“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.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Foxing Clever

The Thought Fox is a rare example of an interesting blog from a publisher, not least because - I presume, at least, although I’m open to correction - the blog’s name was inspired by Ted Hughes. Anyway, The Thought Fox is Faber’s blog, and Faber is home to two of the most inventive writers working today, in Eoin McNamee and David Peace, so it was nice to see a homage from David Peace to Eoin McNamee pop up on the blog during the week. To wit:
‘The House of Burn and McNamee’

“Two books have influenced and inspired my own writing more than any others; ALMA COGAN by Gordon Burn and RESURRECTION MAN by Eoin McNamee. Although very different writers, both Burn and McNamee write with the same impulse; to seek out, to confront and to then illuminate the dark corners of history with fiction, with literature, with poetry.
  “Many writers published by Faber talk about the thrill of being published by the House of Eliot and Hughes but, for me, Faber is the House of Burn and McNamee and it remains an honour to be published alongside work as great as BEST AND EDWARDS or THE ULTRAS. Tragically, with Gordon’s death in 2009, there can be no more Gordon Burn books. But Eoin McNamee is still writing, and still writing the best books out there.
  “ORCHID BLUE, which has just been published in paperback by Faber, is a sequel-of-sorts to THE BLUE TANGO, which was published in 2001, and forms the second book in Eoin’s loose ‘Blue Trilogy’. But you don’t need to have read THE BLUE TANGO to read ORCHID BLUE (though I bet you 20 quid you will read BLUE TANGO if you read ORCHID BLUE first).
  “As in all of Eoin McNamee’s writing, ORCHID BLUE takes as its starting point a moment in history; the murder of Pearl Gamble in Newry in January 1961 and the subsequent arrest and trial of Robert McGladdery. McNamee brings to this moment the eyes and ears, the heart and soul of Eddie McCrink. Eddie has been away in London; the London of Jack the Stripper and the Krays. Eddie returns to Ulster as Inspector of Constabulary. Eddie doesn’t like what he finds; a damp place of blood feuds and private vendettas, a place where justice is what strengthens the rich and weakens the poor, a place teetering on the edge of an abyss, an abyss that will stretch for decades over thousands of deaths.
  “This abyss, this history, is the place where McNamee works, where he takes a surgical scalpel to the thin skin of history’s corpse and wades through the blood to the bones of the thing. And in that blood, among those bones, he finds the words and the language of the soul, ugly words in a beautiful language, often in a strange and harrowed tongue, but always in an original, haunting voice.
  “This is what Gordon Burn did. This is what Eoin McNamee does. Cherish it.” - David Peace
  Nicely said, sir. For more Eoin McNamee-related flummery, clickety-click here

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