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.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Tied Up With A Black Velvet Brand

By email, yesterday:
I see that John Banville [right] is on the Books 2008 program under his Benjamin Black name, but still not part of the crime fiction program. Don’t worry, I’m sticking with the crime fiction part, but that was nonetheless interesting to see. A snipe on Banville’s part at the genre that he has condescended to join?”
  Erm, probably. Although a straw-poll among the contributing Irish crime writers as to whether Black’s novels would render him worthy of inclusion might produce some interesting results. On the basis of THE LEMUR, I’d say yes.
  Meanwhile, if anyone can offer a phrase about crime fiction they’re heard more often in 2008 than, “That’s not surprising, since Benjamin Black is really John Banville, the Irish writer who won the 2005 Man Booker Prize …” (©, we’d love to hear it.
  Do you think if Rob Smith wins the Booker he’ll adopt a pseudonym for writing literary fiction?