“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, April 11, 2012

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?”: Stav Sherez

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?
THE POWER OF THE DOG (Don Winslow) or THE COLD SIX THOUSAND (James Ellroy). Two novels that grip, rattle and roll, opening up windows into unwritten history and secret desire. Everything about these books works, from the uncompromising nature of the material to the Cubist accretion of sentences, the micro-processing of history into narrative, and the sheer plunging Shakespearean complexity of the characters.

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
All my favourite fictional characters have terrible lives and worse ends, so that’s a tricky one. But [Lee Child’s] Jack Reacher would be cool: the existential drifter and classic Saturday-matinee Western hero who rides into town and dispenses justice and retribution before fading back into the sunset. I think we all nurture dreams of leaving our lives behind, sundering aside the weight of possessions and personal ties and setting off into the dusty unknown. I would also love to be James Crumley’s CW Sughrue because his life seems like a lot of wild-eyed fun and bad craziness.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Derrida and Wilbur Smith.

Most satisfying writing moment?
When you get a sentence just right, and you know it’s right, and there’s no doubt about it.

The best Irish crime novel is …?
It would vary, depending on the day, month, year. At the moment it’s probably WINTERLAND by Alan Glynn.

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
I’d like to see Stuart Neville’s THE TWELVE on screen

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst: Reading through drafts and wondering when exactly did you forget how to be a writer. Coming up against your own limitations every single day. Best: Not having to wear shoes.

The pitch for your next book is …?
Eleven days before Christmas. Eleven dead nuns. A snowstorm over London. A killer on the loose.

Who are you reading right now?
Volume 2 of William Burroughs’ collected letters, which I’ve been waiting 19 (!) years for. And dipping back into William Vollmann’s RISING UP & RISING DOWN. It’s his attempt to construct a moral calculus and perhaps the only truly necessary book of the 21st century.

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Read. Definitely. I couldn’t imagine a life without the pleasure of reading other people’s books.

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Dark. Dark. Dark.

A DARK REDEMPTION by Stav Sherez is published by Faber and Faber.

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