“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, February 3, 2011

If You’re Into Evil You’re A Friend Of Mine

It’s shaping up to be a very interesting year for John Connolly, aka The Dark Lord, aka The One-Man Publishing Industry. First off, he publishes HELL’S BELLS, the YA novel sequel to THE GATES, which latter is as charming a slice of understated black comedy as you’re likely to read. Quoth the blurb elves:
Samuel Johnson – with a little help from his dachshund Boswell and a very unlucky demon named Nurd – has sent the demons back to Hell. But the diabolical Mrs Abernathy is not one to take defeat lying down. When she reopens the portal and sucks Samuel and Boswell down into the underworld, she brings an ice-cream van full of dwarfs as well. And two policemen. Can this eccentric gang defeat the forces of Evil? And is there life after Hell for Nurd?
  Well, you’d have to say it’d be desperately unfair to tease us with the return of Nurd, and then not feature him at all in the novel, and potentially scarring for young readers to allow the forces of Evil to prevail. So, on balance, my answer to both questions is a cautious yes. The Big Q: will the novel feature any AC/DC lyrics? Only time, that perfidiously gravel-throated canary, will tell …
  Meanwhile, Connolly also publishes the latest Charlie Parker novel later this year, THE BURNING SOUL. To wit:
Randall Haight has a secret: when he was a teenager, he and his friend killed a 14-year-old girl. Randall did his time and built a new life in the small Maine town of Pastor’s Bay, but somebody has discovered the truth about Randall. He is being tormented by anonymous messages, haunting reminders of his past crime, and he wants private detective Charlie Parker to make it stop. But another 14-year-old girl has gone missing, this time from Pastor’s Bay, and the missing girl’s family has its own secrets to protect. Now Parker must unravel a web of deceit involving the police, the FBI, a doomed mobster named Tommy Morris, and Randall Haight himself. Because Randall Haight is telling lies . . .
  Yup, looking forward to that one too. Finally, Connolly’s superb THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS goes into mass paperback on August 30th, complete with spiffing new artwork that gives the novel an entirely appropriate retro look. It’s fiendishly difficult to come by the time for re-reads these days, but the publication of this one is as good an excuse as I’ll ever need. For those of you unfamiliar with the novel, the gist runneth thusly:
“Everything You Can Imagine is Real …” High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the loss of his mother. He is angry and he is alone, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness, and as he takes refuge in the myths and fairytales so beloved of his dead mother he finds that the real world and the fantasy world have begun to meld. The Crooked Man has come, with his mocking smile and his enigmatic words: ‘Welcome, your majesty. All hail the new king.’ And as war rages across Europe, David is violently propelled into a land that is both a construct of his imagination yet frighteningly real, a strange reflection of his own world composed of myths and stories, populated by wolves and worse-than-wolves, and ruled over by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a legendary book . . .
  If you haven’t read THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS already, I can only envy you the experience of reading it new …

2 comments:

Michael Malone said...

Looking forward to JC's books hitting the shelves. He the man.

bookwitch said...

Hell's Bells! It's here! Almost. Can't wait.