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.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Embiggened O # 2,034: In Which Flattery Is The Most Sincere Form Of Flattery

It feels like a long, long time since there was any big-ups for THE BIG O, and then a few come along in a rush. Brian McGilloway did us proud by plugging said humble tome in his Guardian blog piece last week on the Top Ten Modern Irish Crime Novels, and now Ian O’Doherty pops up in the Irish Independent, with the gist running thusly:
“We’re going through something of a golden age of Irish fiction at the moment, with the likes of Gene Kerrigan, Declan Hughes and the peerless Ken Bruen. And you can comfortably add Declan Burke to that list. The Sligo native has been producing great crime fiction for the last few years and you could do a lot worse than checking out THE BIG O, which has even garnered Burke comparisons to Elmore Leonard.”
  All of which is very nice indeed, but equally nice was a random email that popped into my inbox during the week, from ‘Detroit Girl’ in the good ol’ USA. To wit:
“I just wanted to tell you that I am really enjoying your book. It is so funny and well written. I’m currently on 227 and will be sorry to see the story end in another 53 pages. I will be looking for your next book!”
  Simple, succinct, and very much to the point. And all cod-irony aside, it’s moments like that that make it worthwhile, especially – and ‘Detroit Girl’ had no way of knowing this – when you’re wallowing in one of your periodic troughs of despair about the pointlessness of trying to be a writer. Which occur quite frequently, as it happens.
  So, dear reader, if you’ve recently read a book you thought was terrific, and had the Holden Caulfield impulse to contact the writer and tell him or her so, but then decided against it, please reconsider – from a writer’s point of view, there’s nothing quite like the buzz of a reader telling you they liked your book. Trust me, you’ll make someone’s day.