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, February 27, 2011

Once More, From The Top Loader

Ed O’Loughlin came storming out of the gates a couple of years back with NOT UNTRUE & NOT UNKIND, which garnered a 2009 Booker Prize longlist nomination, not bad going at all for a debut novel. His forthcoming tome, TOP LOADER, sounds a right rip-snorter, and is described in the jacket copy as ‘A darkly comic masterpiece in the tradition of M*A*S*H, CATCH-22 and SLAUGHTERHOUSE 5’. Crikey. Quoth the blurb elves:
Spying inside the Embargoed Zone is an expensive business, not to say risky, and Agent Cobra wants his wages in full. But his down-at-heel spymaster can only offer payment in kind - and the first thing he finds in an unattended storeroom. And so both men are sucked into the mysterious Toploader project, a race to retrieve a deadly secret from inside the world’s first - and best - walled-off terrorist entity. Also caught in the crossfire are a resourceful teenage girl, a gung-ho reporter, a hapless drone-pilot and at least one very unfortunate donkey. Toploader is about to make their lives a lot more dangerous, and an awful lot more bizarre …
  NOT UNTRUE & NOT UNKIND was given something of an edge given that former journalist O’Loughlin reported from Africa for the Irish Times for some years. He also worked as the Middle East correspondent for Melbourne’s The Age, which suggests that that yon ‘Embargoed Zone’, aka ‘the world’s first - and best - walled-off terrorist entity’, may or may not be based on the Gaza Strip.
  Either way, if NOT UNTRUE is any guide, O’Loughlin can write the hell out of a book, and ‘a darkly comic’ tale set in the Middle East sounds like a hell of a prospect. I’ll keep you posted as to how it goes …

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