“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

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

This Week We’re Reading … Borderlands and Clean Break

“This really is a stunning debut,” says It’s A Crime of Brian McGilloway’s opening gambit in the Inspector Devlin series. “The writing is excellent and the suspense of the plot is maintained to the end … So strong is the novel, it’s easy to imagine Morse’s Oxford and Rebus’ Edinburgh having Devlin’s Borderlands snapping at their heels.” High praise indeed, but Marcel Berlins over at The Times wasn’t to be outdone. McGilloway as joined the ‘roll of excellence’ in Irish crime fiction that includes Ken Bruen and John Connolly, he assures us: “Brian McGilloway’s command of plot and assurance of language make it difficult to believe that Borderlands is his debut… [He] tells this with style and compassion.” And there’s plenty more here where they came from … Style and compassion weren’t really Lionel White’s forte – prose as brutally blunt as a headbutt was more his thing. It’s difficult these days to dig up a Clean Break review that isn’t wibbling on about Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing, but we’ve managed to dig up a couple. “For unadorned action, suspense, and vigorous storytelling, Lionel White’s novels have seldom been surpassed,” says Bill Crider, while over here they reckon that, “For action-packed thrills, for hard-boiled, slugging adventure, The Killing is a fast-paced crime novel that won’t quit until the exciting photo finish.” The edition to your right is a complete mess inside the covers, the myriad typos and infantile layout suggesting it was photocopied from a first draft, but until they get around to republishing Clean Break, it’ll have to do. Grumble, rhubarb, etc.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I too thought Borderlands was great (see my Euro Crime review). Looking forward to reading your take on it. (By the way, have just finished Little Criminals, which I also thought was fantastic.)