Monday, August 05, 2013

McKinty makes the Ned Kelly shortlist

Kelly's Horse, by Sidney Nolan
Detectives Beyond Borders friend Adrian McKinty is a finalist for what may be the world's only literary award named for a man who wore a metal trash can over his head. The prize is the Ned Kelly Award for best novel, Australia's highest honor for crime fiction, and the shortlistee is Adrian McKinty, for I Hear the Sirens in the Streets.

Here's what Detectives Beyond Borders said about McKinty's novel, the follow-up to his The Cold Cold Ground:
"Like its predecessor, Sirens is a serious portrait of one man's progress through troubled times (early-1980s Belfast and Carrickfergus, the author's home town). Like The Cold Cold Ground, it feels organic. Every joke, every grim encounter, or musing on the crappy Irish weather, or setback or advance in the police investigation contains the seeds of the whole. And it's a hell of a whole; these books are as smart and fun and harrowing as crime fiction gets."
McKinty's competition includes Blackwattle Creek by Geoffrey McGeachin, whose name has come up here a time or two.

The awards will be presented by the Australian Crime Writers Association Sept. 7 as part of the Brisbane Writers' Festival.

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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40 Comments:

Blogger seana graham said...

I haven't read the other books, but Adrian certainly deserves some kind of award for this book.

I also think that Peter Carey's The True Adventures of the Ned Kelly Gang is among the best things he's written.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

You're right about McKinty. I have not read Peter Carey, but I think about reading the Ned Kelly book every time I look at Sidney Nolan's paintings. Most, if not all, are in Australia, but I saw them when they travelled to Boston for a special exhibition some years ago.

Geoff McGeachin is a pretty funny guy. I don't know if this book is comic, though.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Adrian, I was going to say I visited your second home this afternoon, but Newburyport may be your fourth, ninth, or twenty-eighth home. (I got a decent piece of fish cheap for lunch.)

I have a feeling you writers are going to get drawn into a piss-up whether you want to or not.

(I think you took Alex Rodriguez to task for saying he felt like was 18 again. I saw him play when he was 18. He booted a ground ball at Fenway Park.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

I hadn't heard of Sidney Nolan, but based on this painting, I'd like to see his work.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

My comment with fixed grammar:

That Peter Carey book is excellent.

I'm really pleased and honoured to be part of the Aussie crime writing fraternity (and sorority). I'll be in Brisbane for the Writers Festival that weekend. And not only is the 7th Ned Kelly Night its also election day here in Australia and the Prime Minister's home constituency is Brisbane. And the Wallabies (the Australian Rugby Union team) is playing South Africa in Brisbane that night too.

Its going to be completely chaotic.

And fun of course.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Seana

Nolan is an Australian institution. He went to my kids primary school: St Kilda Primary.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

Yeah Newburyport is my home away from home away from home. Newbrayport as I call it like the locals do. I hope you make it to Greta's Great Grains.

And yes win or lose I'll be well on the piss by the end.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

and did you watch that press conference from A Rod? I have rarely seen such disconnected narcissism and sociopathy on display like outside of a war crimes trial.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

It seems like all the famous artists come through your kids' primary school one way or another, Adrian. I seem to recall some visit by Shaun Tan.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger Dana King said...

I'm a little late to the party, but no less enthusiastic about the Troubles Trilogy. I second everything Peter said, and remember how hard these books were to read at my usual reading time, which is before bed. I found myself unable to fall asleep, thinking of what it must have been like to live in Ireland then, half afraid to go to school or the movies. Rarely have any books put the hook in me as have both of these.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, I don't remember if I had heard of Sidney Nolan before I cam upon his work in Boston that day. The Ned Kellys paintings are entertainingly cartoonlike (I love cgood artoons), and creepy at the same time. What are they like? I don't know, maybe an Ambrose Beirce story in pictures.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Adrian: I did not see the press conference. But it occurs tp me that interesting things happen when I return to Boston for a visit: I stumble upon Sidney Nolan, or I see Alex Rodriguez play during his first week in the major leagues (and see and hear fans ooh and ah when he arrived by taxi before the game,)

Much earlier this season, well before the big suspensions were discussed publicly, I saw a reference to A-Rod as one of the most hated players in the major leagues. I had got the idea that he was icy and distant, but I had not heard he was hated. I guess I was behind the curve on that one.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, I don't know if everyone who is anyone went to Adrian's daughters' school, but I do think every Austraian crime writer since the beginning in 1885 has lived in St. Kilda or set his stories there.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Dana: Stay home from work and read during the day.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Seana

Shaun Tan came to the school last year to do a teach an art class.

Its a very eclectic inner city public school with a wide variety of income levels, ethnicities and languages.

Theyve cultivated a really nice atmosphere.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

Yeah St Kilda features in the first Australian crime novel Death In A Handsome Cab and the first ever full length feature film (in the history of the world) which was in fact a crime drama: The Story Of The Kelly Gang

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0000574/

August 06, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Adrian: I knew about Fergus Hume's novel, but I had not known about the 1911 movie. You're turning into an Aussie chauvinist.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

Peter, he has to prove his Australian loyalties to certain factions around that Ned Kelly award. I think one of the McKinty birthers might be Carlos Danger.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Now, now. Our Adrian is a worthy addition to the Australian gene pool, just as he was to the American, the Irish, the British, and the Israeli.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

Tell it to Carlos, mate. In my opinion, they are lucky to have him.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Seana

Yeah that guy was trying to make some trouble for me but it backfired pretty badly for him as they've now clarified the exact position on for Australian permanent residents on the Ned Kelly website.

I dont think he was a disgruntled author - authors have more sense - I reckon he sounded more like a disgruntled publicist or an agent.

Anyway his goose his been cooked. On a barbie of course.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

I'm definitely a St Kilda, a Plum Island and a Carrickfergus chauvinist. Wont hear a word against them. Unless that word comes from me of course.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Criminy, couldn't he have come up with a better name than Carlos Danger?

August 06, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

I didn't think it was an author. An author would have realized that it was a waste of time to comment on the author's blog, when it wasn't the author who nominated his book for the prize. I would have said something over your place, but I didn't want to fan his fire.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

Well, he didn't say his last name, Peter, but that would have given it away, wouldn't it?

August 06, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Well, I plan to head up north again tomorrow, to Salem and possibly beyond, to Gloucester. I've never been to St. Kilda, but I like Carrickfergus just fine...best dulse outside New Brunswick.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Seana

He's been quiet since they clarified things at the Ned Kelly website but I'll be looking out for him on awards night - if I'm sober enough.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

Well I know Salem like the back of my hand as my father in law lives there. I'd recommend the Salem Beer Works for an end of the day drink before the train back. If you've been to the one in Fenway you'll be relieved at the mellow atmosphere in the Salem operation. I dont know what their seasonal beers are at the moment (obviously) but I'll bet they're good.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Yeah, Carlos Danger can't be his real name. No way, Jose.

As for what the guy is nor isn't, remember the sock-puppet scandals? People do all sorts of things one thinks they would not do.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

You have to be ready for the possibility that Carlos may be a woman. I mean, that's the way I'd play it if I were s/he.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Adrian: The friend I'm staying with is a lawyer who's on his way to the new Salem Superior Court tomorrow. I suggested he stop off at Salem Beer Works after court.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

P.S. I'm cadging a lift to Salem with my learned friend.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana: Unless Carlosita is really Carlos, but he signs his name Carlos because he thinks anyone reading would think exactly what you do.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

Or, his name could actually be Carlos.

I've actually known only one Carlos and he called me a bruja. Of course, we were in high school at the time, and though I'm not sure, I think it was mainly complimentary. Or at least, neutral.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Buenos noches, bru-- No, I can't bring myself to call you a bruja.

August 06, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

Thanks, Peter. But in some circles, bruja is actually a tribute.

Santa Cruz wiccan circles, I mean. Not that I belong to one.

August 06, 2013  
Anonymous Geoff McGeachin said...

Hi Peter,

The Charlie Berlin series is a long way from comic but I was bemused to hear Justice Betty King comment favourably on the humour in Diggers Rest Hotel before she handed over the Ned in 2011. It was more wry than broad as in the earlier books and so I wasn’t aware of any of it being ‘funny’.
I guess Australian humour can be funny that way.

Bit of a buzz getting the award from Supreme Court Justice King as she is something of a superstar down under after presiding over the trials of people involved in a series of brutal gangland murders in Melbourne. These murders have produced an avalanche of TV programs of rapidly diminishing quality all linked by the name ‘Underbelly’. They showcase vicious crime families, graphic violence, gratuitous nudity, obscene language and, because it’s Australia, all of it in primetime free-to-air. I’m surprised nobody has marketed Underbelly peanut butter, toothpaste or ice cream by this point.

You commented on cartoons and a good demonstration of the Australian sense of humour showing up in adversity is seen here in a cartoon by Stan Cross. This was published in Smiths Weekly in 1933 during the Great Depression, was reprinted as a poster by public demand and instantly became a treasured Aussie icon. Everyone likes a dick joke as the economy crumbles.
http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/latrobejournal/issue/latrobe-65/fig-latrobe-65-053a.html

And finally Adrian pointed out a strange and disturbing confluence of events with a federal election for a Queenslander PM and the Wallabies versus South Africa and a gathering of crime writers taking place in Brisbane on the same day – I for one will be filling the bath with water and stocking up on canned food.

P.S. I’m glad Carlos has been sorted. I was almost certain he wasn’t me because I always post my anonymous disparaging comments about other authors under the name Geoff M.
P.P.S. Somehow I feel the need to point out that I am indeed joking about that.

August 07, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana: Aha! Given your location, a Wicca presence is no shock, I suppose.

August 07, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Geoff: Thanks for pointing that out. One never knows when North Americans won't get irony.

The first cartoon that came up was "For gorsake, stop laughing." I like it, and will brose the rest at my leisure. Thanks for the link.

As for humor in crime books, some of my favorite and most effective such humor comes at the most serious moments. The darkest books can be the funniest.

August 07, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Adrian/Seana: Has anyone thought yet of calling him "Carlos the Jackass"?

August 07, 2013  

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