Fellow scribe and all round good egg Declan Burke – last seen round these parts as editor and shepherd for the excellent Down These Green Streets – has a new novel about to bounce free. Absolute Cool Zero, which I had the pleasure to read a number of drafts ago, will be launched in The Gutterbook Shop in Temple bar on the 10th of August.
Laugh out loud funny in places, Twin Peaks-tastic in others, Absolute Cool Zero kept me up a number of late nights snuffling and tittering as Billy Karlsson dragged me from one jaw-dropping scene to another. Entertaining, yes it certainly is, but hey, what do I know? Oh no, wait! I’m right, and I’m not alone.
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 . . .
“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
“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
“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 clichés 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
And there you have it folk, Absolute Cool Zero is a cracking adrenaline popping roller coaster of a novel. I heartily recommend it, so pop along on the 1oth of August guys and gals; in all good book shops thereafter.