“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.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Billy The Id Rides Again

Well, it can only go downhill from here. The launch of ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL during the week was terrific fun, and this morning the first print reviews hove into sight, injecting yet another blast of adrenaline into what has already been something of a hi-octane week. First off, Kevin Power over at the Irish Times, under the very cute headline, ‘The Metafictional Adventures of Billy the Id’:
“Thus begins a fascinating hybrid of MISERY, AT SWIM-TWO-BIRDS, THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT’S WOMAN, and who knows what else … There’s a thematic richness, and a level of stylistic control, to ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL that makes it soar. Far from being ‘just’ a cleverly postmodern crime novel, this book is, among other things, a meditation on the writing life; a parable about terrorism; a bleak satire of the Irish healthcare system; and a fable about life, death and family responsibility … ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL isn’t quite like anything else you’ve read, in any genre. It’s clever, intimate, passionate, and funny: altogether a wonderful achievement.” - Irish Times
  Stephen King, Flann O’Brien and John Fowles? Those burbling sounds you hear are yours truly trying to mumble my thanks whilst struggling to cope with being about two fathoms out of my depth. For the full review, clickety-click here
  Meanwhile, over at the Irish Independent, Edel Coffey is in equally generous mood. To wit:
“What is most refreshing about Burke’s book is its ambition. It is rare that a so-called genre book attempts to wrest free of its constraints and do something entirely different. ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL is a genre-buster. Clever, funny, challenging, surreal, unexpected and entirely original.” - Irish Independent
  For the full review, clickety-click here
  So there you have it. I genuinely don’t know what to say to all that, and it’s probably best if I say nowt - people in shock do tend to say the daftest things. For your usual ration of garrulous non sequiturs, tune back in tomorrow, by which time normal service should have resumed …

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