“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.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

McIlhatton, You Blurt, We Need You, Cry A Million Shaking Men

The multi-talented Sir Gerard of Stembridge popped up on Crime Always Pays last week, Sir Gerard being the evil-ish genius co-creator (with Father Ted’s Dermot Morgan) of Scrap Saturday, the classic radio sketch show that lampooned the not-so-great and not-very-good of Irish politics and public life in the late ’80s and early ’90s. But Christ on a moped, bad and all as it was back in the quasi-mediaeval fiefdom of Charles J. Haughey’s reign, things were never as bad as they are now. Any chance of another Scrap Saturday run? That lovely new 4FM must be crying out for original material …
  Anyhoo, Sir Gerard is a veritable renaissance man, turning his hand to radio, movies, plays and novels as the mood takes him. Late last year we had the Hitchcockian home invasion flick ‘Alarm’, and already this year we have the novel COUNTING DOWN, with the blurb elves wittering thusly:
Meet Joe Power, approaching forty and counting down . . . Counting down the days until he sees his son. Counting down the number of years he spent with his wife before it all fell apart. Counting down the inches he has to lose off his waist to be a babe magnet again. Counting down all the fools who want to tell him to get his act together. Counting the hours until he can take one of his exhilarating night walks and encounter . . . well, who knows what, but one thing is sure, he’ll be the one to come out of it alive. Counting down every moment knowing that one day, it will be his last . . .
  Nice. Now, if only we can persuade Sir Gerard to run for taoiseach, all will be well again. Won’t it?

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