“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, June 26, 2012

Hark! What Ancient Light Through Yonder Window Breaks?

It’s a busy old summer for Jongamin Blanville. As John Banville, he publishes ANCIENT LIGHT next month, on July 5th; meanwhile, the latest Benjamin Black novel, VENGEANCE, has been garnering some very nice reviews indeed. To wit:
“The story is engaging. Instinctively, the reader knows what to expect, and still is surprised. The liquid precision of the writing presents convincing characters. It renders the drama of their lives as strangely matter-of-fact while fully illuminating the forces at work. We are deftly led through a complex entanglement of charged but often spent relationships. There is a blunt empathy with the principal characters that is curiously affecting. Effortlessly, it would seem, and never wanting, Banville’s description of the physical world is superb.” - Philip Davison, Irish Times

“Warring families, spinster sisters, jealous husbands, betrayed wives, wicked step-mothers, identical twins -- these are the stuff of comedy and tragedy from Plautus onwards (and they were not original to him either).
  “The great ‘French polisher of Italian farce’, aka Shakespeare, traded in similar plots. After wringing our hearts with his star-crossed lovers, he rewrote the play as A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It is not the plot that counts, it is how it is presented.
[Benjamin] Black is a master of presentation. The nudges and the winks, the red herrings and the wool-pullings are all consummately done.” - Gerry Dukes, Irish Independent
  So there you have it. Plautus via Shakespeare, no less, for Benjamin Black. God only knows how ANCIENT LIGHT will be received …

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