“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

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A Brief And Largely Pointless Exercise In Reverse Snobbery

Now, we’re not likely to quibble with about fifteen eighteenths of Elizabeth Hodgson’s big-up of John Brady’s A Carra King in the Canadian Literature Quarterly, seeing as it runneth thusly:
“For hard-boiled detective fiction, definitely see A Carra King, by John Brady. Brady’s hefty novel is the sixth in his series starring Matt Minogue, a detective with the Dublin police force. Brady’s determinedly authentic Dublin-speak takes some getting used to, as does his terse, laconic style, but the novel is definitely worth the effort. A Carra King is intelligent, sophisticated in its plotting and prose, intensely atmospheric and detailed, and packed with characters whose individuality and humanity are richly satisfying. If a novel is a work of fiction which brings a world to life, A Carra King definitely deserves to be considered a novel first and “detective fiction” second.”
Okay, commence inquibbilating. Like, why a novel first and “detective fiction” second? Why “detective fiction” in those jazzy little inverted commas that suggest the pages were turned with a telescopic tweezers while a clothes-peg remained firmly clamped on the reader’s nose? Why the need to differentiate at all? Could it be that high-brow literature’s superiority complex masks, as it generally tends to do, an inferiority complex? Because as far as we can make out, there’s only one essential difference between well-written ‘literature’ and ‘crime fiction’. Crime fiction sells. High-brow doesn’t. Ask Benny Blanco.

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