“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, May 20, 2010

The Fowl Skulduggery Of Lovers In The Woods

Or, your chance to vote for Irish crime fiction. Voting for the Irish Book Awards’ Book of the Decade ends on May 27th, and you - yes, YOU! - can vote for the best Irish book from the last ten years. Of the 50 titles, two can be considered adult crime titles - John Connolly’s THE LOVERS and Tana French’s IN THE WOODS - while there are two young adult crime titles: Eoin Colfer’s ARTEMIS FOWL and Derek Landy’s SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT. Meanwhile, at a stretch, there are two titles that could be considered literary crime: Edna O’Brien’s IN THE FOREST and David Park’s THE TRUTH COMMISSIONER. You know what to do, people: your democratic duty calls here
  Elsewhere, there was a very nice interview with Declan Hughes in yesterday’s Irish Times, conducted by Arminta Wallace, in which Squire Hughes answers with good grace the perennial question of why crime fiction isn’t taken seriously by those who really should know better. Quote Dec:
“Anyone who reads a page of Chandler and doesn’t realise that it’s better prose than 95 per cent of writers of any kind . . . it’s weird, I think. It’s ignorance, too.”
  Well said, that man. For the rest, clickety-click here
  In other news, Stuart Neville has got himself a stalker. Jeez, what does a guy have to do to get a stalker around here …?
  Finally, the Only Good Movies blog was kind enough to link to Crime Always Pays in a round-up of crime fiction blogs that review crime movies, so I’d better do the decent thing and review one. To wit:
The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans (18s)
As the title suggests, Lieutenant Terence McDonagh is not a good man. He spends his days apparently investigating crimes, while in reality he’s busy shaking down civilians to feed his drug, gambling and sex addictions. On occasion he offers flashes of morality, taking the lead on an investigation into a drug-related execution-style killing that claimed the lives of men, women and children, but even that investigation simply opens up opportunities for McDonagh to get his hands on illicit drugs. Crippled physically by back pain, and morally by his addictions, McDonagh begins making the kind of mistakes that even a corrupt police department can’t ignore. With time running out and good and bad guys closing in, McDonagh has big decisions to make about his immediate future - if he has one. Set - superficially - in the wake of the hurricane that devastated New Orleans, this finds Nicolas Cage taking on the mantle of Harvey Keitel, who starred in the original Bad Lieutenant (1992), which was a genuinely unsettling tale of human degradation directed by Abel Ferrara. This remake / reimagining, which is directed by Werner Herzog, shows flashes of the original’s brilliance, not least when McDonagh starts hallucinating about iguanas while about to confront a houseful of potential killers. By the same token, and despite a gripping tale, this version lacks the scuzzy quality that made the original so compelling. Cage’s performance is an archly knowing one, and despite his many personal and professional handicaps, it’s hard to believe that he suffers the same quality of spiritual torment that Keitel brought to the screen. Similarly, Eva Mendes is rarely less than luminous playing McDonagh’s prostitute girlfriend. A strong cop thriller, it lacks the authenticity that might have made it great. ***

2 comments:

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Having not read any of the nominees, yet, I must excuse myself from voting. If I were to pick by title alone, I would vote for:

Bog Child: Based on some History Channel show's I've seen, the Bog's of Ireland have both fascinated me and filled my mind with frightening images. Kind of like the cornfields in Casino. Still get disturbed every time I watch that scene, which is more that 20 times

The Pope's Children would get second place (Sorry Father O'Conner)

Yesterday, I read an interview you did where you talked about how The Big-O came to be published. That was some truly inspirational shite !

Declan Burke said...

Heh! More shite than inspirational, I'd imagine ...

Cheers, Dec