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, July 25, 2009

A Bloom By Any Other Name

Further to Adrian McKinty getting lumps kicked out of his latest novel, FIFTY GRAND, in the Irish Times this week, and in the interest of balance, we present a little nugget that slipped through the net from last month, in which Fintan O’Toole gits jiggy with James Joyce’s ULYSSES in – oh yes! – the Irish Times. To wit:
Is there a middle way between solemn worship on the one side and touristic antics on the other? How about thrillers? Anyone who can read a good thriller is half way towards being able to enjoy ULYSSES. Murder stories have a lot in common with Joyce’s masterpiece. They venture down the mean streets of the city. Their plots depend on a concentrated unfolding of time in which everything has to be carefully sequenced. Chance encounters acquire significance. The city, unknown at first, gradually yields up its hidden mysteries.
  This is why thriller writers have long been drawn to ULYSSES and also why thrillers can serve as excellent introductions to the book. Adrian McKinty’s recent hard-boiled, fast-paced THE BLOOMSDAY DEAD is as dark and violent as any thriller fan could demand, but it also serves as an intelligent homage to ULYSSES – not so much to its content as to Joyce’s way of telling a story …
  For the rest, clickety-click here


Michael Haskins said...

Dec, I got a copy of Fifty Grand when it first came out and loved it! Maybe the reviewer just doesn't like good mystery/thrillers! All of McKinty's books have been great.
Michael Haskins

Declan Burke said...

Can't argue with that, Michael ... I guess it was just the wrong reviewer for the book.

Cheers, Dec

Peter Rozovsky said...

Man, that was a nice excerpt, written with appreciation for McKinty and irreverence for Joyce.

It's just that sort of irreverence that could recapture the popular appreciation that audiences may once have had for Joyce, for Shakesepeare, and for God knows how many more authors whose names are likelier to intimidate readers than attract them.

But if the reviewer thinks "Bloomsday Dead" is dark and violent, he ought to read the first two novels in the series.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"