“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “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.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On Psychological Thrillers And Catullian Verse

Here’s a rather interesting prospect, as noted in the ‘Loose Leaves’ section of the Irish Times last Saturday. Simon Ashe-Browne won the 2011 Dundee International Book Prize with NOTHING HUMAN LEFT, a prize awarded to the best unpublished novel in the UK, and which scooped him £10,000. So who is this Simon Ashe-Browne? Quoth the Lisa Richards Agency blurb elves:
Simon Ashe-Browne is a writer and actor based in Dublin. He was Overall Winner of The Sean Dunne Young Writers Awards in 2003, and is a contributor to THE IRISH CATULLUS, or ONE GENTLEMAN OF VERONA, a trilingual volume of Catullian verse edited by Ronan Sheehan.
  Crikey, etc. Anyway, Simon’s debut novel sounds like it might well be a right belter. To wit:
Kids can be so cruel. One minute you’re the class clown and the next - you’re nobody. Jonathon, a.k.a. ‘the Doc’, stopped being funny months ago. Think he’ll give up without a fight? That’s not how the Doc operates … Instead of ducking gracefully out of the limelight, this clown is scrabbling for centre stage. Watch the Doc as he walks the tightrope between comedy and tragedy, tumbling into an increasingly dark world of pranks gone wrong, fuelled on the dark circus of movies, pop culture and schoolboy bravado. Is the Doc a born performer or a natural psychopath? You decide. A fearless psychological thriller from Dundee International Book Prize winner Simon Ashe-Browne.
  So there you have it. Yet another debutant Irish author, yet another intriguing prospect, and damn fine cover to boot. I mean, ‘a fearless psychological thriller’ from a writer of Catullian verse? How, pray tell, could you possibly resist?

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