“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “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. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL: The Booklist Verdict Is In

It’s been a while, although not nearly long enough, some might say, since we’ve had some ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL-related flummery here, but the book officially goes on sale in the United States and Canada next Friday, February 3rd (where the hell did January go?), so it’s incumbent upon me to point you in the direction of some recent reviews of said tome. I’ve already mentioned that Publishers Weekly gave it the thumbs up, and Elizabeth A. White was also good enough to say some very kind things about AZC a couple of weeks ago. With which, as you can imagine, I am mightily pleased.
  Meanwhile, the most recent review comes courtesy of Booklist, with the gist running thusly:
“Metafiction? Postmodern noir? These and other labels will be applied to Burke’s newest; any might be apt, but none is sufficient. ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL is largely a literary novel that draws on history, mythology, and literature to insightfully discuss writing, books, parenting, relationships, health care, and dying with dignity. Bits of Burke’s comic noir (THE BIG O, 2008) appear, but they serve to subvert the form. Noir fans may not care for this one, but lovers of literary fiction will find much to savour.” — Thomas Gaughan, Booklist
  Which is, again, very nice indeed, and I thank you kindly, Mr Gaughan.
  Incidentally, THE BIG O picked up a review the other day, and one which touches in part on an issue raised here a few weeks back, given that the reviewer announces at the beginning of the review that he / she gave up reading halfway through, largely put off by the fact that the book is infested with sexism. “I wouldn’t normally review a book I disliked this much,” the review concludes, “but it’s frustrating to find an author who can clearly write, but who can’t make an intelligent creative decision.” Which may well be the epitome of the back-handed compliment.
  Anyway, back to ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL. The book gets its official North American release on Friday, as I say, and loath as I am to ask favours of CAP readers, I’d be obliged if you could spread the word by any means available to you. Tell a friend (or an enemy, if you read it and didn’t like it), mention it on your blog, post a review to Amazon, etc, or simply send up a barrage balloon with the book cover emblazoned on the side (or both sides, if your budget will stretch). As always, any and all help would be very greatly appreciated.
  Here endeth the flummery.

2 comments:

seana said...

It looks like Amazon has about nine copies available right now, so no need to wait.

It's been awhile since I read The Big O, so I couldn't comment on whether or not there is sexism involved--I've kind of learned to turn a blind eye to that over the years, frankly--but more importantly and more memorably to me is Ray and Karen's very equal relationship, which is set up right from the get go. beginningwet.

Glenna said...

Well my blog is pretty much dead at this point due to lack of me having time to actually keep up with it, but I'm sure I can spare a few minutes to put a few Facebook post up.