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.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Very Irish Noir

Some whippersnapper called Otto Penzler has been making predictions about the ‘Future Masters of Noir’, and of the five tipped for the top (or bottom, if you’re being noir-ish about it), two are Irish. Not bad going, chaps. The two are Ken Bruen and Stuart Neville (right), authors of the recently published THE DEVIL and COLLUSION, respectively, and while I’m certainly not going to quibble about the inclusion of either, you’d have to question the bit about Ken Bruen being a ‘future’ master of noir. Which is to say, Sir Kenneth of Bruen has been writing some of the most provocative noir for the best part of 20 years now - although Otto does hedge his bets a little there, suggesting that Ken is already a master, even if the mainstream has yet to embrace his bleak, twisted vision of the world.
  Anyhoo, it’s all kinds of good news for both men, and well deserved to boot. For the full list of Penzler’s ‘Masters of Noir’, clickety-click here
  Meanwhile, Stuart Neville had a piece on ‘Emerald Noir’ published in the Sunday Tribune last weekend, and a fine piece it is too, with Stuart waxing lyrical on the origins of the current boom in Irish crime writing and invoking names such as John Connolly, Declan Hughes, Adrian McKinty, Colin Bateman, Ken Bruen, Arlene Hunt, Gene Kerrigan and FL Green. Quoth Stuart:
“Perhaps the blossoming of home-grown crime fiction can be better explained by a change in attitude, rather than circumstance. Having more money in our pockets, however fleetingly, was a symptom of change, rather than a cause. The simultaneous transformations of the Celtic Tiger and the peace process went hand-in-hand with a deeper, more permanent shift that occurred on this island: Ireland, north and south, began to look outward rather than inward. With that change came a greater willingness, particularly in the Republic, to discuss and confront the uglier aspects of its own history, such as state and church abuse against children.”
  For the rest, clickety-click here