“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.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Black Day at Bad Rock

The line-up for John Sturges’ movie ‘Bad Day at Black Rock’ had the greatest cast of character actors ever assembled on the same lot: apart from Spencer Tracy in the one-armed lead, you had Robert Ryan, Walter Brennan, Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine. Although Sam Peckinpah’s ‘The Wild Bunch’ is arguably better. Can anyone name the Wild Bunch off the top of their head? I’ll give you Bo Hopkins for a starter …
  Anyway, the point of today’s broadcast, courtesy of Caroline Walsh at the Irish Times:
A film version of Irish novelist Kevin Power’s debut novel BAD DAY IN BLACKROCK, inspired by the death of a young man after an attack outside a Dublin nightclub, is in the offing. The book has been sold via agent Marianne Gunn O’Connor to Ed Guiney’s Irish-based company Element Pictures which produced the movies Garage and Adam and Paul and co-produced The Wind that Shakes the Barley.
  Very nice, especially since 'Adam and Paul' is the greatest Irish movie ever made.
  Actually, I’m not even sure if BAD DAY IN BLACKROCK is a crime novel, or even a novel of crime. And I’m pretty sure Kevin Power didn’t write it as a crime novel. But it’s a good book, and I think in time it will be an important book, and Kevin Power seems to be a decent sort of chap who can write very well, and I think he deserves all the publicity he gets, including the precious few molecules generated here. Well done, that man.
  Meanwhile, there’s already an Irish movie called ‘Bad Day at Blackrock’ (2001), Gerry Stembridge’s story about racism in the south Dublin suburb, the same backdrop against which Kevin Power’s novel takes place. So: what are they going to call it? ‘Black Day at Bad Rock?’