“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, September 24, 2013

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?” Ben Kane

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 TWELVE by Stuart Neville. Absolutely outstanding.

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Alv, the young cowherd/smith/hero figure in the sadly little known but absolutely outstanding Winter of the World trilogy by Michael Scott Rohan.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Christian Cameron – his 4th century BC novels are some of the finest historical fiction around.

Most satisfying writing moment?
Writing the final battle scene of my second Spartacus novel – in two eighteen hour, emotional roller coaster days of writing nirvana.

If you could recommend one Irish crime novel, what would it be?
THE TWELVE by Stuart Neville.

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
See above.

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst: the unending solitude. It’s fine some of the time, most of the time. But sometimes, it’s absolutely bloody awful. Best: being my own boss. Being able to have breakfast with my kids, seven days a week. Having a five-second commute, from house to shed. Living in the world of my novels.

The pitch for your next book is …?
Germany, AD 9. Three Roman legions in a forest. Lots of nasty German tribal types hiding among the trees. A traitor in the Roman ranks. Cue absolute carnage.

Who are you reading right now?
COLLUSION by Stuart Neville, and TYRANT: DESTROYER OF CITIES by Christian Cameron.

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
That’s a HORRIBLE question to have to answer. I was surprised (because I’ve been a reader all my life) and unsurprised (because writing is a drug) by my answer. Write.

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Gripping. Pithy. Fast-paced. (Is that two words?!)

Ben Kane, author of HANNIBAL: FIELDS OF BLOOD, appears at the Dublin Festival of History on Monday, September 30th.

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