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, April 25, 2009

“They Say The Fucking Smog Is The Fucking Reason You Got Such Beautiful Fucking Sunsets.”

Andrew Nugent is an interesting man, being a crime fic writer and a monk in Glenstal Abbey, and he had something interesting to say while reviewing Brian McGilloway’s BLEED A RIVER DEEP on the Op-Ed pages of the Irish Times during the week. Quoth Brother Nugent:
“I was so surprised at the frequency of the F-word that I began counting from page 168. From that point there were 55 sightings. Whatever about what real people do or do not say, with such glorious resources of vituperation available to us – especially in Irish – why repeat so obsessively these Anglo-Saxon grunts?”
  Now, the problem with insulting someone in Irish – as gaeilge – is that very few people are going to be offended, unless of course it’s the Irish-speaking few you’re trying to offend ...
  As for the Anglo-Saxon grunts – as Brother Nugent points out, this is how real people speak in the real world, particularly when they’re under pressure, which is how characters in crime fiction tend to be, particularly as the end of a novel approaches. So it’s possible to argue that an author who aspires to realism has no choice but to use foul language, and particularly ‘fuck’, that gloriously adaptable noun / verb/ adverb / adjective.
  You could also argue that foul language has its own poetry, and that there’s a rare joy to be had in reading a master of the profane (cf: the post title, courtesy of Ray Barboni, in the movie version of Elmore Leonard’s GET SHORTY).
  You could also say, ‘Fuck it, I just like the word “fuck”.’ Personally, I also like “shite”, “cunt”, “bollocks” and “me arse”.
  As always, I blame the parents …