“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “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. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

ZERO Hour # 2: That All-Important ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL Update

First off, and as some of the Three Regular Readers will be aware, I got in touch last week with the crime fiction community, craving a boon and asking that they might give my forthcoming tome a mention, if it wasn’t too much trouble. As always, the response to such a request has been little short of humbling, and if you’re a regular visitor to the on-line network of crime and mystery blogs, I apologise here and now if you’re already sick to death of hearing about ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL.
  By the same token, the small but perfectly formed Liberties Press is competing on the same playing field as publishing behemoths with literally millions to spend on promotion and marketing, so I really can’t afford not to throw myself upon the kindness of strangers. Should I feel embarrassed about relentlessly plugging AZC? Perhaps. Do I? Not in the slightest.
  Because here’s the thing. I can’t guarantee you that you’ll love or even like AZC, but I can guarantee that it’s fresh and different, and ‘unlike anything else you’ll read all year’, as Ken Bruen says on the jacket cover. In other words, I’ve worked very hard to create a crime novel that doesn’t trade on the usual conventions and tropes, that doesn’t feature the latest world-weary and cynical boozy PI, or morosely introspective Scandinavian, or quasi-Bond hero defeating the forces of evil via one interminable helicopter chase after another. I can’t say it’s the best book you’ll read all year, and I can’t even say that you won’t have come across a similar story before; what I can say is that you won’t find in AZC what seems to me to have become, if I may be so bold as to make sweeping generalisations, the defining characteristic of the vast majority of contemporary crime novels, which is, however well written any book is, the simplistic pieties of some liberal sadist masquerading as an authentic exploration of modern society, but which is first and foremost designed to ring bells on cash registers.
  Anyway, and back to my original point: a heartfelt thanks to all of you who have responded so positively to my request for a plug or a mention at your own on-line lairs. I thank you all kindly …
  Meanwhile, I’ve been interviewed over at Speaking Volumes, and good fun it was too. Here be an excerpt:
Which fictional character would you most like to meet? What might you say / ask them?

“Jesus Christ. Which isn’t to say that Jesus of Nazareth is a fictional character per se; as far as I know, He did exist. What I’m fascinated by — and I’m not religious, or spiritual — I’m mostly fascinated by the narrative process and how Jesus of Nazareth became Jesus Christ. And I’d like to sit down with Him and find out what His real story was, what it was He hoped to achieve. Did He believe Himself at the time to be the Son of God, or is the metaphysical aspect of his mission and message the most potent case of historical revisionism ever written? And if so, to what extent?
  “I’d love to know what Jesus of Nazareth Himself believed. Was He simply trying to reform the Jewish religion of the time? Was His message hijacked for political purposes? I think that would make for a fairly interesting conversation.”
  For the rest, clickety-click here
  Finally, the ever-radiant and very fine writer Arlene Hunt was kind enough to go the extra mile whilst plugging AZC, with the gist of her considered opinion running thusly:
“Laugh-out-loud funny in places, Twin Peaks-tastic in others, ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL kept me up a number of late nights snuffling and tittering as Billy Karlsson dragged me from one jaw-dropping scene to another … A cracking, adrenaline-popping rollercoaster of a novel. I heartily recommend it.” - Arlene Hunt
  I thank you kindly, ma’am …
  For anyone wondering what all the fuss is about, feel free to click on this link here

3 comments:

Glenna said...

Now I'm looking forward to it even more. I'm on a bit of a reading burn out at the moment, and possibly, something a bit different will kick my butt back into gear.

Fred Leonhardt said...

Make that "Four Regular Readers."

Fred Leonhardt
Portland, Oregon
USA

Declan Burke said...

Hi Glenna - Thanks for that, ma'am. Sorry to hear you're on a burn-out right now, it's a horrible feeling. Here's hoping AZC might help ...

Fred - welcome to the party, sir. Delighted to have you on board.

Cheers, Dec