“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

Friday, February 29, 2008

Nobody Move, This Is A Review: I PREDICT A RIOT by (The Artist Formerly Known As Colin) Bateman

I PREDICT A RIOT is a big brick of a book from the Northern Irish crime fiction aficionado now going by the name of Bateman. As a fan of his since DIVORCING JACK, I had high hopes for this book. As ever, the Bangor man failed to disappoint me. I cracked my first smile at the dedication to his Christian name, “… gone but not forgotten.” Couple this with the intriguing tagline, ‘Murder, extortion & carrot cake’, and the reader already knows what they’re in for. Classic Bateman violence and humour.
  As always, his flawed characters leave you cringing as they stumble towards inevitable disaster, and his cleverly constructed plot is revealed with a lightning fast pace that keeps you turning the pages. And as always, I laughed out loud. A lot. Seriously, people at work were staring at me as I giggled through my lunch break for a week.
  The book started life as a serialisation in a Belfast newspaper, The News Letter. Each chapter is an instalment from the paper, and so each one is very short. I have no complaints about this. It made it an incredibly easy read. Also, as a result of its original venue, all the f**king swearing has been ****ed out. If you read Mr Bateman’s blog, you’ll see a mini rant about this. Apparently a lot of folk found his “censorship” rather annoying. I disagree. I thought it made some of the swearing funnier in places.
  However, another hangover from its genesis is the rather annoying amount of recaps within the chapters. I can understand the need to drop the odd sentence of back-story when the reader has to wait days for the next instalment, but in a book as fast-paced as this it’s completely unnecessary. I reckon this was the result of lazy editing as opposed to overkill from the writer.
  All in all, I PREDICT A RIOT rocks harder than the Kaiser Chiefs (sorry, too easy to resist). With a strong cast of characters and a wry look at life in modern Belfast, you’re on to a winner with this one. My final thought when turning the last page was, when’s the next one coming out? Good news! ORPHEUS RISING will be on the shelves in March. It will be mine. – Gerard Brennan

Gerard Brennan can be found right here.

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