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, January 19, 2013

A River Runs Through It

Peter Murphy’s new novel, SHALL WE GATHER AT THE RIVER, is a fabulous work of imagination, incorporating Irish mythology, eternal sound, early rock ‘n’ roll and Old Testament proselytising – all set against the backdrop of a mysterious ‘cluster suicide’. I sat down with Peter Murphy a couple of weeks ago to interview him for the Irish Examiner, and the result begins a lot like this:
PETER Murphy’s Shall We Gather at the River is a novel in full spate, a torrent of ideas bursting its banks with every turn of the page.
  “For me the great under-trumpeted element in modern Irish fiction is imagination,” says Murphy.
  “We talk about craft, we talk about realism and social realism, we talk about humanity and the pressing issues of the day. But for me imagination is supreme above all of them. It just comes from when I was a kid, walking home from school. I didn’t live in the real world. One day [Enniscorthy] would be a Martian colony, the next a dystopian Bladerunner-type landscape — whatever I was playing at that day. And that really never left me.”
  Set in ‘a mythic space’ that strongly resembles his native Wexford, the novel is Murphy’s second offering. His debut, John the Revelator (2009), was also set in Wexford, although not for reasons of geographical familiarity.
  “There’s something about the prime elements of the area,” he says with a grin, “there’s a fair old mythical bang off it. There’s something coming off it that’s quite extraordinary.”
  For the rest, clickety-click here

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Srikanto Bormon said...
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