“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, November 28, 2014

News: PD James, RIP

As you very probably know, the terribly sad news of PD James’ death came through yesterday afternoon. She died peacefully at home, according to her publishers, aged 94. She had a phenomenal career, a wonderful writer who made an indelible impact on the crime fiction genre; but as I said last night on RTE’s Arena programme, she is one of those writers who transcended the concept of genre to take her place in the realm of world literature.
  I was lucky enough to meet PD James, last year at Trinity College, where she appeared to celebrate the 200th anniversary of her beloved Jane Austen’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. I was as nervous as you tend to be when anticipating the arrival of a living legend, and was entirely ignorant of the protocol of how to address a baroness and so forth, but as soon as she arrived – physically frail, perhaps, at the age of 93, but razor-sharp, radiant of smile and twinkly of eye – she put everyone at their ease, insisting that we all call her Phyllis and asking only one favour: that we dispense with all formality and minimise any fuss to the barest acceptable level. It was a truly wonderful evening, and one that will live long in the memory. PD James will be very sorely missed.

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