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.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Funky Friday’s Freaky-Deak

Quoth the Grand Vizier: It’s been a funny old week for ‘Project Grand Vizier’, people. The biggest news came from Hollywood, where the team of monkey-elves that go under the collective name ‘Gavin Burke’ had a movie script under consideration with a rather interesting producer, said script being an adaptation of THE BIG O, yours truly’s humble offering. Now, the producers said “No thanks,” and for reasons far too depressing to get into here. Nonetheless, the GV is quietly pleased that the book – published, lest we forget, on a budget of two elastic bands and a bent paper-clip – has penetrated so far so quickly, and particularly as it won’t even be published in the U.S. for another five months.
  Besides, as Mrs Vizier said after we heard the news, this is probably the best time to hear it, what with Baby Vizier still on course for his or her arrival on Friday 14. Like, who could really give a rat’s fundament about a movie with a Baby Vizier in the offing? An empire waits with bated breath, after all.
  In other THE BIG O-related news, we’ve seen some proposed covers for the U.S. release, and they’re hotter’n the barrel of a two-dollar gun. Meanwhile, Spinetingler Magazine has generously offered to host an excerpt from the novel in the near future, for which we are fawningly grateful.
  In blog-related matters, Crime Always Pays lost out in last week’s Irish Blog Awards to The Voyage in the ‘Best Specialist Blog’, and deservedly so. Sail on, you crazy diamonds. The Grand Vizier attended the awards ceremony with The Panjandrum, aka Chico ‘Chicovich’ Morientes, who was diplomacy personified in his role as Minister for Foreign Affairs & Bi-Lingual Trysts. An abstemious and polite night’s entertainment followed, although the Grand Vizier, who was incognito, was unfortunately set upon by an entire troupe of booze monkeys (headiccus rex) at the end of the evening, which precipitated a lemming-like plummet into rí rá agus ruile buile. Still, it can’t be Mills & Boon every night, right?
  On the books front, Cora Harrison’s MICHAELMAS TRIBUTE arrived this week, the novel being the sequel to MY LADY JUDGE, which was the first in a proposed series about the Brehon judge, Mara. Quoth the blurb elves:
Mara, Brehon of the Burren returns in another wonderful historical tale of murder and intrigue. The Michaelmas Fair is a time for the people of the Burren to gather together, buy and sell their wares, and give tribute to the lord of their clans. This year there’s an undercurrent of anger –the new lord of the MacNamara clan has raised the tribute and his greedy steward, Ragnall MacNamara, is not making himself a popular man. When his body is found in the churchyard, Mara has is called to investigate. Was it revenge, greed or something more sinister? Then another body is discovered, apparently a suicide. But Mara is not convinced and it’s up to her, as the judge and lawgiver, to uncover who the killer is before they strike again ...
MICHAELMAS TRIBUTE is published by Macmillan on May 2nd. As soon as we know more, you’ll be the first to hear.
  Meanwhile, on our travels around the blogosphere, we came across this interesting post at Even A Pencil Has Fear To. After being very complimentary indeed about Tana French’s IN THE WOODS, the postee considers its general reception, to wit:
“To my great surprise, most people found the novel good, but found the ending quite unsatisfying. After thinking about their comments, I decided this feeling of disappointment, of having untied threads, was largely due to the fact the novel was frequently presented as a mystery. Naturally, one of the main conventions of a mystery is that everything is tied up neatly – essentially, we know ‘who done it.’ My copy of the novel, checked out from my local library, was located in the mystery section; it even had a special mystery sticker on it. Yet, the cover jacket clearly denotes the book as a novel, which carries a different set of expectations for the reader.”
Really? What different expectations might they be? That most of the various threads will go untied?
  Anyhoo, one novel that hasn’t a hope in hell of tying up all its threads is Salman Rushdie’s THE ENCHANTRESS OF FLORENCE, which is fabulous read that blends Marco Polo’s travels, the Arabian Nights and Italo Calvino’s IF ON A WINTER’S NIGHT A TRAVELLER and / or INVISIBLE CITIES. If there is a better novel published this year, the Grand Vizier will eat his turban.
  Finally, those of you who will be in Dublin tomorrow (Sunday, March 8th) and want to know how Dublin’s mean streets got so blummin’ mean, there’s a discussion on true Irish crime writing at the Rotunda as part of the Dublin Book Festival that features crime reporters-cum-authors Barry Cummins, Niamh O’Connor, Paul Williams and Eamon Dillon. Beautiful people one and all, just trying to make sense of a crazy, mixed-up world …


Cathy said...

Declan, I am a new yet already faithful reader of this blog, but have been having problems with comments (blogger didn't seem to want to register my comments yesterday) and now I find that your recent posts appear in my RSS reader, but I can't access them on the blog - they actually do not figure at all there, where your last entry appears to be this one, whereas Google Reader suggests you wrote two or three more...

Declan Burke said...

Hi Cathy, and thanks for the heads-up. Not sure what the issue with the comment box is, but if it continues I'd appreciate it if you'd let me know. As for the 'recent posts' not appearing ... that'll be me prepping some posts for next week, having a look at them 'live' on the blog, and then saving them as drafts until they're ready to go. Cheers, Dec

Patricia J. Hale said...

Congrats on the Hollywood interest and exploratory.

Got the bags packed for the baby countdown?

Declan Burke said...

Hi Patricia - Are the bags packed? My whole life is packed away at this stage. Who could have known babies were so much hassle, eh? And that's even before they arrive. Cheers, Dec

Gerard Brennan said...

This is the first I've read of the Hollywood interest. I'm well impressed! But like you said, with baby Burke on the way, forget all that. You'll be busy enough experimenting with caffeine-filled beverages and learning how to change a nappy before the bottle gets too warm. Best to limit your distractions for now.

Still, what a compliment, eh?


Lrakyawnoc said...

Hey Dec, that's great news on all fronts, congrats (I only heard about forthcoming baby Marlowe at xmas by the waw, great to hear ;)