Tuesday, June 11, 2013

All I could drink with the author of All You Can Eat

But first, a pint or two with Kevin McCarthy, whose novel Peeler I liked so much a few years ago. That affable, insightful author talked about Ireland, about America, about the American city where we both lived at the same times years ago (I was the quiet one on the Green Line) and, before I knew it, I had a copy of his second book, Irregulars, in my book bag.

Peeler, I wrote:
"performed one of those acts of alchemy that always leave me in awe: It conveyed not just the facts of the novel's historical setting (the founding years of the Free State of Ireland), but also the feeling: the rural and urban poverty in West Cork, the moral uncertainty, and aching nostalgia for a time very recently passed, before the shooting started, when life seemed much simpler."
So I am excited to have Irregulars, and I'll keep you posted.

Then Kevin and I hied to the Porterhouse (I took a pint of the plain to keep my heart from sinking) to meet Ed O'Loughlin, who slapped his latest book into my hands. I had not heard of O'Loughlin before, but he was nominated for the Booker Prize, and he was smart enough to quit journalism when he looked around and found that the world's corps of foreign correspondents had been been slashed and cut and decimated to the point where it could fit comfortably into a snug at any bar in Ireland and still hear its lonely voices echoing off the walls.
***
Speaking of Irish authors new to me, Declan Burke has been throwing new names into the ring of late over at his Crime Always Pays, and no one knows more about Irish crime writing than Declan, even though he's sometimes too modest to show it.

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

Labels: , , , ,

12 Comments:

Blogger seana graham said...

And Declan's giving everyone a chance to win Irregulars over at his place right now. I'd go for it, except I haven't gotten to Peelers yet, though I have the ebook. I checked out O'Loughlin's website--his books sound interesting too.

June 11, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I am apprehensive that that Booker connection might scare people off, but I agree that Ed O'Loughlin sounds well worth a look.

Come on, go ahead. Try for Irregulars. I have occasionally liked a second book of a series so much that went back and read the first.

June 11, 2013  
Blogger R.T. said...

The Booker connection should not be an issue. Consider John Banville a.k.a. Benjamin Black. Books under the latter name (the crime novels) are better than those under the Booker prize winning name (so-called literary fiction). So, the Booker label ought not matter at bit--IF the fellow can write, and IF the publisher does the right kind of marketing! Both are keys to success. Many a good writer has languished without publisher support, and many bad writers have made tons of money principally because of marketing strategies. As the second category, does the name Dan Brown ring a bell?

June 11, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Dan who?

I have also heard withering criticism from readers of Banville's novels, and I was not thrilled with the one of Black's that I'd read. Someone I know who's judgment I trust, though, says the Blacks are getting better. And I give Banville/Black credit for sticking to his project.

June 12, 2013  
Blogger Kevin McCarthy said...

A great night in Dublin. Great chat and pints of plain...and cider and whatever you're having yourself. Really enjoyed it, Peter.

Ed's a pal, so take this as you will, but don't let the Booker listing put you off. His first novel, Not Untrue, Not Unkind, is a brilliant and very readable portrayal of the foreign correspondent in Africa, based on his own experiences there. His second, Toploader, is a near-future, dystopian satire on drone warfare. It's funny and profound and much of what's in it has proved to be scarily true.

June 12, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

A most enjoyable evening it was, yes. And I took a drop of the red last night.

Naw, the Booker stuff was just a jab at the prize, not at Ed. I'd have been able to tell from the descriptions of his books that he's no precious literary blowhard. And I look forward to All You Can Eat.

June 12, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

The Booker winners have been uneven, but Hilary Mantel certainly deserved it, and I have high hopes for Lydia Davis, as I've really liked her articles about translation.

I'd like to read O'Loughlin's drone book.

June 12, 2013  
Blogger R.T. said...

Seana, "uneven" is a kind description of the Booker Prize selections, but I think most book prizes have that problem.

As for reading O'Loughlin's book, isn't it remarkable that Peter so often comes up with really good reading recommendations? Maybe Peter deserves some sort of prize.

June 12, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

Yes, I've gotten countless good tips here. He's already won the Spinetingler Award for services to the crimewriting world, and I imagine there will be a few more like that before all is said and done.

June 12, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

As it happens, I've just come from an event that featured a Booker winner. I'll be eager to see if my question makes it into the version that RTE Irish radio broadcasts this summer. Yep, the question was John Banville on the occasion of his latest Benjamin Black novel.

June 12, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Aw, shucks!

June 12, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Speaking of recommendations, I bought City of Bohane today at the fine independent Gutter Bookshop in Dublin, which staged the Banville event. I had not heard of the book before, but it looks quite out of the ordinary for a crime novel.

June 12, 2013  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home