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, July 3, 2009

Norn Iron In The Soul

It’s all happening north of the border this week, folks. Yesterday was a big day for Stuart Neville (right), with his debut novel THE TWELVE officially hitting the shelves, although you wouldn’t know it from his interweb malarkeybus, where he’s virtually yawning with ennui … And this despite the fact that Publishers Weekly named THE TWELVE one of its top Fall debuts. Personally, I fell out with PW after I got a dodgy review there, although I never quite made it to the level of wishing cancer on the reviewer, or posting his / her phone numbers and email addresses. Which suggests that I don’t care about my books enough, or at least as much as Alice Hoffman and Alain De Botton do. Maybe I should take up another hobby … Anyway, back to Stuart – he’s currently hosting a competition giving away free copies of THE TWELVE, so get your small but perfectly formed ass over here post-haste
  Elsewhere in Norn Iron, the tall but perfectly formed ass – oops, sorry – tall but perfectly formed Garbhan Downey launches his latest novel tomorrow, Saturday, at 1pm in Easons in Derry. (You’ll note in passing that I write ‘Derry’ as opposed to ‘Londonderry’, which immediately marks me down as a rampant Taig and / or Croppy who refuses to lie down, or just someone who’s too bloody lazy to write ‘Londonderry’ when you can get away with ‘Derry’). WAR OF THE BLUE ROSES is published by the Guildhall Press, with the blurb elves wittering thusly:
WAR OF THE BLUE ROSES is a rollicking black comedy set in the world of gardening and international politics. A US sponsored gardening competition in the little country village of Mountrose ends up throwing three governments into turmoil when it sparks a worldwide race to grow the world’s first blue rose. The Irish premier is forced to team up with semi-reformed gangsters to stop British and American politicians shanghaiing the Mountrose Prize and walking off with a billion-dollar patent. Bugging, burglary, sabotage, murder and sexual deceit – it’s all part of the rose-growing business. And the bad guys are even worse …
  Nice. Finally, a little bird tells us that Adrian McKinty is appearing at Belfast’s No Alibis next Wednesday at 6pm to celebrate the launch of the rather terrific FIFTY GRAND, of which CAP is currently giving away two signed copies. I’d love to make it up there for the festivities, but I’m not sure it’ll happen … which is a shame, because I’d imagine it’ll be a very nice turn-out indeed. Plus, the chap is flying in all the way from Oz just to do a reading. Plus, it’s his round since the last time he was home. Plus, his sister owns a pub. You can see where I’m going with this … Oh, and did I mention that FIFTY GRAND is a dynamite novel? I did? Well, I’m telling you again …