“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.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?”: Alan Monaghan

Yep, it’s rubber-hose time, folks: a rapid-fire Q&A for those shifty-looking usual suspects ...

What crime novel would you most like to have written?
THE NAME OF THE ROSE, by Umberto Eco. It’s got Sherlock Holmes in it, y’know ...

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Either Jack Aubrey or Stephen Maturin, depending on the sort of day I’m having.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
P.G. Wodehouse.

Most satisfying writing moment?
It’s the same moment that comes along from time to time. The one when you get a sentence so right that you can’t stay in your chair.

The best Irish crime novel is …?
I’m afraid I haven’t read much crime since I was a kid, so I’ve missed the whole Irish Crime Renaissance. On that basis, I’d have to say DRACULA – and, hey, if Dracula wasn’t a criminal, then who was?

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Ehhh ... DRACULA? Only set in Dublin, with Van Helsing as one of those pissed barstool philosophers we’ve all met.

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The worst is that it’s such damn hard work – and almost completely solitary. The best is that it’s such damn hard work – you get a great sense of achievement when you’re actually able to finish a book.

The pitch for your next book is …?
It’s the best one yet!

Who are you reading right now?
George MacDonald Fraser. The man is much better than I expected – he has a truly great ear for regional dialects.

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Probably read – because once you lose the ability to read, the ability to write won’t last long anyway.

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Clear. Smooth. Precise. Some of these may be more like aspirations.

Alan Monaghan’s THE SOLDIER’S RETURN is published by Pan Macmillan.

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