Monday, September 22, 2008

"No offence, Taoiseach ... but you're talking out of your hole"

It's easy to be charmed by a line like that, addressed to the Irish prime minister.

The line, which opens Garbhan Downey's novel Running Mates, confirms my suspicion that Downey might interest readers who enjoy Shane Maloney's novels about the put-upon Australian politico Murray Whelan. I am one of those readers.

The book is also the only comic crime novel I can think of that acknowledges the assistance of a political science professor.

More to come.

© Peter Rozovsky 2008

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5 Comments:

Blogger Gerard Brennan said...

Oh, you got a Downey book, then? Brilliant. I still haven't read that one, but Your Confidentially was a complete riot!

gb

September 22, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I remember Yours Confidentially from your recommendations, but I either forgot to look for it at No Alibis, or Dave may have been out of the book. But Declan Burke gave me this copy. At least I think he did. I bought and was given so many books on the trip (fewer than forty-three, though) that it's hard for me to remember which came from where.

September 22, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I've read a bit more of this one. Looks like Downey has quite a farce going on.

September 23, 2008  
Blogger Gerard Brennan said...

Yeah, based on my reading of Private Diary of a Suspended MLA and Yours Confidentially, the guy's a comic/satirical genius. A rudimentary knowledge of Irish politics helps, but I don't think it's completely neccesary to the enjoyment of his work.

I look forward to more from you on this one.

gb

September 23, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I wonder if Downey liked those classic French farces. Running Mates seems carefully constructed so far: Downey repeatedly slips in complications about which the reader knows more than do the characters. This, of course, adds to the comedy, and I haven't even reached what I think will be the main comic complication.

My knowledge of Irish politics is limited to knowing the approximately correct pronunciations of Fianna Fáil and taoiseach, but I'm still enjoying the book and likely will have more to say about it. Some of the early chapters are little lessons in Irish politics, assuming they're accurate. That would be a parallel with Shane Maloney's novels, though I think Downey goes into slightly more political detail, and entertainingly so.

September 23, 2008  

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