“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

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Embiggened O # 2,039: Whither Setting?

Yep, it’s Self-Aggrandizing Saturday, and your host this week is Doug Levin over at Levin at Large, who was kind enough to review our humble tome, with the gist running thusly:
“It’s a compelling, strange, and original novel … The ending is odd and amusing, combining farcical revelation and viciousness.”
  Thank you kindly, sir, your reward will be in heaven. Doug goes on to make some interesting points about the setting of THE BIG O – or, to be precise, it’s lack of specific setting. To wit:
“Many of the reviews / blurbs peg Burke as an Irish writer, which he is, but THE BIG O is not dripping with the overt markers of Ireland -- in terms of landscape, cultural reference, and so on … I like novels (and films) sometimes that seem as if they could be in any city or town, a generic place that could be almost anywhere. David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (1986), for instance, depends on its weird surreal, small town setting -- and some of its effect would be mitigated if we all thought the action was isolated to a place like Eureka, California, or Roseburg, Oregon.”
  I’m kind of split on this. I’m happy enough reading stories with non-specific settings, but sometimes I get a real hunger for an exotic setting, and usually one with plenty of sunshine splashing around. Anyone have any plans to set a crime novel in the South Pacific?


John McFetridge said...

A friend of mine is moving to Medellin, Colombia, which he tells me is the "City of Eternal Spring" and one of the most beautiful places in the world.

I'm thinking of visiting and setting a novel there, but I don't know if there's any crime in Colombia...

Declan Burke said...

Googled it, John, and couldn't come up with anything, sorry. District of Columbia, now, that's a different matter entirely ... Cheers, Dec