“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, August 8, 2008

Norn Iron In The Soul

Over at the ever-illuminating Detectives Beyond Borders, Peter Rozovsky hosts a debate on ‘the great post-Troubles Northern Irish novel’, which I unfortunately missed out on because I was away from the desk all day yesterday and on the proverbial batter last night. It’s a dirty job, etc. The general gist of the conversation is that said novel has yet to be written, with Adrian McKinty observing that, when it is, it’s more likely to be written by a woman than a man on the basis that they’re more pragmatic and clear-sighted when it comes to de-romanticizing. Koff. Anyhoos, no one mentioned David Park’s THE TRUTH COMMISSIONER, which is a very brave stab at writing ‘the great post-Troubles Northern Irish novel’, using as it does the model of the South African truth and reconciliation forum in a Northern Irish context. Lamented last week by Boyd Tonkin in The Independent on the basis that it didn’t make the Booker Prize long-list, THE TRUTH COMMISSIONER takes a look at the Troubles from a variety of perspectives, including that of the British establishment, and is well worth reading if it’s a fictional take on the post-Troubles landscape you’re after.