“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.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?”: Brian Finnegan

Yep, it’s rubber-hose time, folks: a rapid-fire Q&A for those shifty-looking usual suspects ...

What crime novel would you most like to have written?
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS by Agatha Christie. I graduated from Enid Blyton to Agatha Christie at the age of 13 and read her voraciously. ORIENT EXPRESS is her best, and even though it’s dated and the language is now unintentionally funny, it’s still as tightly wound and perfectly structured as a crime novel can be.

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Ignatius J. Reilly from A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES - possibly the best literary creation of all time.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Marian Keyes. Seriously.

Most satisfying writing moment?
At the end of 1,000 words, which is my daily target.

The best Irish crime novel is …?
IN THE WOODS by Tana French. A brilliant investigation, a chilling backstory, a cracking crime team, beautiful prose and relentless tension.

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
IN THE WOODS. I imagined it as a movie as I read it. It’s structurally perfect for screen adaptation.

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The worst thing is making myself get up at 6.30am every morning to write before I go to work (I find it impossible to write after a day at the office). The best thing, so far, has been getting my first book back from the printer, holding it and smelling it.

The pitch for your next book is …?
When a group of colleagues all lose their jobs in a Dublin-based global corporation, they resolve to stay in touch. The five meet once a month in the Forced Redundancy Film Club to watch their favourite classic movies in each other’s houses. Over the course of a year unlikely friendships form as each goes on a personal journey – reflected through the films chosen for their monthly meetings

Who are you reading right now?
PURE by Andrew Miller. Can’t put it down.

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Too hard. Read, I think. Reading my own writing over and over again wouldn’t be enough for me.

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Light, funny, pacy.

Brian Finnegan’s THE FORCED REDUNDANCY FILM CLUB is published by Hachette.

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