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.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Nice-Nice Baby

One of the many cool things about Wednesday night's Noir at the Bar at Fergie's in Philly (yep, I'm only a week in the States and already I've gone native) was meeting Scott Phillips (right). I didn't realise that at the time, because at that point I'd never come across Scott Phillips' novel THE ICE HARVEST. Greg Gillespie of Port Richmond Books came to Fergie's and brought a crew along, which was also very cool, and told me that THE ICE HARVEST was a terrific novel. Okay, I'm thinking, yeah, maybe it is, although I hate it when someone praises a book too highly - I think I have an in-built resistance to being snowed that way. Anyway, with Scott having made the effort to come along to Fergie's, I bought a copy and had him sign it. Back at the hotel that night, a little worse for wear, I flipped open the first page just to get a feel for it ... Sixty pages later it's 3am and I'm thinking, this is so good I don't want to finish it all in one go. Truly wonderful stuff, with a deliciously light and deadpan style, it's a marvellous character study. I highly recommend it. Apparently there's a movie of the novel, starring John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton, and I don't know how that one slipped under the radar ... But the best news I've heard all weekend is that there's a follow-up to THE ICE HARVEST, called THE WALKAWAY. Happy days, people.