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, January 14, 2011

Don’t Mourn. Organise.

Yesterday I read yet another well-meaning op-ed piece in the Irish Times on the current state of this benighted isle, which claimed that the Irish peopled feel ‘humiliated’ by recent economic events, which culminated in the EU / IMF bail-out of Ireland.
  Now, the first thing to say about that is that Ireland wasn’t bailed out by the EU / IMF. The Irish banks were bailed out, so as to save the lily-white asses of those European bankers who loaned vast sums of money to Irish bankers without first checking to see if the Irish bankers were possessed, at the very least, of the wit to use an abacus. The Irish people will pay for it, certainly, and will continue to do so until such time as we get a government with the cojones to tell the EU / ECB to go take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut, tell the gamblers who took a punt on Irish banks that they lost, and that the casino is now closed for essential repairs.
  The second thing, arguably more important, is that no one I know feels even remotely ‘humiliated’ by the economic wreckage. Why should they? They had nothing to do with dodgy lending practices, and certainly didn’t benefit from same. No, everyone I know is angry at the fact that the country was (and still is) being run by a greedy, corrupt and cretinous golden circle of politicians, money-men and sundry fuckwits who treat the place like their personal fiefdom. I can’t and won’t speak for exactly how everyone else is feeling, but I can tell you how I feel: a cold, black, poisonous rage.
  I’ve been reading reports that suggest that the Fianna Fail meltdown in the coming election could be so profound as to result in as few as nine FF TDs being returned to the next Dail. In my opinion, that’s not nearly enough. The coming election is the best opportunity the Irish people will ever get to wear Fianna Fail down to the very nub, and with the grace of all that is sacred, wipe it out entirely. Nits, as they say, grow into lice. Or, in the last words of Joe Hill: “Don’t mourn. Organise.”
  All of which is to say that Gene Kerrigan’s latest offering has the perfect title: THE RAGE. Gene’s previous novel, DARK TIMES IN THE CITY, was a brilliant slice of urban noir, and was nominated last year for a CWA gong; as a journalist, Gene Kerrigan has been reporting for more years than he cares to remember on the (putting it politely) follies and foibles of our governing class, and I’m already sweaty-palmed at the prospect of discovering exactly what he has to say, in the guise of fiction, about what’s happened to Ireland in the last couple of years. Quoth the blurb elves:
Vincent Naylor is a professional thief, as confident as he is reckless. Just ten days out of jail, and he’s preparing his next robbery. Already, his plan is unravelling. While investigating the murder of a crooked banker, Detective Sergeant Bob Tidey gets a call from an old acquaintance, Maura Coady. The retired nun believes there’s something suspicious happening in the Dublin backstreet where she lives alone. Maura’s call inadvertently unleashes a storm of violence that will engulf Vincent Naylor and force Tidey to make a deadly choice. THE RAGE is a masterpiece of suspense, told against the background of a country’s shameful past and its troubled present.
  Gene? Bring. It. On.


David Corbett said...

I'd be curious how much of Kerrigan's stories are made up from pieces his newspaper bosses hoped to bury. Desperate for truth, we turn to fiction. This looks like a must read. Thanks Mr. B.

kathy d. said...

Agree with your sentiment about the Irish people and the bankers, and all of it.

What candidate would do any better than the current one? After all, governments all over Europe are falling prey to the EU and IMF, and the bankers, and imposing austerity programs and layoffs on their populations. Who is an alternative?

I think the whole system is corrupt and needs a major overhaul.

Also, more mysteries need to have bankers, hedge fund managers, corporate CEO's, as the villains.

They are in the real world.