“For me, it comes down to the choice between Pat McCabe’s THE BUTCHER BOY and John Banville’s THE BOOK OF EVIDENCE. Both were shortlisted for the Booker because both voices are so strong, reading either is like being in a vacuum. Both achieve that Holden Caulfield effect of managing to slightly warp the readers’ own view of the world. To pick one over the other, I had to ask myself who is more terrifying? Francie - a troubled boy with a suicidal mother, and an alcoholic father; or Freddie - a scientist, husband, and father who in the cold light of day makes a clinical confession that is as logical as it is conscience free. Who poses the greater threat to society? Frankie is a victim of his circumstances, intent on wreaking his revenge. Freddie is beyond hope of redemption, a man who has managed to master the maze of his own mind. Ultimately I think the answers, combined with the fact that THE BOOK OF EVIDENCE is based on the chilling true crime case of double murderer, Malcolm McArthur, the same case which prompted Charlie Haughey to coin the GUBU (Grotesque, Unbelievable, Bizarre, Unprecedented) phrase, gives the Banville book the edge.” - Niamh O’ConnorNiamh O’Connor’s TAKEN is published by Transworld Ireland.
“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, May 25, 2011
Down These Green Streets: Niamh O’Connor on John Banville and Pat McCabe
Being the latest in Crime Always Pay’s erratic series to celebrate the publication of DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS, in which contributors to the collection nominate their favourite Irish crime novel. This week, it’s Niamh O’Connor: