“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, July 27, 2011

Cool, Baby, Cool

Well, it’s here. Finally arrived. Yesterday was something of a Red Letter Day for yours truly, folks, as ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL arrived back from the printers, and I’m still a bit giddy. In fact, so giddy was I that I nearly ruined the day entirely by smooching the lovely Alice Dawson of Liberties Press in the lobby of the Guinness Enterprise Centre, and this before she’d even had the chance to show me the book. No wonder editor Dan Bolger hot-footed it out of the building at the first opportunity …
  Anyway, the book is now a book. No big deal in one sense, because there’s far too many books published every day, but ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL is a bit special for me. For one, I wrote the first draft of it about nine years ago, and it’s been a long, winding and tortuous road ever since. If there was ever a lesson in not giving up, a lesson for myself or for any other writer out there with a bad case of concussion from banging their heads against brick walls, AZC is it. And if that wasn’t enough, Liberties Press have done me more than proud with a very fine book indeed. I thank you all kindly, folks.
  In fact, there’s a whole host of people I need to thank, most of whom are covered in the acknowledgements in the book. For our purpose here today, however, I hope it will suffice for me to quote from those acknowledgements. To wit:
“I would also like to thank the writers and readers who, through the pages of the blog Crime Always Pays, have been so blindly optimistic on my behalf over the last number of years. You are too many to name, but be assured that I am very grateful indeed.”
  And yes, that ‘you’ means YOU. Ladies and gentlemen, take a bow …
  Finally, the good news in practical terms means that the book is now officially available on sale. Those of you interested can order it direct from the Liberties Press website; failing that, ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL will be in all good bookshops from tomorrow onwards.
  The book will be officially launched on August 10th, by the way, in the Gutter Bookshop in Dublin’s Temple Bar. If you think you might like to get along, just scroll down for all the details; and if you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, feel free to clickety-click here