“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, April 14, 2011

Laughing All The Way To The Bank

The Independent carried an interview with Eoin Colfer on Sunday, to celebrate the forthcoming PLUGGED, Eoin’s first foray into adult crime fiction. A nice piece it is, too, although there was one line that jarred. To wit:
The book is unusual because it’s funny, although Colfer says he originally tried to write it straight. “He was initially very much the implacable hero, in the Lee Marvin type, out for revenge, no messing around. But I couldn’t sustain it. It just felt like I was trying to write someone else’s book. Then one joke got in, and then another one. Initially the character wasn’t the brightest guy, but then I started to leak in a bit of psychology and he became more knowing and aware of his own foibles, so I had to go back and change it all and make it much funnier.” He is full of ideas for future adventures, but adds: “It’s a very fickle world. The public might decide there’s already a funny crime writer so we don’t want you.”
  All of which suggests that PLUGGED won’t be entirely unlike the Parker novels rewritten Carl Hiassen - I haven’t read it yet, but that should be rectified in the next couple of weeks or so (the book is officially published on May 12).
  The line that jarred, though - ‘The book is unusual because it’s funny …’ Not to cast asparagus on Susie Mesure’s research for the piece, but there are at least four Irish authors writing comedy crime fiction, among them Colin ‘Nine Inch’ Bateman, Garbhan ‘Girth Unknown’ Downey and Ruth ‘Cuddly’ Dudley Edwards. Broaden it out to the international stage, and (off the top of my head) you have the aforementioned Carl Hiassen, Christopher Brookmyre, Donald Westlake, Simon Brett, Alexander McCall Smith, Chris Ewan, Jasper Fforde, Christopher Fowler and LC Tyler. In fact, there are so many comedy writers that Bristol’s Crimefest has a dedicated ‘Last Laugh’ award.
  That said, humour is a very subjective thing. I think Elmore Leonard is a very funny writer. Sara Gran’s forthcoming CITY OF THE DEAD is a comic masterpiece. James Patterson, of course, is the funniest writer alive.
  Anyway, niggling aside, I’m pretty sure that (a) PLUGGED will be very funny, and (b) the public will find room in their hearts for another funny crime writer, especially one who’s earned his licks with the Artemis Fowl series.
  Over to you, folks. Any comic crime writers I’ve missed?

6 comments:

Michael Malone said...

Joe Lansdale and how could you forget our Donna Moore?

Declan Burke said...

Michael - Joe Lansdale, nice one.

As for how I forgot Bella Donna, I offer the excuse that it was six a.m., I'm suffering from a sinus infection, and on three different kinds of meds. The not-good meds, obviously.

Hey, y'think she might trample me in some of those spiky high-heels as punishment?

Cheers, Dec

Glenna said...

What about yourself? I laughted through Eighball Boogie.

michael said...

Kate Atkinson, Mark Coggins, Kinky Friedman, Reginald Hill, Charlie Huston, Warren Murphy...

Hailey Lind's cozy art crime "Art Lovers" series reminds one of Jonathan Gash's Lovejoy.

Mark Schorr's Red Diamond series.

Thomas Perry's "Metzger's Dog"

Paco Ignacio Taibo II and Subcomandante Marcos's "Uncomfortable Dead".

Mike Cane said...

Christopher Fowler? Although he has lines that make me laugh in the Bryant & May series, I don't think of them as necessarily comedic.

Victor Gischler, however, fits the category because his stuff is straight but very outrageous. The humor is baked right in.

bookwitch said...

You should think of Donna at all times.