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.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Rum Punch Drunk: Yep, It’s Another Elmore Leonard Comparison

Those precious few among you who have read CRIME ALWAYS PAYS - how few! how precious! - will be aware that it is an ebook release, and a sequel-of-sorts to THE BIG O. The reasons why it’s an ebook release are so complicated, pathetic and boring that even I’m sick to the back teeth of them; suffice to say, even if you don’t own an e-reader, the novel is now available to download straight to your desktop computer. So far it’s garnered very little by way of review, mostly because I don’t have the time to go promoting it the way I should, but those that have come in have been very gratifying. The latest is from Sean Patrick Reardon, a relatively recent addition to the ranks of readers of this blog, and the gist of his review runneth thusly:
“CRIME ALWAYS PAYS is a continuation of the cleverly written, fast paced, and gut-busting romp, THE BIG O …
  “The story is not so much a sequel as it is a continuation of the lives of the awesome cast of characters, how their lives intersect, and all of the resulting action, mishaps, and follies that result. There is enough ‘flashback dialogue’ to get the gist of what happened in THE BIG O, so reading it is not mandatory, but I highly recommend doing so for the sheer enjoyment, and it does help when reading this instalment.
  “Mr. Burke has a unique talent for creating characters and dialogue, and coupled with the solid story, CRIME ALWAYS PAYS delivered on every expectation I had before I started.
  “The comparisons to Elmore Leonard’s style are warranted and deserved, but Mr. Burke has managed to put his own unique spin on it. As an avid reader of Mr. Leonard, I can honestly say that I have never laughed out loud as much when reading his novels as I did when reading both of Mr. Burkes. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of suspense throughout the story, but it is so damn funny at times.
  “For anyone looking for some escapism, a great read, and a lot of fun, CRIME ALWAYS PAYS is for you. The style of narration, dialogue, characters, and the situations and how they play out in the story, are to me reminiscent of Guy Ritchie’s crime capers.”
  I thank you kindly, Mr Reardon.
  Meanwhile, if you glance to your left, you’ll see that the venerable Glenn Harper of International Noir had this to say:
“CRIME ALWAYS PAYS is part road movie and part farce, reminding me sometimes of Elmore Leonard, sometimes of Allan Guthrie, sometimes of Donald Westlake and sometimes of the Coen Brothers – sometimes all at once.”
  And if you scroll down a little further, you’ll see that the equally venerable Colin Bateman recently had this to say over at the Guardian blogs:
“If you want to find something new and challenging, comic crime fiction is now the place to go … Declan Burke [is] at the vanguard of a new wave of young writers kicking against the clichés and producing ambitious, challenging, genre-bending works.”
  So: if you’re intrigued by new, fresh, smart and subversive writing, clickety-click here for a free sample.
  If you’re not, fuck away off somewhere else and stop clogging up my bandwidth.
  And have a nice weekend y’all, y’hear?


Sean Patrick Reardon said...

I also think that like Colin Bateman referenced, Westlake and Guthrie are worthy and deserved company for a "you might like this" recommendation.

I read CAP as a PDF on my laptop, it was rather a pain in the arse, but, I was able to read some at work (shhh). I can say that I would have enjoyed it more in print, or iPad, Kindle, etc...but since none of those are otions for me yet, for $1.99, and knowing that the author gets a good share of that, I certainly can't complain. I hope CAP does go into print, but for e-reader devices CAP is cetainly a worthy investment, and as much as I love print books, the wave of the future.

Dana King said...

I may have the only bound copy of CAP, as I printed it out and my Beloved Spouse put it between covers for me. (She's a genius about crafty thing like that.) It now holds a respected place on my shelf, next to THE BIG O and EIGHTBALL BOOGIE, where I occasionally glimpse it and wonder what those arseholes will get up to next.

Declan Burke said...

Sean - much obliged, sir. Very kind of you.

Dana - "I occasionally glimpse it and wonder what those arseholes will get up to next."

Succinctly put, sir.

Cheers, Dec

Anonymous said...

Please pass this along to your publisher.

Having read many wonderful comments about the talents of writer Declan Burke I was eager to buy one of his books. I live in the United States and can not afford the price of hardcover books. This means I am forced to get an e-book, wait for the paperback, or buy the book used. I was excited to see the e-book "Crime Always Pays" available and bought it immediately. Because it is a continuation of his book "The Big O" I was willing to wait to read the two books in proper order.

Understand, I was eager to spend $9.99, even $12.99 for "The Big O". Instead I was forced to give up waiting and I bought the hardcover for around $3.25. I doubt you or Mr. Burke will see any of that $3.25. Why did you not want my money?

I buy many books. I have over 500 on my Kindle and twice as many in print. The number of books I buy is the reason I can not afford the cost of new hardcovers.

How difficult is it to take a finished book and turn it into a e-book? Wouldn't the cost of converting a hardcover book to an e-book be less than converting the same book to trade or mass market formats? So the financial risk can not be the reason you don't want my money.

Apparently profits are so high for your publishing firm that you don't need the $9.99 or $12.99 from the masses. The old saying, "every little bit helps" may be unknown overseas.

Please, I would still like to buy an e-book version of "Eightball Boogie". I have my $9.99 ready just for you, Amazon, and Mr. Burke. Please, no more rejection. My Kindle and I are starting to take it personally.

Michael Shonk

lil Gluckstern said...

Please don't laugh (all right, you can laugh) I am 68 yrs. old and I love your writings. Your energy is just wonderful, and you make me laugh-a very important thing for an older person. I also admit I read your blog religiously, and think you have an adorable daughter. You seem to be a very nice man, not at all dark and brooding like so much of Irish Noir. I do love it, and read as many of you guys as I can.
Thanks for the pleasure,

Lil Gluckstern

Sean Patrick Reardon said...


I'm with you in that I would really like to read EIGHT BALL BOOGIE as well. Converting a print book to e-book is extremely cheap and easy to do, so there is no excuses from the publishers not to. I love the section in CAP when the young guys ask Doyle & Sparks if they "threw their knickers at John and Paul, when the Beatles were touring" I still crack up everytime I think of it. One of the many great lines in CAP!

Declan Burke said...

Hi Michael -

I appreciate you taking the time to comment, sir, and even moreso that you're willing to spend your hard-earned cash on my books.

As for the amount of effort it would take to turn a finished book into an e-book - very little, is the answer. I did it myself for CRIME ALWAYS PAYS, with no prior experience, in an afternoon.

These things, I'm afraid, are beyond my control for THE BIG O and EIGHTBALL BOOGIE. Also, the books are published by different publishers, which complicates matters even more.

I have been thinking on and off about self-publishing my next book straight to e-format, and comments such as yours, where you, a reader, detail your frustration at not being able to access a writer's books without having to deal with the middlemen, suggest that maybe it is the way forward. Thanks for the food for thought.

Cheers, Dec

Declan Burke said...

Hi Lil - Glad to hear you enjoy the blog, and delighted to have you on board, even if it appears that my best efforts at appearing dark and brooding have all come to naught. Oh well ...

You're also wise enough to know that the way to a man's heart is not through his stomach, as they say, but by complimenting his daughter. I thank you kindly, ma'am ...

Cheers, Dec

bookwitch said...

We need to start a club for mutual support and all that. We Who Have Read Crime Always Pays, WWHRCAP.

Dana - I have CAP printed on A4 paper stacked in a plastic folder. All done by my BS, at work...

Lily's Dad - go and practise the dark and brooding. But away from your ladies, in case they injure themselves laughing.

Declan Burke said...

Ms Witch - WWHRCAP is very probably the smallest, but undoubtedly the most perfectly formed, reading group in the world.

Mind you, WWHRCAP is but a thumb-slip from WWHCRAP ... is there a message here, perhaps?

Cheers, Dec

T.S. O'Rourke said...

Hi Declan!

Hope you and yours are doing fine!

I've also taken the plunge into eBook publishing, putting a bit more Irish Crime online.

You can find my stuff on - more to be added shortly. I have put my out of print stuff up there - but haven't looked at Smashwords closely yet....

Click on my name above the post to visit my Kindle Store...


Pepper Smith said...

Erm...I bought the Kindle edition of CAP for my computer a while back. Just haven't had time to read it yet.