“Declan Burke is his own genre. The Lammisters dazzles, beguiles and transcends. Virtuoso from start to finish.” – Eoin McNamee “This bourbon-smooth riot of jazz-age excess, high satire and Wodehouse flamboyance is a pitch-perfect bullseye of comic brilliance.” – Irish Independent Books of the Year 2019 “This rapid-fire novel deserves a place on any bookshelf that grants asylum to PG Wodehouse, Flann O’Brien or Kyril Bonfiglioli.” – Eoin Colfer, Guardian Best Books of the Year 2019 “The funniest book of the year.” – Sunday Independent “Declan Burke is one funny bastard. The Lammisters ... conducts a forensic analysis on the anatomy of a story.” – Liz Nugent “Burke’s exuberant prose takes centre stage … He plays with language like a jazz soloist stretching the boundaries of musical theory.” – Totally Dublin “A mega-meta smorgasbord of inventive language ... linguistic verve not just on every page but every line.Irish Times “Above all, The Lammisters gives the impression of a writer enjoying himself. And so, dear reader, should you.” – Sunday Times “A triumph of absurdity, which burlesques the literary canon from Shakespeare, Pope and Austen to Flann O’Brien … The Lammisters is very clever indeed.” – The Guardian

Monday, June 25, 2007

Nobody Move, This Is A Review: Tenderwire by Claire Kilroy

Dublin writer Claire Kilroy has been drawing favourable comparisons with Patricia Highsmith for this, her second novel – a recommendation that isn’t undeserved in the slightest. The parallels between both authors’ styles are obvious: Tenderwire boasts an unreliable, emotionally unstable narrator – professional violinist Eva Tyne – a whirling dervish of irrational jealousy, grief and obsession whose composites all vie for prominence. Eva’s compulsive acquisition of what might be a stolen Stradivarius violin, bought from a bunch of vaguely menacing Chechens whose speciality is racketeering in priceless antique violins smuggled out of Europe, takes her on a frenetic, often addled journey through Manhattan, to Germany and eventually to Dublin. As with a Highsmith novel, expectations are overturned by the denouement and tensions are finely wrought between characters – and there are plenty of memorable ones, like Alexander, an illegal Chechen, who’s “a giant of a man and as blond as a child,” and Claude Martel, a seemingly disingenuous, overbearing luthier (violin maker and repair expert). Loss, ambition and the descent into warfare brought on by soured female friendships are recurring themes that Kilroy weaves into the novel with depth, precision and lyricism. – Claire Coughlan

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