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.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Embiggened O # 2,049: ’Tis Better To Have Loved And Lost Than A Scoreless Draw

A Minister for Propaganda writes: “We have no idea who the delightful chap Chapbook quoted below is, but he cheered up the Grand Vizier immensely yesterday with his achingly poignant insights into our humble offering, THE BIG O, which did very little to puncture the Grand Viz’s planet-dwarfing ego*. To wit:
A hard-boiled crime (not detective) “caper” with taut dialogue, post-modern syntax, and a break-neck pace, elements to make Chandler and Hammett proud. Highly recommended for fans of the crime genre … Lots of characters in this one who all become very nicely entangled – nice for our sake, I should say, if not for theirs. This book was very good, but the last page left me a little confused. But nothing so major that it spoiled the rest of it for me. I walked away still pleased. Rating: 3/4 Specs (good/very good)
  “Thank you kindly, Mr Chapbook sir. By the way, we do like a man who walks away from a book when it’s over. Because a book is a lot like a relationship. And you can’t put a woman on a shelf when you’re done and still expect her to be as good as you remember when you take her down again and dust her off for another whirl. No, it’s best to just walk away. No regrets. Better to have loved and lost than a scoreless draw. Peace, out.”

 * Neptune