Saturday, June 11, 2011

A hundred shades of emerald: Down These Green Streets

Down These Green Streets, newly published by Liberties Press under the editorship of Detectives Beyond Borders friend Declan Burke, bears an ambitious, ambiguous subtitle: Irish Crime Writing in the 21st Century.

Is this a book of Irish crime writing, or is it about Irish crime writing?  It's both, plus memoir, interview,  criticism, literary and film history, and a useful reading list, and that's just on my first dip into the book. Oh, and the collection does not confine itself to the 20th century, either. Early highlights:
Stuart Neville offers a tear-jerking punch in the gut of a  story called "The Craftsman," and Ken Bruen has an emotional Jack Taylor piece I can't discuss objectively because I knew the main character.

© Peter Rozovsky 2011

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12 Comments:

Blogger seana said...

Just ordered mine through Book Depository.

June 11, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, I wonder what one wishes to someone about to read such a book. Slainte, maybe.

June 11, 2011  
Blogger seana said...

I think maybe you wish that they don't get any crazy ideas from it.

Seriously, I've been watching Burn Notice lately, and it's really not good for my latent criminal tendencies.

June 12, 2011  
Blogger Robert Carraher said...

I look forward to this one...I may just have to rearrange the TBR pile.

June 12, 2011  
Blogger Declan Burke said...

Peter -

Much obliged for the mention, sir. Really appreciate it.

Ken Bruen's story is a killer, isn't it?

Cheers, Dec

June 12, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, I've got no criminal ideas from it, but it has made my to-read list longer. I should have more to say on this subject in a post toward the beginning of the week.

June 12, 2011  
Blogger Jenni Wiltz said...

Thanks for mentioning this book! I probably wouldn't have heard about it otherwise.

I read O'Flaherty's "The Informer" in one of my grad classes (Masterpieces of Irish Lit). We also read Banville's "The Newton Letter," although I have yet to read any of his Benjamin Black novels. Perfect timing now that it's summer.

June 12, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Robert, the book looks well worth a place in the pile. It may well enlarge the pile, too.

June 12, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Declan, this can't have been the easiest book in the world to plan; it includes such a wide range: fiction, history, essays, and so on.

Ken's story is a killer, all right. It hit me like a punch when I saw the main character's name. But you know what? The fictional version is as engaging as the real one, though perhaps more prone to act with violence when the situation calls for it.

June 12, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Jenni, I read O'Flaherty's "The Assassin," and I bought a hardback edition of "The Informer" a while back in a nice old jacket.

"The Book of Evidence" predates Banville's Benjamin Black novels. That's what caught my attention, that he was writing about crime before the decided to write crime novels.

June 12, 2011  
Blogger Declan Burke said...

Peter -

John Banville's debut novel was Nightspawn, which according to the jacket copy "toys with an implausible plot, the stuff of an ordinary 'thriller', shadowed by political intrigue."

The Untouchable is a spy novel, a kind of a fabulist version of Le Carre.

And there's actually a Freddie Montgomery trilogy, which is The Book of Evidence, Ghosts and Athena.

Athena features a Detective Hackett. A forerunner of Benjamin Black's Inspector Hackett?

Cheers, Dec

June 12, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I like the idea that he was attracted to the stuff of crime writing and thrillers before he started writing them. But then, the Black/Banville hulaballoo was almost entirely about his personality rather than his writing. Maybe Glynn's article (and your interview) will get people thinking about the work rather than the noise and controversy.

June 12, 2011  

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