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.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Cool Before The Storm

There’s a hurricane raging outside as I write (no, seriously), but I’m already in serene-style eye of the storm mode right now, for lo! Another nice review of our humble tome, ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL, popped up yesterday, this one courtesy of the Sunday Business Post. The gist runs thusly:
“Declan Burke plunges into surreal realms in this exhilarating, cleverly wrought novel … Burke clings to his swerving, wild plot throughout, dragging the reader, enthralled but slightly disorientated, to a worthy conclusion. Comparisons to Flann O’Brien’s AT SWIM-TWO-BIRDS are obvious, yet Burke’s canny control of his novel - if not quite his characters - means they’re positive ones.” - Julian Fleming, Sunday Business Post
  I thank you kindly sir, although my heart did skip a beat when I read that ‘if not quite his characters’ bit, presuming that it meant the characterisations in the novel aren’t up to snuff. And then I realised, okay, it’s because the characters in the novel rise up against their predetermined Fate and / or the wishes of their Creator, and strike out on their own …
  Anyway, there was another very nice plug yesterday for AZC, in the Sunday Independent, courtesy of Alison Walsh’s round-up of autumn books to watch out for, when AZC was mentioned in the company of John Connolly, Alan Glynn, Colin Bateman and William Ryan. Which is very nice company for any book to keep. For the full list of tomes you should be reading, clickety-click here
  Finally, Mike Nicol at South Africa’s Crime Beat was kind enough to feature an extract from AZC late last week, said extract being the first in a series of offerings from new and current titles from a selection of Irish crime writers. If you fancy a quick dip into AZC, you know what to do

I had a very nice surprise when I wandered into town yesterday morning, and discovered that some kind soul working in Hodges Figgis on Dawson Street had placed ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL in the front window (above); and not only in the front window, but just outside the front door (alongside THE BLOODY MEADOW by William Ryan); and not only that, but adjacent to DOWN THESE GREEN STEETS, which was also adorning the H&F front window. All of which was very nice indeed. I thank you kindly, folks …
  Meanwhile, Glenna Jacobs over at Various Random Thoughts was good enough to post her thoughts on AZC, the gist of her impression being that AZC was ‘the most unusual, twisted book I’ve ever read’, which is one of the nicest compliments I’ve had to date, this on the presumption that said quote was in fact intended as a compliment. Either way, I like it, and I thank you kindly, ma’am …