Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Diary: The German Tour for THE BIG O

Well, that was a blast. The first leg of the German tour to promote THE BIG O (Edition Nautilus) was terrific fun, taking me from Berlin to Erfurt, on to Braunschweig, back to Berlin, hence to Hamburg, and finally to Unna, for ‘Mord und Hellweg’, the biennial crime fiction festival billed as the biggest in Europe.
  It’s been a crazy week. Highlights included hearing scenes from THE BIG O performed by actors (in German, natürlich – a bizarre experience for yours truly); a reading in front of an audience of 250 in a brewery in Braunschweig, which offered as much beer as you can drink with your admission ticket (why aren’t all literary events held in breweries? – discuss); a reading in a mortuary (!); a guided tour of Hamburg’s St. Pauli and Reeperbahn district (I made my excuses and left, eventually); and trying to explain the term ‘screwball noir’ to German audiences when I haven’t the faintest idea of what it might mean in English.
  The experience, as before, was made utterly painless by my friend, guide and translator, Robert Brack, who is better known in Germany as a best-selling and highly accomplished crime author. For some reason, his novels (35 and counting) have yet to be translated into the English language, although I’d imagine some savvy publisher will do so very soon.
  So – that’s it for the first leg; I’ll be back in Germany again in 10 days’ time, for a couple of sold-out gigs in Berlin. By which time I might even have come up with a definition of ‘screwball noir’ …