Sunday, July 17, 2011

Absolute Zero Cool

My friendship with Declan Burke predates this blog. I met him via an interview after I had reviewed his novel The Big O, the appeal of which has not diminished with the passage of three years. He is a splendid person, a good friend and confederate, and has bucked me up more times than I care to remember as having needed to be bucked up.

His new book, Absolute Zero Cool, was officially released on July 7, though the big party will be August 10 at the award-winning Gutter Bookshop, Temple Bar, in Dublin. Stop by and hoist a pint or three; say “Dana sent me” and I’m sure Dec will give you a hale fellow well met slap on the back. (He’ll do it, anyway, but I always wanted to tell someone to say, “Dana sent me,” and this was my chance.)

My copy was pre-ordered and is winging/floating its way across the Atlantic Ocean to me as we speak. It will get bumped immediately to the head of my To Be Read queue, as a brief taste of an early draft told me this is something I’m going to want to read, and I’m already damned tired of waiting for it.

What’s that? Who the hell am I to tell you what to read, since I’ve already said I’m in the tank for Dec? Fine. Don’t take my word for it. To hell with you. Do yourself a favor, though, and see what others, people who have actually demonstrated some game, say about Absolute Zero Cool:

“A genuinely original take on noir, inventive and funny. Imagine, if you can, a cross between Flann O’Brien and Raymond Chandler.” – John Banville, author of THE SEA

Who in their right mind would want to blow up a hospital?

“Close it down, blow it up – what’s the difference?”

Billy Karlsson needs to get real. Literally. A hospital porter with a sideline in euthanasia, Billy is a character trapped in the purgatory of an abandoned novel. Deranged by logic, driven beyond sanity, Billy makes his final stand: if killing old people won’t cut the mustard, the whole hospital will have to go up in flames.

Only his creator can stop him now, the author who abandoned Billy to his half-life limbo, in which Billy schemes to do whatever it takes to get himself published, or be damned . . .

“ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL is unlike anything else you’ll read this year … Laugh-out-loud funny … This is writing at its dazzling, cleverest zenith. Think John Fowles, via Paul Auster and Rolling Stone … a feat of extraordinary alchemy.” – Ken Bruen, author of AMERICAN SKIN

Advance Praise for ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL:

“Stop waiting for Godot – he’s here. Declan Burke takes the existential dilemma of characters writing themselves and turns it on its ear, and then some. He gives it body and soul … an Irish soul.” - Reed Farrel Coleman, author of EMPTY EVER AFTER

“Declan Burke has broken the mould with ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL, which is actually very cool indeed. Funny, inventive and hugely entertaining crime fiction - I guarantee you’ll love it.” - Melissa Hill, author of SOMETHING FROM TIFFANY’S

“If you want to find something new and challenging, comic crime fiction is now the place to go … Declan Burke [is] at the vanguard of a new wave of young writers kicking against the clich├ęs and producing ambitious, challenging, genre-bending works.” - Colin Bateman, author of NINE INCHES

“ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL is a surreal rollercoaster of a read, full of the blackest humour, and yet poignant. An outrageously funny novel ... The joy is in the writing itself, all sparky dialogue and wry observation, so smooth that when it cuts, it’s like finding razor blades in honey.” - Deborah Lawrenson, author of THE LANTERN

“Burke has written a deep, lyrical and moving crime novel … an intoxicating and exciting novel of which the master himself, Flann O’Brien, would be proud.” - Adrian McKinty, author of FIFTY GRAND

Now that your appetite has been whetted, you can queue up for your copy here.