Can you have gritty realism and fairies at the same time? Probably, as this is what Kate Thompson has done in her new book CREATURE OF THE NIGHT. It’s certainly different and it’s much darker than Kate’s other novels.Marvellous stuff, and thank you kindly, Ms Witch. Oh, but before you go? Given that it’s June 6th, we’d like to wish you a very happy birthday (right); your ever-radiant daughter Helen assures us that it is your 29th. Many happy returns, ma’am …
From the fiddle-playing farmers of her recent books, this is unemployment, young unmarried mothers, juvenile delinquents; plonked down in the Irish countryside. There’s a disappeared Swede (with a Danish name…), a fairy with a fondness for Battenberg cake, an old rumour of a murdered child and a marvellously forgiving and down-to-earth local family.
There’s a lot of hope in this story, but it doesn’t materialise quite in the fairy story way that you’d like it to. For every step forward, Bobby and his family take several steps backwards, into their Dublin world of debts, drugs, car theft and violence. Irish fictional crime seems to be big these days, and it’s interesting to see it move into children’s books.
I liked this book, but considering how much I usually love epilogues, this one would have been better off without one, if only because it messes with the time scale of things. And I’d have liked my own imagination to go to work on the last couple of paragraphs. – Book Witch
“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.
Friday, June 6, 2008
What Kate T Did Next
The ever-radiant Ms Witch does wonderful work over at her interweb yokeybus, Bookwitch, but she excelled herself in bringing to our attention the blend of fairies, juvenile delinquents, Irish crime fiction and Battenberg cake that is Kate Thompson’s latest offering, CREATURE OF THE NIGHT. Quoth Ms Witch: