the historical research has been worn so lightly … I am confident nothing will get in the way of this being a much appreciated and avidly read book. It can only get the strongest, five-star recommendation from The Book Bag.” A quick skip across to the Daily Mirror: “John Boyne, the Irish author of the massive hit THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS, has created another wonderfully atmospheric period piece, steeped in historical fact … This is storytelling of the first order, combining true adventure with great characters.” And then there’s Dermot Bolger in the Irish Times (no link): “At once an adventure story and an account of a boy’s coming of age, this novel becomes a meditation on what constitutes paradise, on what exactly freedom is, and on how much suffering the human spirit can endure and still be driven forward … This is a remarkable and compelling piece of storytelling.” Nothing like a Boy(ne)’s Own adventure yarn to stir the blood, eh? Avast lubbers, etc …