“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, April 29, 2014

Winter Wonderland

As I understand it, John Connolly’s THE WOLF IN WINTER topped the bestseller charts in Ireland and the UK while I was away on holidays, which is marvellous news but not entirely surprising – to my mind, THE WOLF IN WINTER is one of the finest of John Connolly’s books to date. I was particularly impressed by its ambition, as you might guess from this snippet from an Irish Examiner interview published last week:
THE WOLF IN WINTER finds Charlie Parker investigating the disappearance of a young woman and the apparent murder of her father, a homeless man who lives on the streets of Portland in Maine. Far from resting on his laurels, the 46-year-old author has blended a novel of social conscience into his traditional private eye tale, and also explores themes of ancient and contemporary spirituality.
  “It’s because I enjoy doing it,” says John when I ask why it is that he seems so restlessly self-challenging. “I love what I do, and if you love what you do you take a kind of craftsman’s pride in wanting to produce the best work possible. I know that there are writers who object to that word ‘craft’, who say that a book is art or it’s nothing. But I don’t get to decide what’s art and what isn’t. That’s a function of time as much as anything else. And all art is a function of craft. You work with craft and if you’re lucky there’s a moment of transcendence and you produce something that just slips past that barrier, whatever it may be, and becomes something slightly greater than its parts. But you don’t get to decide those things. All you can do is sit down each time and write the best book you can.”
  For the rest of the interview, clickety-click here
  Meanwhile, Declan Hughes reviewed THE WOLF IN WINTER for the Irish Times, and a very fine piece it is too. You’ll find it here

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