“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “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 30, 2010

Rum Punch Drunk: Yep, It’s Another Elmore Leonard Comparison

Those precious few among you who have read CRIME ALWAYS PAYS - how few! how precious! - will be aware that it is an ebook release, and a sequel-of-sorts to THE BIG O. The reasons why it’s an ebook release are so complicated, pathetic and boring that even I’m sick to the back teeth of them; suffice to say, even if you don’t own an e-reader, the novel is now available to download straight to your desktop computer. So far it’s garnered very little by way of review, mostly because I don’t have the time to go promoting it the way I should, but those that have come in have been very gratifying. The latest is from Sean Patrick Reardon, a relatively recent addition to the ranks of readers of this blog, and the gist of his review runneth thusly:
“CRIME ALWAYS PAYS is a continuation of the cleverly written, fast paced, and gut-busting romp, THE BIG O …
  “The story is not so much a sequel as it is a continuation of the lives of the awesome cast of characters, how their lives intersect, and all of the resulting action, mishaps, and follies that result. There is enough ‘flashback dialogue’ to get the gist of what happened in THE BIG O, so reading it is not mandatory, but I highly recommend doing so for the sheer enjoyment, and it does help when reading this instalment.
  “Mr. Burke has a unique talent for creating characters and dialogue, and coupled with the solid story, CRIME ALWAYS PAYS delivered on every expectation I had before I started.
  “The comparisons to Elmore Leonard’s style are warranted and deserved, but Mr. Burke has managed to put his own unique spin on it. As an avid reader of Mr. Leonard, I can honestly say that I have never laughed out loud as much when reading his novels as I did when reading both of Mr. Burkes. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of suspense throughout the story, but it is so damn funny at times.
  “For anyone looking for some escapism, a great read, and a lot of fun, CRIME ALWAYS PAYS is for you. The style of narration, dialogue, characters, and the situations and how they play out in the story, are to me reminiscent of Guy Ritchie’s crime capers.”
  I thank you kindly, Mr Reardon.
  Meanwhile, if you glance to your left, you’ll see that the venerable Glenn Harper of International Noir had this to say:
“CRIME ALWAYS PAYS is part road movie and part farce, reminding me sometimes of Elmore Leonard, sometimes of Allan Guthrie, sometimes of Donald Westlake and sometimes of the Coen Brothers – sometimes all at once.”
  And if you scroll down a little further, you’ll see that the equally venerable Colin Bateman recently had this to say over at the Guardian blogs:
“If you want to find something new and challenging, comic crime fiction is now the place to go … Declan Burke [is] at the vanguard of a new wave of young writers kicking against the clichés and producing ambitious, challenging, genre-bending works.”
  So: if you’re intrigued by new, fresh, smart and subversive writing, clickety-click here for a free sample.
  If you’re not, fuck away off somewhere else and stop clogging up my bandwidth.
  And have a nice weekend y’all, y’hear?