Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “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, June 7, 2011

Down These Green Streets: Michael Connelly Speaks!

All Three Regular Readers will excuse me, I hope, for running two consecutive posts on DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS, but it’s not often that a book appears with my name on the cover, and given that today marks its official launch, the fact is that I’m giddy as a three-legged donkey on ice. If you’ll bear with me, normal-ish service will be resumed on Wednesday, but in the meantime I offer for your delectation the Introduction to DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS, which is penned by no less a personage than the great Michael Connelly (right). To wit:
By Michael Connelly

“At first I thought I didn’t belong here. My name got me the invite but the truth was that I didn’t belong. I am a full and direct descendant of Ireland all right. My grandparents were Scahan, McEvoy, McGrath and Connelly, but still, what did I know of the true Irish experience? I’d been to Dublin and Belfast, quaffed a Guinness at the place on the river where it’s made and drank another pint at Davy Byrnes in an effort to conjure the ghost and inspiration of Joyce. But it hardly qualified me to introduce this book.
  “But then I started reading the stories and the essays and I came to realize there is a universal language in the crime story. What Tana French does in Dublin I try to do in Los Angeles. What John Connolly (spelling not withstanding) hopes to say with Charlie Parker is what I want to say with Harry Bosch. Same goes with Black, Bateman, Burke, and any of the other writers whose work is contained here in. We’re all in this together and there is only the language of storytelling.
  “Great storytelling knows no boundaries such as oceans or borders. It is universal and it is in embedded in the twisting helix of our DNA. It is arguable that the Irish DNA is indeed different, that it has extra chromosomes for metaphor, legend and wit. For such a relatively small place, its impact on and contribution to the world of literature has been disproportionately huge.
  “So, too, now in the shorter field of crime fiction. What you have in this book is the acknowledgement of some of the finest writers in the world in the understanding of the crime story’s important place in literature. These writers know the secret. That the examination of a crime is an examination of society. The form is simply the doorway we go through as we enter lives and worlds as fully realized as any in fiction, as we examine issues and societies and moral dilemmas that are important to all of us. I am drawn to these stories as an outsider with this inside information. As someone who knows the power and importance of what these pages hold.” - Michael Connelly
  We thank you kindly, sir. Meanwhile, the launch of DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS takes place today, Tuesday June 7th, at the Gutter Bookshop, Cow’s Lane, Temple Bar, with festivities kicking off at 6pm. All are more than welcome, and for a full list of the attending authors, who will be signing copies en masse, see the post below …