“Declan Burke is his own genre. The Lammisters dazzles, beguiles and transcends. Virtuoso from start to finish.” – Eoin McNamee “This bourbon-smooth riot of jazz-age excess, high satire and Wodehouse flamboyance is a pitch-perfect bullseye of comic brilliance.” – Irish Independent Books of the Year 2019 “This rapid-fire novel deserves a place on any bookshelf that grants asylum to PG Wodehouse, Flann O’Brien or Kyril Bonfiglioli.” – Eoin Colfer, Guardian Best Books of the Year 2019 “The funniest book of the year.” – Sunday Independent “Declan Burke is one funny bastard. The Lammisters ... conducts a forensic analysis on the anatomy of a story.” – Liz Nugent “Burke’s exuberant prose takes centre stage … He plays with language like a jazz soloist stretching the boundaries of musical theory.” – Totally Dublin “A mega-meta smorgasbord of inventive language ... linguistic verve not just on every page but every line.Irish Times “Above all, The Lammisters gives the impression of a writer enjoying himself. And so, dear reader, should you.” – Sunday Times “A triumph of absurdity, which burlesques the literary canon from Shakespeare, Pope and Austen to Flann O’Brien … The Lammisters is very clever indeed.” – The Guardian

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Joke Before The War

I mentioned a couple of weeks back that I interviewed Dennis Lehane in a public Q&A at Eason’s in Dublin, and terrific fun it was, too. Earlier that morning, I also sat down with Lehane over breakfast, interviewing him for the Irish Times. The result kicks off thusly:
If anyone is still wondering whether Ireland is closer to Boston or Berlin, Dennis Lehane suggests that a certain kind of black humour provides the answer.
  “Boston’s Irish,” says Lehane, the Boston-born son of a Cork father and Galway mother. “Irish-American, okay, but Irish. So the Boston humour, it’s the sense that you might just want to comment on the fact that the world’s going to screw you, just before the world screws you. That makes it easier.”
  Raised in South Boston, Lehane is the critically acclaimed and best-selling author of THE GIVEN DAY (2008), MYSTIC RIVER (2001) and SHUTTER ISLAND (2003). The latter two novels were successfully adapted for the screen by Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorsese, respectively, while Ben Affleck directed Lehane’s GONE, BABY, GONE. That book was one of a series of novels featuring private eyes Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro, the most recent of which is 2011’s MOONLIGHT MILE.
  Over breakfast at the Merrion Hotel, Lehane is a warmly engaging font of anecdotes and forthright opinions, his no-nonsense approach to the craft of writing echoed in his considered responses and unaffectedly flat Boston vowels. For a man who has achieved at the age of 45 the kind of success most writers can only dream of, Lehane’s roots remain firmly buried in South Boston, his Irish heritage and particularly that sense of gallows humour.
  “My wife’s Italian, okay?” he says. “And she just doesn’t understand our people at all (laughs). It’s the Irish thing of, y’know, we’re not going to talk to a psychologist about our problems, we’re just going to make a joke and move on. Because it ain’t getting better. Whereas my wife will sit there and talk with her family, usually with their hands, about a situation for hours. And then she’ll be like, ‘Honey, what do you think about it?’ ‘Well, what I thought about it five hours ago.’ (laughs) I think what I love about where I grew up is that the people were terribly funny. And in a very caustic, off-hand way. And Patrick [Kenzie] has that sense of humour. The reason I was really happy to go back to Patrick and Angie with MOONLIGHT MILE was I missed telling jokes. I’d gone ten years without telling jokes in the work.”
  For the rest, clickety-click here

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great interview, Declan. Thanks for posting.