“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, April 16, 2009
Literary Hi-Jinks; and, Being A Jinx
Off with us then on Tuesday night to Waterstone’s, to hear Brian McGilloway and Declan Hughes (left and right, respectively) give it large about their new novels, BLEED A RIVER DEEP and ALL THE DEAD VOICES, in particular, and crime fiction in general. Interesting it was too to hear the gents chat about how the crime writer needs to be on his or her toes to keep abreast of events, in terms – here in Ireland, at least – of the boom-to-bust economy, and the recent upsurge in dissident Republicanism.
Among the glitterati were Alan Glynn, whose forthcoming WINTERLAND is a terrific read; Professor Ian Ross of Trinity College, the proverbial gentleman and scholar; Critical Mick, the proverbial saint and scholar; and John Connolly, whose perfectly coiffed barnet Squire Hughes appears to be measuring in the pic above, perhaps for some bizarre phrenology cult they’ve got going on (note too the tome FROM POVERTY TO POWER, cunningly located between two crime writers for maximum irony).
Anyhoos, post-Q&A it was off to the pub for the second leg of the annual Mighty Pool vs Chelski Chumps League face-off, which ended 4-4. I got there just in time to miss the second of the Pool’s goals, when they went 2-0 up, and left just before they knocked in the second brace with ten minutes to go. It may be coming time to consider the possibility that I’m a jinx.
Back in 1981, I went over to Anfield to see the Mighty Pool play Brighton (& Hove Albion) F.C. Back then the Pool could boast the likes of Dalglish and Hansen, Clemence and Souness, Neal and Kennedy (possibly even two Kennedys), Terry McDermott, Phil Thompson … in essence, it was the side that beat Real Madrid to win the European Cup later that year. The result on the day? 1-0 to Brighton, Michael Robinson bundling one in at the Kop end. Jinx?
But back to business … A little birdie tells me that Alex Barclay (right) will be taking part in the inaugural Image Author Evening, alongside Claire Kilroy and John Boyne. It takes place in the Fitzwilliam Hotel, Stephen’s Green, Dublin, at 6.30pm on April 23rd, and you’re promised ‘refreshments, canapés and a book-filled goodie bag’, the event to be hosted by our good friend Bert Wright. If that all sounds a bit too good to be true, well, tickets are €40 a pop, with group rates available. Seems pricey to me, but then I’m a penniless scribe, so what do I know…? For details and or / booking, contact Jennifer Ryan on 01 280 8415 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I won’t be there, obviously. Not because it’s too expensive, but because I’m a jinx, and if I turn up Alex Barclay will probably start speaking in tongues or summat …