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, June 26, 2011

More GREEN STREETS Reviews: Yay! (And Nay. From Fay)

Another day, another review for GREEN STREETS. Well, two to be precise. Over in the Sunday Independent, Alison Walsh offers two thumbs up. To wit:
“In DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS: IRISH CRIME WRITING IN THE 21st CENTURY, editor Declan Burke puts a shape on the story of Irish crime writing in an admirably thorough compendium of essays, interviews and short fiction. It’s everything you want to know about (Irish) crime fiction, its roots and varied influences, but it also offers a vivid insight into the dark heart of modern Ireland.” - Alison Walsh
  We thank you kindly, ma’am. For the rest, clickety-click here
  As for the ‘Nay’, that came courtesy of Liam Fay over in the Culture section of the Irish edition of the Sunday Times (no link, as the ST is behind a paywall). If you were here yesterday, you’d have seen a piece I wrote defending the book against the slings and arrows of the review, but really, life’s too short for that class of a malarkey, and I’m getting too old. If the man didn’t like the book, then the man didn’t like the book. End of story.


  I didn’t want to upload the review until such time as I had a link, but Alex Meehan of the Sunday Business Post weighed in with yet another fine review of GREEN STREETS yesterday, with the gist running thusly:
“DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS is notable for its compelling and accessible history of crime fiction in Ireland. This is an obligatory title for serious fans of Irish crime fiction - and there’s also enough here to hold the interest of the casual reader.” - Alex Meehan
  For the rest, clickety-click here
  Not a bad weekend, then, with big-ups from the Irish Times, Sunday Independent and the Sunday Business Post. As for Liam Fay, well, maybe we’ll tickle his fancy a bit more next time out …


@frankamcgrath said...

As John Banville wrote: "Summoned, one shuffles guiltily into the department of trivia..."

Ayo Onatade said...

Does he actually read crime fiction himself? As much as he is entitled to his own views I personally sense that he seems to be rather put out. Could it be jealousy?

Declan Burke said...

Frank - Not sure if it's myself or Liam Fay that's guilty of trivia, but I'd argue otherwise in both cases.

Ayo - I honestly don't know if Liam Fay reads crime fiction, although he seems to be well-acquainted with the names involved, certainly. Besides, the book should stand up on its own merits, and not depend overly much on the reviewer's knowledge of the topic. Is he jealous? I very much doubt it.

Cheers, Dec

John McFetridge said...

"... A genre that's grown too big for its gumshoes," is clever.

And I like the line about the "big secret," and I'd say that crime is central to that secret. Well, crime, hypocrisy, deceit - all that stuff that the genre is mostly about may actually give us some insights into our world.

lil Gluckstern said...

Like it or not, Irish crime fiction has become a force to be reckoned with, and your book does a lot to show why. I get put off by reviewers who are guilty of pretensions themselves and then put the books they review in that category. "Green Streets" is fairly unique in my viewpoint and interesting, and a pleasure. There is something going on-a lot of our crime shows in the US are featuring Irish actors, their accents intact. There is no doubt in my mind that Irish fiction has made an impact, and it is spreading.

seana said...

Declan, I know the negative reviews always go deeper than the positive ones, but I wouldn't trouble yourself over this one. If David Park says it's good, it's good. Enough said.

Andrew said...

Isn't Fay's schtick that he doesn't really like anything? Generally that's what his TV column was about. And for the most part he was on the money until he lost all credibility by bigging up the 'comedy' of David McSavage.

Read the review in the ST - badly thought out, with so many straw men you have to wonder what his agenda is, if it's not just the usual Fay schtick of hating everything (which seems to be tied in with the ST's editorial/review stance on Irish culture).

The book wouldn't have been published at all if the essays were as badly and lazily written as Fay's review.

Josh Schrank said...

Dec, Congrats on yet another fine published work. Every time I pop in here you seem to have a surprise waiting for me. Keep it up and pretty soon I'll have to admit that I am impressed. ;) I hope you and the family had a wonderful spring and that the summer is gentle to all of you.