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, October 19, 2008

The Embiggened O # 3,043: A Shame-Faced Confession

Another couple of nice big-ups for THE BIG O arrived in during the week folks, the first courtesy of Patrick at The Poisoned Pen Blog, the gist of it running thusly:
“At long last we’re seeing a whole generation of Irish crime fiction emerging, and it’s fascinating that an island as small as Ireland can produce such a variety of different styles – Bruen’s brilliant, tormented Jack Taylor novels, Tana French’s wicked psychological Dublin gothics, Colin Bateman’s Ulster-set comic epics, and now Declan Burke .... THE BIG O seems to me a classic underworld caper in the same vein as Ray Banks or Allan Guthrie, but with a freshness and often satirical edge that distinguishes it from the lot. A hell of a lot of fun to read.”
  Thank you kindly, sir. Actually, while we’re on the topic of Poisoned Pen – one of the highlights of John and Dec’s Most Excellent Adventure Road-Trip Thingy was arriving at Harcourt publishers to sign ‘some copies’ of THE BIG O ordered by Poisoned Pen in Arizona, only to discover a pile teetering 50 copies high. Small potatoes to more established writers, maybe, but it just about blew my cotton socks off …
  Meanwhile, Jen over at Jen’s Book Thoughts is no less generous in her appraisal of our humble tome, to wit:
“Burke’s juggling act in this plot is really genius. How he makes everything somehow link together is amazing. I kept picturing the flow chart he had to have while he was writing to make sure there were no loose ends … THE BIG O is funny, at times ridiculous or even absurd, and just plain entertaining. It’s a fun book; enjoy it - don’t look for enlightenment!”
  Yep, that’s my philosophy too. Fun, fun, fun, and hope Daddy doesn’t take the T-bird away ...
  Just one thing, Jen – kind and all as you are to big-up my plotting chops, I don’t actually plot. Unless sitting down of a morning thinking, ‘Hmmm, I think I’d like this bit to end with a funny’ amounts to plotting. Planning ahead? Like, where’s the fun in that? I much prefer to just drop characters into situations they don’t like very much, and then watch them bounce around trying to get out of it.
  I guess it goes back to the idea of the writer being a God-like, omniscient creator. You think God plots? If He does, He might want to think about just winging it next time around …

1 comment:

Gerard Brennan said...

You think God plots? If He does, He might want to think about just winging it next time around …"

Deliciously nihilistic, sir.