“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, July 30, 2007

Nobody Move, This Is A Review: In the Woods by Tana French

This is the kind of debut novel that would turn the average would-be scribe as green as the lush countryside it describes – Tana French writes like a sparkier, Irish Donna Tartt. And, with a nod to Tartt’s The Little Friend, which is also about an unsolved child murder, but set in America’s Deep South, French asks more than she answers and isn’t afraid of taking a risk with an ambiguous ending. In the Woods’ beginning is just as nuanced. The multi-layered plot starts in 1984 when three 12-year-olds go missing in a wood outside Dublin; only one is found alive – the other two vanish. Fast-forward 20 years and the same wood is the site of a massive archaeological dig – it’s about to be turned into a motorway, even though locals, archaeologists and concerned citizens alike are outraged that a natural enclave which has held spiritual, political and botanical significance since the Bronze Age is being paved over. In the last days of the archaeologists’ dig, a 12-year-old girl’s body turns up on a Druidic sacrificial altar and Detective Rob Ryan, the child who returned, now grown up, jumps on the case in order to lay his ghosts to rest, without revealing his personal connection to the first disappearances to his superiors. In the end though, Ryan’s single-mindedness in investigating both cases turns out to be no match for the primeval pull the wood has over him. This book has elicited extreme reactions for its ending, and I’m no exception to that – I loved its elliptical twists, unexpected turns and lack of facile explanations.– Claire Coughlan

1 comment:

bookwitch said...

Without having read this book, I'd say it sounds a bit like Anne Cassidy's Looking For JJ. That scared me so much, I wasn't sure I could finish it.