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.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Embiggened O # 31,017: “It’s Time To Put On Make-Up / It’s Time To Light The Lights …”

It’s a never-ending source of amazement to me that, given all the books out there that they could be reading, people have picked up THE BIG O and taken a chance that their precious reading time won’t be squandered in the process. But they have, and they continue to do so, and I remain in a perpetual state of amazement. And not only do they read it, they go to the trouble of writing and posting reviews, as Luan Gaines did on To wit:
“A master of the aberrant behaviours of the fringe-dwellers of modern Irish society, Burke’s novel attests to the endless creativity of those who indulge in usually non-violent crime to avoid the doldrums of regular employment … The result is an innovative farce evoking the inevitable law of unintended consequences, Burke in top form as he manipulates his characters like a master puppeteer.” – Luan Gaines
  Funny you should mention puppets, squire – one of my very first stabs at writing, back when I was 14 or so, was the rewriting of a series of classic plays, such as King Lear, with the play being produced in the Muppet Show theatre and the action moving back and forth from the on-stage production – in front of an audience composed of the Anarchist Liberation Front – to the back-stage shenanigans, in which a titanic struggle for control of the production was waged between the Muppet Show regulars and the Monty Python crew. No, seriously. The United Nations generally had to get involved by the end to sort things out. Once it was written, three or four of us would sit around a tape-recorder and record the lot. I still have the scripts and tapes somewhere …
  Anyhoos, Jacqueline Jung at Nights and Weekends was also kind enough to review THE BIG O, with the gist running thusly:
“Irish writer Declan Burke has managed to get away with breaking all of the rules with his fun comedic thriller … THE BIG O moves quickly as it continually keeps you in stitches. This hilarious novel is filled with plenty of drugs, sex, and even a little rock ‘n’ roll. The humour is raw, but Burke manages to keep the satire short of slapstick. I hope that Declan Burke will continue to come out with more satirical crime novels like this one. After all, life doesn’t always have to be that serious.” – Jacqueline Jung
  So there you have it. “Life doesn’t always have to be that serious.” Amen, sister …