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, May 11, 2008

The Best Things In Life Are Free … Books

Garbhan Downey’s follow-up to last year’s RUNNING MATES is YOURS CONFIDENTIALLY: LETTERS OF A WOULD-BE MP, with Gerard Brennan of CSNI declaring it “a laugh-out-loud-funny, fast-paced story and an entertaining education in the climate of Northern Ireland’s politics.” The rascal. Anyhoo, the Guildhall Press have been kind enough to offer us three signed (woo-hoo!) copies to give away, but first the blurb elves:
The Derry author’s fourth novel is a comedy-thriller set against the current British and Irish political landscape and it cements the former newspaper editor’s reputation as one of the sharpest political fiction writers on these islands. The story centres on an independent North Derry assemblyman, out to win himself a seat in the House of Commons and some real, honest-to-God power. To do that, he’s going to have sign a Faustian pact with a murderous gangster. But in a country where everyone bugs everyone else, all the time, it can only be a matter of time before the dubious deal is exposed. As with Downey’s PRIVATE DIARY OF A SUSPENDED MLA (described by the Sunday Times as “the Northern Ireland political novel of the century”), real politicians are given cameo roles. The cover design of YOURS CONFIDENTIALLY: LETTERS OF A WOULD-BE MP is by award-winning animator John McCloskey, whose film Crumblegiant was nominated for this year’s BAFTA.
Lovely. To be in with a chance of winning a copy, just answer the following question:
Is Derry officially known as:
(a) ‘Londonderry’;
(b) ‘Slash City’;
(c) ‘Yon other place in Norn Iron that’s not Belfast, whatchamacallit?’
Answers, along with an (at) rather than @ email address, via the comment box please, keeping the poisonous sectarianism to an absolute minimum, before noon on Tuesday, May 13. Et bon chance, mes amis


Keith Rawson said...

Is Derry officially known as:

Since I'm from the states, and all I know about Ireland comes from Bruen and the two Declan's, my anwear is:
(b) ‘Slash City’

Keith Rawson said...

yeah, this always happens, here's my e-mail


the answear is still slash city

Gerard Brennan said...

Bloody brilliant book!

I'm tempted to put my name in for it, even though I have a signed copy, but that'd be greedy. So, I'll do the noble thing and wish you good luck, people. And if you don't win it, you really should buy it.


Michael Stone said...

It's time I quit lurking and stood up to be counted! The answer is Londonderry.


Fiona said...

It depends on which side of the community you come from. Buuhht I'll grudgingly grant you the official London to the Derry. As of now. With my customary mental wince.

Then again, perhaps the Dutch still wince at New York. At least Derry wasn't renamed New London.


Glasgowian said...


Although isn't it strange that the city's football team plays in the league of a different country without the London prefix ? Or is it just me ?


Declan Burke said...

Glasgowian - it's not like the Candystripes play in the LOI by choice - they were kicked out of the Norn Iron version, if memory serves, for being Croppies who wouldn't lie down - aka, riot-starting, stone-throwing troglodytes at the Prod venues. Or was it just at Linfield? Still, we love 'em, the Harp-swilling rascals. Cheers, Dec

colman said...

b........coleman.keane (at)

Josh Schrank said...

Before trying to answer this one (and after reading all the answers thus far, I still have no idea what you lot are talking about), I have a question of my own. What is an "MP?"