“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.

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

3 comments:

Brent said...

Declan, is that you? You found my (brief) review of your book? I'm so embarrassed, even if it was highly positive. Bottom line: the book will be in my 2007 Top Five, I'm sure, and I've already begun asking myself should I buy copies for friends or trust them with mine ...

Cheers!

Brent said...

oops, make that this year's Top Five, 2008

Declan Burke said...

Hell, Brent, why not make it Top Five 2009 while we're at it? By the way, you mentioned something in your review about you own book coming soon ... Want to drop me an email and let me know about it? I couldn't find any info on Chapbook. Cheers, Dec