“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.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

On Books As Hangover Cures

Blogger extraordinaire and Spinetingler Award nominee Paul D. Brazill did me up a treat yesterday, when he put together his list of ‘Ten Crime Books To Cure Your Hangover’ for the Mulholland blog. For lo! The name of Declan Burke appeared not once but twice. To wit:
5&6. THE BIG O / CRIME ALWAYS PAYS by Declan Burke

THE BIG O and its follow up CRIME ALWAYS PAYS actually are that oxymoron ‘screwball noir’. These novels are two cracking, fast-paced, clever and very droll road movies with a top drawer cast that includes a narcoleptic called Sleeps and a one eyed wolf. Twists and turns, spicy dialogue and scenes which really make you ‘LOL’, as the young people say.
  Sweet. Thank you kindly, Mr Brazill. For the full list of hangover-curing books, clickety-click here
  Mind you, it’s a yin/yang world. The Mulholland blog linked through to the Good Reads website, and upon investigating further, I discovered that a certain Marta had rated THE BIG O a one-star read, her review in its entirety declaring that THE BIG O was - and I quote - ‘WORST book i have ever read. Period.’ A damning enough review in itself, of course, and deliciously scathing in its semi-punctuated contempt, but matters are further clarified by the fact that Marta has awarded four- and five-star reviews to novels featuring teenage wizards, teenage vampires and sundry tomes variously titled I GAVE YOU MY HEART BUT YOU SOLD IT ONLINE, MY HEART MIGHT BE BROKEN BUT MY HAIR STILL LOOKS GREAT, IDA B AND HER PLANS TO MAXIMISE FUN, AVOID DISASTER AND (POSSIBLY) SAVE THE WORLD, and THE EARTH, MY BUTT AND OTHER BIG ROUND THINGS.
  So there you have it. Hopefully Marta will like my next novel, I WAS A NEUROTIC TEENAGE VAMPIRE WIZARD FROM OUTER SPACE BUT AT LEAST I HAD THE KARDASHIANS, a little more.
  If not, well, it just goes to prove that you can’t fool all the people all the time. A salutary lesson, indeed.