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.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Countdown To ZERO

The votes are in, the die is cast, and the cover for the forthcoming ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL by your humble correspondent has been decided (right). As all Three Regular Readers will be aware, I had a personal preference for a different cover, one featuring a gas canister, but good sense has prevailed and I’m more than happy with the final decision. If I’m honest, it actually reflects the tone of the book better than my own preference: for some reason, the artwork puts me in mind of a series of Kurt Vonnegut reissues from some years back, and as AZC is a blackly comic novel, it seems appropriate to alert the potential reader to that fact.
  For those of you unfamiliar with the novel, by the way, the blurb elves have been wibbling thusly:
Who in their right mind would want to blow up a hospital?

  “Close it down, blow it up - what’s the difference?”

  Hospital porter Billy K is a man on a mission: to highlight how vulnerable hospitals are, and to demonstrate how easily they might be demolished in a terrorist attack.

  But no one is listening. Deranged by logic, driven by a perverse passion, Billy may have to blow up a hospital in order to prove his point. Only his creator can stop him now, the author who abandoned Billy to his half-life limbo, in which Billy schemes to do whatever it takes to get himself published, or be damned …


“ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL is unlike anything else you’ll read this year … Laugh-out-loud funny … This is writing at its dazzling, cleverest zenith. Think John Fowles, via Paul Auster and Rolling Stone … a feat of extraordinary alchemy.” – Ken Bruen, author of AMERICAN SKIN
  So there you have it, and thank you kindly, Mr Bruen. Other generous commendations run as follows:
“A genuinely original take on noir, inventive and funny. Imagine, if you can, a cross between Flann O’Brien and Raymond Chandler.” - John Banville, author of THE SEA

“Stop waiting for Godot – he’s here. Declan Burke takes the existential dilemma of characters writing themselves and turns it on its ear, and then some. He gives it body and soul … an Irish soul.” - Reed Farrel Coleman, author of EMPTY EVER AFTER

“Declan Burke has broken the mould with ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL, which is actually very cool indeed. Funny, inventive and hugely entertaining crime fiction - I guarantee you’ll love it.” - Melissa Hill, author of SOMETHING FROM TIFFANY’S

“If you want to find something new and challenging, comic crime fiction is now the place to go … Declan Burke [is] at the vanguard of a new wave of young writers kicking against the clich├ęs and producing ambitious, challenging, genre-bending works.” - Colin Bateman, author of NINE INCHES

“ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL is a surreal rollercoaster of a read, full of the blackest humour, and yet poignant. An outrageously funny novel ... The joy is in the writing itself, all sparky dialogue and wry observation, so smooth that when it cuts, it’s like finding razor blades in honey.” - Deborah Lawrenson, author of THE LANTERN

“Burke has written a deep, lyrical and moving crime novel … an intoxicating and exciting novel of which the master himself, Flann O’Brien, would be proud.” - Adrian McKinty, author of FIFTY GRAND
  ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL will be published next month by the good folk at Liberties Press, and should be available for pre-order any day soon. Rest assured that I’ll keep you posted …