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.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Appy Bird-Day To Daggy; and John Connolly Goes Posh

This morning I woke to breakfast in bed (well, coffee) served by the Lovely Ladies (right) and a rousing rendition of ‘Appy bird-day to Daggy’ courtesy of the Princess Lilyput. I may never have a finer morning again. I’ll leave the existential ruminations on turning 41 to another day, and just say ta kindly to everyone who’s been in touch with good wishes. Much obliged, folks.
  Meanwhile, a rare birthday treat awaits me later tonight, when the Dark Lord, aka John Connolly, is the subject of an Arts Lives documentary on RTE TV. Swish stuff – surely it’s only a matter of time before Connolly is elected to (koff) Aosdána. Anyway, I’ve seen the trailer, in which Connolly claims that evil exists, not as an entity but as the absence of empathy, which is a fascinating concept, and Connolly’s natural gift as a raconteur suggests that the documentary could well be a cracker. Quoth the blurb elves:
Shot in Dublin, Maine, Baltimore and Washington, John Connolly: Of Blood and Lost Things traces 40-year-old Connolly’s literary trajectory from jobbing freelance with The Irish Times newspaper to publishing superstardom on the sale of his first novel, Every Dead Thing, which launched his flawed protagonist, P.I., Charlie (Bird) Parker. The roots of the novel and its location go back some years to his coverage for the Irish Times of the murder of Sri Lankan prostitute Belinda Perreira in Dublin and a student summer spent in Portland, Maine … Featuring dramatised readings from his work John Connolly: Of Blood and Lost Things examines the sense of place and atmosphere in Connolly’s work but also includes a biographical narrative of his Dublin childhood and journey toward becoming a writer. The documentary features interviews with iconic American crime writer George Pelecanos; David Simon, creator of TV’s The Wire; American novelist and friend Laura Lippman, and fellow Irish crime writer Declan Hughes.
  Nice. The documentary goes out at 10:15pm tonight (Tuesday) on RTE1; if you happened to miss it, it’ll be available on the RTE iPlayer for three weeks after the broadcast date. Enjoy …

UPDATE: John Connolly’s THE GATES has just been nominated for the Bisto Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year, with Bob ‘No Relation’ Burke’s THE THIRD PIG DETECTIVE AGENCY nestling in there snugly too. Nice one, chaps ...