“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.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

On Keeping Things Just The Right Side Of Ridiculous

And on flows the flummery. ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL has had a pretty decent run of it in the last couple of weeks (furiously blushing cover, right), with some very nice reviews popping up here, the Sunday Times declaring it one of its Books of the Year here, and the book itself setting sail for the continent of North America, as recounted here.
  Last weekend was particularly good for our humble tome, however, as Stuart Neville popped up in the Irish Times’ round-up of writers’ favourite books of the year, in which he gave a fully deserved big-up to Tom Franklin’s wonderful CROOKED LETTER, CROOKED LETTER, and then went on to say this:
“Declan Burke’s ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL (Liberties Press, €12.99) is a mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a cigarette paper. A story in which a character steps into the real world to guide a novelist through a rewrite of his own tale could easily veer into the realm of the pretentious in the hands of a less able author, but Burke manages to keep things just on the right side of ridiculous. I recently found myself trapped on a delayed train for six hours. Thank God I had this sublimely crazy book to keep me sane.”
  I thank you kindly, Mr Neville, not least for allowing me to associate with such august company.
  On Sunday, the Sunday Independent published a very nice interview with yours truly, courtesy of Hilary White, in which I held forth on writing, giving up cigarettes, becoming a dad and why crime writers are a pretty nice bunch of people, possibly because they leave all their nasty stuff on the page. To wit:
“There is a theory that goes along those lines, yeah, because you’re venting all the dark aspects of your psyche on to the page, and when you walk away you’ve left your vices behind. ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL toys with that idea, that the writer’s psyche is split and the good person he wants to be is writing this bad character that he could easily be -- and may already be -- out of his system.”
  For the rest, clickety-click here

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