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, December 9, 2012

On First Novels And Kitchen Sinks

“It really shouldn’t work,” begins Karen Chisholm’s review of EIGHTBALL BOOGIE over at AustCrimeFiction, which sounds a tad ominous, and things aren’t improved much when Karen starts listing the ways in which EIGHTBALL and its protagonist, Harry Rigby, really shouldn’t, erm, work.
  Happily, Karen’s time wasn’t entirely wasted in reading the novel. To wit:
“It’s undoubtedly something to do with the crisp, sharp, pointy, sticky, dark, hilariously funny writing throughout the book … Sure the plot probably needed a tourist guide, a very good torch and maybe a cheat sheet, but I ... simply ... did ... not ... care. I loved the whole package and frankly, had a ball reading it.” - Karen Chisholm, AustCrimeFiction
  Which is very nice indeed. Books-wise, the last couple of months at Chez CAP have been largely taken up with BOOKS TO DIE FOR and SLAUGHTER’S HOUND (the sequel to EIGHTBALL BOOGIE), and you do tend to forget that you have other books out there, like children grown up and gone off to discover the world, and reviews like Karen’s function a little like postcards from a distant land, or the past, or somewhere they do things differently.
  At the Crime Night event at Tallaght’s recent Red Line Books Festival, I asked Niamh O’Connor if there was anything about her first book she’d like to change. She said no, and asked if I’d like to change anything about my first book, and I said yes, pretty much everything. As Karen Chisholm points out (very nicely) in her review, the characters in EIGHTBALL BOOGIE crunch their way through the story across the porcelain shards of what feels like a million metaphorical kitchen sinks, said sinks having been (metaphorically) thrown by yours truly in a desperate bid to keep the book interesting.
  In short, it’s a hyper-ventilating love-letter to the crime novel in general and those of Raymond Chandler in particular, although it’s probably fair to say that I took his tongue-in-cheek advice on what to do should the pace ever flag - have a man come the door with a gun in his hand - a little too seriously. And yet, for all its faults I love it still. The way you might love a child, keenly aware of the ways in which it isn’t perfect, but loving it all the more because of its imperfections rather than despite them.
  For a sample chapter or three from EIGHTBALL BOOGIE, please feel free to clickety-click here

1 comment:

seana graham said...

It is a very fun and funny book. Somehow, I don't think you need a postcard to remember Lily as she goes off and discovers the world, though.