Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Being John Connolly Is Probably Its Own Reward

Via Sarah Weinman comes the news that Tana French and Benjamin Black have been short-listed in the Los Angeles Book Festival’s mystery / thriller category, the full list of nominees running thusly:
Ake Edwardson, FROZEN TRACKS
Tana French, IN THE WOODS
Jan Costin Wagner, ICE MOON
IN THE WOODS and CHRISTINE FALLS have had something of a parallel existence for the last six months or so. They’ve also been short-listed for Edgar awards, and both novels expertly create the appropriate atmosphere for their literary-styled incursions into crime fiction. Furthermore, neither has been hailed as an unqualified success: both have elicited mixed reviews, IN THE WOODS for its ambiguous ending, CHRISTINE FALLS for championing style over substance. Nonetheless, the double nomination augurs well for the future of Irish crime fiction, and the CAP elves send bouquets and best wishes to both nominees.
  But here’s the thing. In the 10 months or so since Crime Always Pays has been running, Tana French, Benjamin Black, Ken Bruen, Declan Hughes, Brian McGilloway, Siobhan Dowd and Derek Landy have all been short-listed for various prestigious awards. Meanwhile, one writer remains conspicuous by his absence. Not only does John Connolly (right) write superbly, he also pulls off the very difficult feat of blending crime and horror genres in novels that offer far more than the sum of their parts. He’s also the finest stylist currently working in Irish crime fiction. So where are all the John Connolly nominations, people? Wild conspiracy theories on the back of a used €50 note to the usual address at CAP Towers, Cape Wonga, please.


Dana King said...

I agree completely about John Connolly. I discovered him when I was asked to review THE BLACK ANGEL; since then I have read all but his most recent. An exceptional writer making a difficult cross-genre contribution, and a very gracious and nice man, as I learned when I was fortunate enough to interview him.

Declan Burke said...

Thanks, Dana. I really like THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS, I think it's a truly terrific read ... Cheers, Dec

Laura said...

I've actually read 4 out of those 5 shortlisted and enjoyed them all but give me a John Connolly anyday. Nocturnes arrived in the post just today so I can squeeze in a few occasional moments of horror when the opportunity arises!

P.S Great post above on the blog-to-mainstream publishing, I am looking forward to seeing how it develops on our side of the pond.

krimileser said...

It true what they say ?

That you folks call the artist formerly known as Banville now B.B. King ?