Three cheers, two stools and a resounding huzzah for the PR folk at Harcourt Houghton Mifflin, who have been beavering away behind the scenes jazzing up THE BIG O’s Amazon.com page. Apart from the unseemly blight of the Publishers Weekly review, which is the only negative review THE BIG O has received in the 18 months since its first publication, and that on the basis that it’s not up to Elmore Leonard’s standard (!), the page now features quotes from Kirkus Reviews (starred), Crime Spree magazine, Jason Starr and John Connolly. Which is nice.
The real bonus, though, is that they’ve also uploaded the first few chapters for your perusal. Which means, given that the chapters are dialogue-heavy and average out at about two pages each, that you could have read the first three chapters in the time it took you to read this load of muck. Anyhoos, the link is here if you’re so inclined, and any and all feedback will be gratefully received …
Meanwhile, with just under a month to go to the official publication date, I’m wondering if this isn’t as good as it gets. The book is pristine, HHM have created a wonderful cover with which I am well pleased, the advance reviews have been fantastic (PW notwithstanding), and the generosity of various media outlets across the interweb offering promotion opportunities has been well-nigh staggering. In fact, I’m wondering if I shouldn’t just go ahead and pull a Lord Lucan and bow out while everything is still going so well. Any pithy words of advice, o sage and all-knowing readership?
“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.