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, May 22, 2011

Stella: Reassuringly Expansive*

Charlie Stella (right), and especially JOHNNY PORNO, remains one of the glaring gaps in my reading over the last few years, not least because he appears to be something of an American Ken Bruen, beloved by his peers as a writers’ writer. That’s something I’m going to have to remedy in short order, because Charlie, unprompted, has gone the extra mile on behalf of EIGHTBALL BOOGIE. To wit:
“Clever writing is something I enjoy. So is smart writing. Add some black humor to the mix, dialogue that smacks you with a smile and a genuine sense that the author knows well the surroundings/history, etc., of which he (or she) writes and you have a perfect storm of terrific reading. Harry Rigby is a “research consultant” (clever in itself) ... a self-loather of the first ilk, but one with a sense of justice balanced by pragmatism; you do what you can when you can do it. He’s got a particularly nasty brother he hasn’t seen in four years, a wife who doesn’t love him/nor he her, but they share a son they both love dearly. Trouble brews when the wife of a prominent politician offs herself (except she didn’t -- it look more like murder) ... one of Harry’s few friends has the pictures ... there’s the beautiful Kate (brother, did I want a date with her--proving I have some of this self-loathing thing in me as well because her comebacks rival Rigby’s) ... treachery abounds and it’s Christmas, for fucks sake. No spoilers here, but this is terrific writing that shouldn’t be missed; something my compassionate friend Doc will thoroughly enjoy for sure (his being a Jack Taylor fan and all).
  “Harry Rigby, the ultimate anti-hero, fights his own demons (including a death wish except for protecting his son) and some of the corrupt and powerful in and around his home town when murder comes a knockin’ at Christmas ... nothing short of brilliant writing is the highlight of EIGHTBALL BOOGIE ... absolutely brilliant writing.” - Charlie Stella
  Funnily enough, I’d been chatting with someone else a couple of days ago about EIGHTBALL, and saying that it makes the classic first novel mistake of throwing the kitchen sink (and the rest) at it, in the hope of making a decent impression. Then I got home to find Charlie’s take on it waiting for me. Just goes to show, there’s no second-guessing how someone’s going to read your book …
  Anyway, bless your cotton socks, Charlie Stella.
  If you’d like to take a punt on Harry Rigby, the Kindle version of EIGHTBALL BOOGIE can be found here on Amazon US, here on Amazon UK, and here on Amazon Germany. And hey, if you like it, don’t be shy about letting me know. Such are the tiny triumphs that make this writer’s life worth living …

  * If you haven’t seen the ‘reassuringly expensive’ Stella beer ads of recent times, feel free to ignore this headline.

1 comment:

Paul D. Brazill said...

Post title of the week!