“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.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Nobody Move, This Is A Review: NOT UNTRUE & NOT UNKIND by Ed O’Loughlin

To mark Ed O’Loughlin’s terrific achievement in being long-listed for the Booker Prize with his debut novel, NOT UNTRUE & NOT UNKIND, here’s purple prose-tinged excerpt from yours truly’s review from earlier this year:
‘Has anyone seen the other half of this baby?’ he asked. ‘We mustn’t count it twice.’
  It’s a moment to make even the most hardened reader of gory novels wince, but O’Loughlin is not in the business of sensationalism. Simmons bears witness to what seems at times a daily litany of tragedy, but does so in a clipped, understated fashion. The novel has been compared with the works of V.S. Naipaul and Graham Greene, but there’s a measure of Ernest Hemingway here too. The prose is muscular and delicate, the mark of a writer who knows his own strength and is sure of his aim. In the chaos of a jungle fire-fight, ambushed by the latest in an interminable series of half-naked rebel forces, Simmons observes a jeep make “a slow and sedate turn towards us, part-sheltered by the hulk of the armoured car … its indicator piously winking.”
  For the rest, clickety-click here.
  For a Q&A with the man, clickety-click here.

2 comments:

Eamon Dillon said...

Congrats to Ed. To use tabloidese, it was a cracking read. Atmospheric, layered all that.. there was a Camusesque quality in it for me.

Declan Burke said...

Correct and true, Eamon ... it's a smashing novel.

Cheers, Dec