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, June 17, 2011

Peace Comes Dropping Slow

I’m three-quarters way through the Red Riding quartet, and it’s fair to say that David Peace (right) is a rather intense writer. In fact, I’ve been reading the quartet sparingly, not least because it takes me a James Ellroy afterwards to come down from reading a Peace. I should add that Peace, on the evidence of the Riding Riding quartet at least, is a brilliant writer: he brings a rare quality of psychological intimacy to the page, and his stories get under the skin in the way that most writers, quite frankly, don’t.
  I have no idea what David Peace is like in person, but the good burghers of Belfast will find out at 6pm this evening, Friday 17th, when he takes to the stage for a conversation with Eoin McNamee as part of the Belfast Book Festival, with Andrew Pepper playing the dapper host. The event is titled ‘States of Crime: The State in Crime Fiction’, and should be an absolute cracker. All the details can be found here
  Later that evening, at 8pm, David Torrans will be interviewing John Banville at the Crescent Arts Centre, this to mark the publication of Banville’s latest Benjamin Black offering, A DEATH IN SUMMER (for a review, scroll down). Taken together, the Peace / McNamee and Banville / Black mash-up has the makings of a splendid night’s entertainment for the discerning crime fic fan.
  Meanwhile, the Belfast launch of DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS takes place on Saturday evening, also as part of the Belfast Book Festival, with David Torrans of No Alibis doing the honours, although the event itself will take place at the Crescent Arts Centre. Authors in attendance will include Brian McGilloway, Colin Bateman, Stuart Neville, Arlene Hunt, Niamh O’Connor, Eoin McNamee and Gerard Brennan, and if it’s half as good as the Dublin launch, it’ll be a terrific night for all concerned. For the full details, clickety-click here
  In other news, the confusion between Declan Hughes and Declan Burke is reaching crisis point - I’ve been contacted three times this week alone on Twitter by people presuming that I’m Dec Hughes. The first thing to say about that is that it sounds like Dec Hughes is having a much more interesting war than I am; the second is that, as I’ve pointed out before, Dec Hughes is the Declan with the looks and talent; I’m the other guy. Anyway, RTE’s Arena programme has very helpfully offered to put the Declan / Declan crisis to bed by featuring us both on tonight’s programme, in conversation about DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS, which airs at 7.30pm GMT. You can listen live here, but if you miss it, don’t worry: the archive will be up on Arena’s website within a day or two …
  Finally, the ladies at the Anti-Room blog were kind enough to yesterday feature Anti-Room contributor and author Arlene Hunt’s essay from DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS, ‘A Shock to the System’. The essay is reprinted in full, and is in my not-very-humble opinion well worth ten minutes of your time. The Anti-Room blog can be found here

1 comment:

Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks for clearing that up, Mr. Hughes.

And here's another thumbs-up for Arlene Hunt's essay.
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