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.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Fertile, Fertile Ground

I interviewed Stuart Neville a couple of weeks ago, to mark the publication of STOLEN SOULS, and during the course of the conversation we discussed the fact that his new novel is a less political beast than his previous offerings, THE TWELVE and COLLUSION. Stuart had this to say:
“I know other writers are working in different directions on this,” he says. “I’ve just finished reading Adrian McKinty’s new book, THE COLD COLD GROUND, in which he dives headlong into the thick of the Troubles and the hunger strikes, which is admirable, I think. I do think the Troubles will be quite fertile ground for writers the further we move away from them, and the freer we are to write about them with a more dispassionate gaze.”
  We’ve already had some very fine novels set during the Troubles, of course, including Eoin McNamee’s RESURRECTION MEN and THE ULTRAS, and David Parks’ THE TRUTH COMMISSIONER, and Colin Bateman’s DIVORCING JACK. Adrian McKinty’s latest offering, THE COLD COLD GROUND works the same kind of ground covered by McNamee, setting his fictional tale against a historical backdrop, in this case the hunger strikes of 1981. My take runs thusly:
“The hunger strikes mark the bleakest period of Northern Ireland’s ‘Troubles’, and it’s entirely fitting that Adrian McKinty should be the writer to plunge into that darkest of hearts. It’s a rare author who can write so beautifully about such a poisonous atmosphere, but McKinty’s prose is a master-class in vicious poise as he explores the apparent contradictions that underpin Ulster’s self-loathing. Be in no doubt that this novel is a masterpiece: had David Peace, Eoin McNamee and Brian Moore sat down to brew up the great ‘Troubles’ novel, they would have been very pleased indeed to have written THE COLD COLD GROUND.”
  For more in a similar vein, from far better scribes and I, clickety-click on Adrian’s blog.
  Meanwhile, the novel is published on January 5th by Serpent’s Tail. If your New Year’s resolution is to only read great books next year, THE COLD COLD GROUND is the perfect place to start


Michael Malone said...

A review copy of this arrived on my doormat yesterday. See me with the big happy face.

Paul D. Brazill said...

Looking forward to that.

Peter Rozovsky said...

I hold forth on this admirable, impressive book over at my place. After I read it, I ordered a bunch of books by Eoin McNamee, including Resurrection Man and The Ultras.
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