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, November 28, 2011

My Gast: Well And Truly Flabbered

I had an unusually busy Sunday yesterday, given that my good lady wife had taken herself off for a well-deserved relaxing weekend in Beirut (!), so it wasn’t until late in the evening, killing time waiting for Match of the Day 2, that I got to glance at the Sunday Times’ Culture section, and particularly the ‘Best Books of the Year’ feature flagged on the cover. Ho, said I, what’s the chances of ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL popping up there?
  Erm, quite good, as it happens. For lo! AZC was the lead-off title in the Crime Fiction round-up. To wit:
“Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre, was Declan Burke’s ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL (Liberties Press). A writer is talked into rewriting an unpublished novel about a hospital porter who dishes out mercy killings - by a one-eyed man claiming to be that same porter. Burke splices insights into the creative process into a fiendishly dark thriller that evokes the best of Flann O’Brien and Bret Easton Ellis.”
  Consider my gast well and truly flabbered. Given the reviews it has received to date (see left), and its short-listing for the Irish Book Awards, AZC had already wildly over-achieved on expectations. But a ‘Best Book of the Year’ in the Sunday Times? Truly, my cup runneth over …