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.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Embiggened O: Bringing It All Back Home

Yep, it’s a Red Letter Day, folks. One month exactly to the day when THE BIG O hits the shelves of North America, September 22nd, a box full of gorgeous hardbacks arrived at Chez Big Viz, to the delight of large and Lilliputian. In fact, so excited was Lilyput that she lost the run of herself entirely and tried to bite a chunk out of the cover’s corner. You don’t make that mistake twice …
  Anyhoos, it’s here, and suddenly the whole deal seems that bit more real. Actually, it feels a bit surreal. As if the world has taken a step closer to yours truly, or I to it. Everything seems to be in sharper focus. I suppose it’s the adrenaline buzz, but I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve.
  Harcourt – or Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, to give it its full name – have done a wonderful job on the book. I was very happy indeed with the Hag’s Head version, but I’m equally happy this one too. Kudos there to jacket designer Kelly Eismann …
  North America is a big, big place, of course, and I’m under no illusions as to how hard THE BIG O will have to work if it’s to make even the slightest impact on its release. But that’s the easiest kind of hard work I’ll ever do. I’ve worked in bars and on building sites, pumped petrol in all weathers, and worked every half-assed job you can think of. Knuckling down to promote your second-favourite baby is child’s play by comparison, and just as enjoyable.
  Speaking of which … If anyone out there is getting along to next weekend’s Electric Picnic in Stradbally, Co. Laois, I’ll be chairing a discussion on Irish crime fiction with a panel that includes Declan Hughes, Julie Parsons and Brian McGilloway. That happens at 4.30pm in the Spoken Word tent, and if it’s hammering down rain, as it is very likely to be in this wettest of Irish summers, you’ll be warm and cosy listening to us droning on. Hell, you can even bring your iPods so long as you don’t turn ’em up too loud …