“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.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Always Apologise, Always Explain

Off with yours truly today to interview Jonathan Dee, author of A THOUSAND PARDONS (Corsair), and I’m hugely looking forward to it (Dee is also the author of THE PRIVILEGES, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2011). I read A THOUSAND PARDONS last week in what was essentially two stretches – it’s a deliciously readable novel, an intimate epic of familial breakdown that read to me like Jonathan Franzen’s FREEDOM should have. Quoth the blurb elves:
Ben and Helen Armstead have reached breaking point. Once a privileged and loving couple, widely envied and respected, it takes just one afternoon - and a single act of recklessness - for Ben to deal the final blow to their marriage, spectacularly demolishing everything they built together. Separated from her husband, Helen and her teenage daughter Sara leave their family home for Manhattan, where Helen must build a new life for them both. Thrust back into the working world, Helen takes a job in PR - her first in many years - and discovers she has a rare gift: she can convince arrogant men to admit their mistakes, spinning crises into second chances. Faced with the fallout from her own marriage, and her daughter’s increasingly distant behaviour, Helen finds that the capacity for forgiveness she nurtures so successfully in her professional life is far harder to apply to her personal one. A THOUSAND PARDONS is an elegant, audacious, gripping and sharply observed novel about a marriage in ruins and a family in crisis; about the limits of self-invention and the seduction of self-destruction.
  Jonathan Dee will be appearing at the Dalkey Book Festival on Sunday, June 16th. For all the details, clickety-click here

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