Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “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 3, 2013

The Embiggened O

As all Three Regular Readers will be aware, THE BIG O originally appeared in 2007 courtesy of Hag’s Head Press, and was then published in the US in 2008 by Houghton Mifflin. A kidnap-gone-wrong tale, it garnered some very nice reviews (see below), but a combination of factors – not least the merger between Houghton Mifflin and Harcourt – resulted in the book being holed below the waterline, commercially speaking, even before it appeared.
  Herewith be a sample of said reviews:
“Imagine Donald Westlake and his alter ego Richard Stark moving to Ireland and collaborating on a screwball noir and you have some idea of Burke’s accomplishment.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Burke has married hard-boiled crime with noir sensibility and seasoned it with humour and crackling dialogue … fans of comic noir will find plenty to enjoy here.” – Booklist

“Carries on the tradition of Irish noir with its Elmore Leonard-like style ... the dialogue is as slick as an ice run, the plot is nicely intricate, and the character drawing is spot on … a high-octane novel that fairly coruscates with tension.” – The Irish Times

“Declan Burke’s THE BIG O is full of dry Irish humour, a delightful caper revolving around a terrific cast … If you don’t mind the occasional stretch of credulity, the result is stylish and sly.” – The Seattle Times

“Delightful … darkly funny … Burke’s style is evocative of Elmore Leonard, but with an Irish accent and more humour … Here’s hoping we see lots more of Declan Burke soon.” – Kansas City Star

“Faster than a stray bullet, wittier than Oscar Wilde and written by a talent destined for fame.” - Irish Examiner

“THE BIG O is everything fans of dark, fast, tightly woven crime fiction could want ... As each scene unfolds, tension mounts and hilarity ensues.” – Crime Spree Magazine
  So there you have it. It’s been a long and interesting journey for THE BIG O ever since it first appeared, and said journey takes a new twist next week when, having bought back the rights from HMH, I e-publish the novel for the very first time.
  I’ll be posting a link to the e-book next week, but for now I’m going to run a competition with a bit of a difference, and one aimed at those readers who have already read some of my books to date (EIGHTBALL BOOGIE, SLAUGHTER’S HOUND, ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL).
  The idea is that, if you’ve read any of those books, and have the time and inclination to post a review to Amazon, Goodreads, etc., then you’ll be entered into a draw to win one of five signed hardback first edition copies of THE BIG O.
  If you’ve already reviewed a book of mine, of course, or posted about one on your blog or website, then you automatically qualify.
  All I need you to do is post the link to your review / blog post etc., in the comment box below. Naturally, I’d be very grateful if you could find it in your heart to click the Twitter button, give it a mention on Facebook, et al …
  The competition will be open until noon on Thursday, March 7th. Et bon chance, mes amis