If you’re going to be around Dublin city centre next Thursday, April 25th, you could do a lot worse than get along to Dubray Books on Grafton Street at 6.30pm, where Paul Lynch will be launching his debut novel, RED SKY IN MORNING (Quercus).
Opening in Donegal in 1832, the novel follows land labourer Coll Coyle as he suffers the consequences of a single ill-judged act of rash violence. It’s a compelling tale, not least because of the power of the language, which put me in mind of Cormac McCarthy’s early work. There’s also a kind of epic, cinematic sweep to the events, which shouldn’t really be surprising – Paul Lynch was for many moons the film critic for the Sunday Tribune.
I know Paul, so you may want to take my opinion with a pinch of salt, but I think RED SKY is a terrific piece of work. I particularly liked the tone, which seems to be pitched somewhere between the bleak fatalism of noir and the Fate-hounded tales of classical Greek tragedy.
So there it is. RED SKY IN MORNING by Paul Lynch: it’s early days still, but I’d imagine it’ll be hailed as one of the most impressive Irish debuts of the year.
“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.