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.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Kindleness Of Strangers

I had a piece published in the Irish Times today on ebook pricing, which featured contributions from Stuart Neville, Arlene Hunt, Allan Guthrie, Eoin Purcell and John Mooney. The gist, essentially, can be summed up by the pull-quote used for the piece, which runs as follows: “Isn’t it reasonable for readers to expect ‘deep discounts’ on ebooks, given that a publisher’s costs are comparatively lower than for a print edition of exactly the same book?” The answers, as you might expect, were many and varied, and in some cases quite surprising. For the full piece, clickety-click here
  As it happens - and this may be a good omen - today was also the day that Liberties Press delivered a ‘deep discount’ on the ebook version of ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL, which is now retailing for $2.99 on, and (roughly, as I can’t see the pricing for ebooks on £2.50 on
  I’d suggested the price drop about three weeks ago, to coincide with the North American publication of AZC, but things being what they are, and everyone being so busy, it’s taken until now for the price reduction to kick in. Which is a pity, because it would’ve been nice to have AZC arrive in North America with a little wind in its sails - but hey, the important thing is that it’s now abroad on the high seas, as it were, and bound for ports unknown, heavily dependent on the (koff) kindleness of strangers …
  If I may be so bold (koff-koff) as to offer you the most recent reviews for said humble tome:
“Metafiction? Postmodern noir? These and other labels will be applied to Burke’s newest; any might be apt, but none is sufficient. ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL is largely a literary novel that draws on history, mythology, and literature … Noir fans may not care for this one, but lovers of literary fiction will find much to savour.” - Booklist

“Burke sprinkles his way-outside-the-box noir with quotes from Beckett, Bukowski, and other literary names as he explores the nature of writing and the descent of personal darkness. Those looking for a highly intellectual version of Stephen King’s THE DARK HALF will be most satisfied.” - Publishers Weekly

“ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL starts a slow burn that ultimately builds to a literally explosive conclusion … Wickedly sharp, darkly humorous, uncommonly creative and brilliantly executed.” - Elizabeth A. White

“Stylistically removed from anything being attempted by his peers … [a] darkly hilarious amalgam of classic crime riffing (hep Elmore Leonard-isms and screwballing) and the dimension-warping reflections of Charlie Kaufman or Kurt Vonnegut. Like the latter’s SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE, ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL sees another Billy “come unstuck” in what is, frankly, a brilliant premise.” - Sunday Independent
  The book is currently at # 240,091 on the US Kindle charts, and # 37,514 on the UK Kindle charts, and is currently working off a five-star average on eight reviews, so it’ll be interesting to see if the drop in price drives up the sales rate - or, put another (and more important) way, gives more people the opportunity of reading the book. Which would be very nice indeed. I’ll keep you posted as to how it goes …
  Oh, and while I have you - I’ll be appearing at the Hodges Figgis Crime Night tomorrow night, Wednesday, February 22nd, in the very fine company of Arlene Hunt (THE CHOSEN) and Conor Brady (A JUNE OF ORDINARY MURDERS). If you’re around Dublin tomorrow evening, we’d love to see you there …

UPDATE: As of Wednesday afternoon, 4pm, ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL is currently # 20,885 on, and # 7,463 on Oh, and apparently the book is priced at £1.95 on, and thanks for the tip-offs, chaps.


Gerard Brennan said...

UK pricetag is £1.95. That's cheaper than mine!



concerned of norway said...

Bought. Maybe $2.99 is cheap in extremis, but ebooks for 20 plus bucks don't work for me.

Peter Rozovsky said...

It's £1.95 in the UK.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Joe Joyce said...

I love "the kindleness of strangers": another of your brilliant phrases.