“ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL is that rarest of things - a novel that makes you stop and think and scramble to finish at the same time … I generally cannot abide novels about men (it’s always men) writing novels, but ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL takes that tired premise, shoves a tank of Silene gas right up its you-know-what and sets the detonator. A novel of ideas as well as a first-rate thriller, ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL sees Burke stretching the crime thriller genre until it snaps and then sewing it back together with some of the finest prose and funniest dialogue you’ll encounter this year. I can’t recommend this book enough. Destined to be a cult classic.” - Kevin McCarthyI thank you kindly, sir. And then there was Marleen, over at More Than A Reading Journal:
“I know I’ve said it before, but this is most definitely a book unlike any I’ve read in the past … All the blurbs about this book describe it as being “laugh-out-loud funny”, “full of the blackest humour” and “outrageously funny”. I, however, didn’t get the humour in this book. I found the story to be original, disturbing, thought-provoking and inventive.” - Marleen, More Than A Reading JournalFunny, schmunny, right?
Finally, uber-blogger and short story writer Paul D Brazill gave AZC a fair wind and calm seas over at Mean Streets, the gist running thusly:
“ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL is in the same capable hands that created the classic comic crime double header of THE BIG O and CRIME ALWAYS PAYS. The hands of a master storyteller. And with those hands, Declan Burke has crafted an exciting, hilarious, thoughtful and moving story that will surely stand up to - and deserve - a lot of re-reading. I’ve read a lot of cracking novels this year but ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL is my favourite. And it could well be yours, too.” - Paul D Brazill, Mean StreetsAs if all that wasn’t enough - and really, when is enough ever enough - there were also a couple of very nice mentions for DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS, the first coming courtesy of Laura Root at Euro Crime:
“DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS is an excellent, varied collection of essays and short stories, looking at Irish crime fiction in both its historical and present day context, with much of interest to anyone interested in modern day Ireland and its cultural life. It is very much a book to dip into, rather than to read straight through in one setting. The authors by and large convey their wealth of knowledge in a highly readable, enjoyable style, and it's a great idea to include short stories in this compilation, as a nice counterpoint to the various analyses of Irish fiction.” - Laura Root, Euro CrimeWe thank you kindly, ma’am. And Jon L. Breen at Mystery Scene Magazine was also impressed, his review kicking off in a vein like this:
“This is one of the most entertaining, informative, and critically astute recent books on crime and mystery fiction, all from an Irish point of view and written in variants of that eloquent and melodic national prose style.” - Jon L. Breen, Mystery Scene MagazineSo there you have it. ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL and DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS - good vibes all round, and yours truly set up for a very pleasant weekend indeed. I sincerely hope yours is just as good …