“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.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Alors! C’est Ken Bruen!

“Two Grand Prix are awarded each year,” says Peter Rozovsky over at Detectives Beyond Borders, in his post about Ken Bruen (right) winning the Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere 2009 for PRIEST, “one to the best crime novel, and one to the best international crime novel in France. They’ve been awarded since 1948, which suggests the French got onto this international crime fiction thing before many of the rest of us.”
  The post-WWII period being when Cahiers du Cinema dubbed film noir, well, film noir, Mr Rozovsky may have a point. And, of course, Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue’, first published in 1841, is regarded as the ur-text when it comes to crime fiction. Can it be mere (and retrospective) coincidence that the story is set in Paris?
  Erm, yes. But that’s not the point. The point is that, with two novels out this year, including TOWER, the collaboration with Reed Farrel Coleman (and a rumour that the chaps are going to collab on a musical next (!)), two movies of his novels in the pipeline, and a French gong in his back pocket, 2010 will probably be the year in which Ken Bruen ascends into heaven in a flaming chariot.
  All kidding aside, and leaving all else aside, Ken Bruen’s annus mirabilis will please no end of people, but chiefly, I’d imagine, the legion of wannabe aspiring scribes (yours truly included) whom Ken Bruen has so generously and selflessly lent a hand to over the years. I don’t know if I really believe in karma, but if it doesn’t exist, then it’s a beautiful symmetry / coincidence that good fortune has showered Ken so extensively in 2009. Allez, Mr Bruen, et bon chance, mon ami.

4 comments:

Ali Karim said...

Ken Bruen is the Man!

Ali

Peter Rozovsky said...

Did Rozovsky really say that? God almighty, shouldn't he have said, "Two Grands Prix," the buck eejit?

I do know that he has cited Edgar Allan Poe in precisely the connection you suggest, noting somewhere that crime fiction was international from its beginnings.
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com

critical mick said...

Ken Bruen and Reed Farrel Coleman are featured this week on Seth Harwood's crimewav podcast. Coleman reads an excerpt and Harwood does his usual thang with reviews and promotion (love him or hate him, at least he's not bland). I listened to it thi smorning on the way to work, definitely a good taste of Tower: http://crimewav.com/?q=content/episode-41-tower-ken-bruen-and-reed-farrel-coleman

Karin M said...

Ken Bruen richly deserves any award he gets, and this is an especially good one.

I just wanted to point out that without Pierre Bondil, the book that won the prize would not exist. Literary translators deserve credit for their work, all the more so when it wins awards.