“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “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. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

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.

7 comments:

bookwitch said...

Don't wallow.

Uriah Robinson said...

Come on be honest Dec if it hadn't been from "Detroit GIRL" you wouldn't have been so excited. I chose The Big O as one of my twelve best books Dartmoor Dozen and just because I was bearded old guy from Exeter you didn't mention it. ;o)
You were a worthy component of the group with some guys called Chandler, Christie , Conan Doyle, Sjowall and Wahloo, K.C.Constantine, Philip Kerr, Jo Nesbo, Andrea Camilleri and Eric Ambler so no troughs of despair this week.:o)

seanag said...

Peter Rozovsky said recently that if there isn't room for a book like "The Big O" in the current publishing climate, then there is something wrong with that climate. And he is right. (Sorry, Peter. That isn't an exact quote, but it's the best I can do.)

Declan Burke said...

Wallowing is all part of it, Ms Witch ... the crunchy with the smooth, and all that.

Uriah - I'm hugely flattered, squire. I presume that the 'Dartmoor Dozen' is the equivalent of Desert Island Discs? Crikey ... that's fairly impressive company you have me keeping.

Seanag - really appreciate the big-up, and Peter's always been a great supporter of Crime Always Pays and The Big O ... kind words, indeed. But there's far better writers than me out there who are being either marginalised or totally ignored ... I think the vast majority of people involved in the industry think there's something wrong with the current publishing model ... Mind you, if I was selling a million copies a year, would I be complaining about the business model? Very probably not ...

Cheers, Dec

Uriah Robinson said...

Dec check it out mate I kid you not.
http://camberwell-crime.blogspot.com/2009/04/my-dartmoor-dozen-full-list.html

bookwitch said...

You're still wallowing. And enjoying it.

seanag said...

Funny, I was just posting over on Adrian's blog only moments ago that the book industry needs a new model, though this was from a bookseller's perspective.