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Posts tagged ‘novel’

“Novels are all about commitment” – Colin O’Sullivan’s profile in Books Ireland Magazine

September 12, 2018

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Colin O’Sullivan, author of Killarney Blues (Winner of the Prix Mystère de la Critique 2018 in France), The Starved Lover Sings and The Dark Manual, features prominently in the latest issue of Books Ireland Magazine.

Nostalgic or futuristic, even visionary, his novels focus on characters “grappling with loss, the past and their lack of purpose”, in a turbulent political environment. But O’Sullivan firmly believes that “we have enough inside us to withstand, to cope, and eventually to surpass. We are still here, after all, or I should say, despite all.”

Meet a writer who “has an understanding of the power of words, their placing, their specific meaning” and “reflects the current malaise and modern preoccupations”*, “sends language out on a gleeful spree, exuberant, defiant”**, and who is “one of the finest storytellers out there, a lyrical master of the written word”***.

Books Ir & Colins books

* From a Book Noir review by Paul Burke

** Endorsement by writer Niall Griffiths

*** From a review by Marvin Minkler, Modern First Editions

 

 

 

Killarney Blues – Colin O’Sullivan

September 20, 2017

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A wonderful review of the French edition of Colin O’Sullivan’s KILLARNEY BLUES!

Mille (et une) lectures de Maeve

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Traduit par Ludivine Bouton-Kelly

Bernard est jarvey dans la petite ville de Killarney, en Irlande, dans le comté du Kerry. Si vous connaissez Killarney, vous avez sûrement rencontré ces conducteurs de calèche qui promènent toute la journée les nombreux touristes. Pourtant Bernard est mis au ban de la bourgade : il est considéré un peu comme l’idiot du village. On découvre qu’il aurait peut-être une forme d’autisme Asperger (mais cela reste une supposition). Cet homme a une passion : le blues. Dès qu’il peut, il gratte sa guitare et chante (mais chez lui). Il est incollable sur tous les bluesmen américains. Une passion que lui a transmise son père, décédé. Bernard est amoureux depuis son adolescence de Marian, à qui il envoie régulièrement des cassettes de ses enregistrements.

Quand s’ouvre le récit, Bernard se fait rosser par des hommes, à la sortie d’un pub. On ne sait pas pourquoi. Des…

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Three Chords and the Truth – Review

March 26, 2017

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The Venetian Vase

Hector Lassiter is one of the most compelling literary creations of recent years– a crime novelist who ‘writes what he lives and lives what he writes’. Lassiter was born January 1, 1900, and he witnesses some of the most tumultuous events of the twentieth century. Whether he finds himself at the heart of a murder mystery with the Lost Generation in 1920s Paris, or dodging the bombs and bullets with Ernest Hemingway during the Spanish Civil War, Lassiter is never far away from violence and intrigue. Three Chords and the Truth is the ninth and final novel in the Lassiter series, and, needless to say,  it was eagerly anticipated by the many fans of the series.

Craig McDonald is the author behind the author, the creator of Hector Lassiter and the writer of five more novels outside the Lassiter series. McDonald began his career as a journalist and still works in that…

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Video Extract of “The Painter’s Women” by Fionnuala Brennan

November 5, 2016

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“To my mind, Goya is one of the most enigmatic and influential painters in the history of art. In the novel I wanted to explore behind the scenes, to discover something more of the man and of his work. What better perspective to obtain than that of the women who were closest to him in his life? As they lived with Goya at different stages of his long and turbulent career, they have lot to say about the private character of the great artist as well as being able to tell us the background to some of his most famous art works.

Thus, to get a closer view of Francisco de Goya, I chose to create, to listen to, the voices of six women who knew him very well. One of them is the famous Duchess of Alba, feisty, flighty and fabulously wealthy. She appears more than any other woman in Goya’s art. There was much juicy gossip and speculation as to the nature of their relationship. This gossip finds a possible source in Goya’s portraits of the Duchess, especially the portrait in which the Duchess is painted in the black costume of a maja. She is standing on a sandy shore, her right hand points to an inscription in the sand, Solo Goya. On her fingers are two rings, a diamond ring bearing the name Alba and the other a gold ring inscribed Goya.

Maybe there is some truth in the rumours, or maybe not...

Fionnuala Brennan

The Painter’s Women is available here

Author Hadley Colt discusses which famous film portrayals influenced her ‘Sherlock Holmes’ novel, “The Red-Handed League”.

October 24, 2016

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From Hadley Colt’s Blog:

THE RED-HANDED LEAGUE & THE FACES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES

The faces of Sherlock Holmes: So many, so varied. Some so bewildering.

I’m specifically thinking about Mr. Holmes’ countless incarnations on film.

When you look over the list of actors who’ve taken on the task of playing Sherlock—and ifyou’ve somehow evaded forming your own opinions of The Great Detective—then you might believe the character to be wildly elastic.

There’s a vast range between Basil Rathbone and Benedict Cumberbatch; bigger still between Roger Moore (James Bond, The Saint) and Tom Baker (Rasputin…Doctor Who).

Even the guy who played Max Headroom got several turns as Holmes early during the previous decade.

The old black-and-white Rathbone films simply don’t speak to me. Not a smidge.

Rathbone’s Holmes is rigid, distant, and terribly off-putting to me.

The Basil-era Watson comes across as a daft old uncle slipping into senility. You can’t fathom the two men actually being able to spend a simple evening together in their Baker Street digs, let alone having a constructive partnership as crime fighters.

Surely, that Watson would drive that Holmes to murder.

Throughout much of the 1960s and 1970s, it seems to be there was more very bad miscasting: venerable but dull old British actors (Peter Cushing, John Neville) and some bewildering choices including George C. Scott and “I Dream of Jeanie’s” Larry Hagman (it’s true, look it up!).

Things started to improve, at least from my perspective, in the late 1970s, with Nicol Williamson’s haunted take on a cocaine-addicted Great Detective in Nicholas Meyer’s “The Seven-Percent Solution.”

Soon after came Christopher Plummer’s rather dashing Holmes in the under-rated “Murder by Decree.”

In both those iterations, Watson finally got an I.Q. up-grade courtesy of Robert Duval and James Mason.

brett-with-violinIn 1984, my definitive Holmes at last arrived in the person of Jeremy Brett.

Particularly in the early going of his sublime array of Granada adaptations, Brett for me embodies the Holmes that captivated me on the page.

Once Mr. Brett passed, it took over a decade of this new century to give me another Holmes in whom I could invest in and take to my heart in the person of Benedict Cumberbatch.

 

We all have our favorite or preferred takes on Holmes and Watson.

I know some actually prefer Robert Downey, Jr. and Johnny Lee Miller to Cumberbatch. I don’t get it, but to each his own, right?

When it came time to put my spin on Sherlock Holmes for my new novel, The Red-Handed League, I was aiming for a synthesis of the younger Jeremy Brett and the current Cumberbatch versions of Holmes.

Given the chance, how would you portray Holmes and Watson? Who would you be seeing in your mind’s eye as you tried to restore them to life on the page?

***

Find out if Hadley Colt has created your perfect Sherlock Holmes by buying The Red-Handed League at Amazon

Today: Jackie Mallon’s choice

January 2, 2015

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There is a passage from classic literature so vividly macabre yet fantastically romantic that it seared itself into my girlhood brain. Nothing Hollywood’s big budget pyrotechnics or CGI wizardry has ever produced has come close to replicating it: the image of Miss Havisham catching fire in Great Expectations.

Unlike some little girls I didn’t grow up cultivating my own great expectations of stepping regally in a white frothy frock while draped on the arm of an unidentified Prince Charming. No, this anti-wedding day captured my imagination with its symbols of tradition all twisted.

When Miss Havisham offers Pip nine hundred pounds to help Herbert, there’s the dowry. Then there is, of course, the consummation. Pip demonstrates some major throw-down when he flings her to the ground and rolls on top of her trying to extinguish the “whirl of fire blazing all about her.” The wedding banquet or “heap of rottenness” is finally consumed by flames not guests. Confetti? The tinder and ashes raining down on them in a “black shower.” Post-activity there follows the tender newlywed kiss when Pip leans over and touches Miss Havisham’s lips gently with his own as she lies loosely wrapped in a white sheet.

Great blazing bones and scuttling beetles!

I’ve been betrothed to Dickens ever since.

***

Jackie Mallon is the author of SILK FOR THE FEED DOGS

Today: David Hogan’s choice

December 27, 2014

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At Swim cover

Not one of my three sisters is a loud, dirty, boozy girl. That’s probably a good thing for them — as well as me. But if one or two or all of them were, I would give them this book if only because Dylan Thomas, that loud, dirty, boozy poet, said I should. Even without that recommendation, how can anyone resist a novel that reflects on the humanity of kangaroos, including “the kangaroolity of women and your wife beside you”? Or one that offers an occasional “summary of what has gone before, for the benefit of new readers.” Or one where an author sleeps with one of his own characters and conceives a child who then goes on to write a book about what a terrible writer his father is? Joyce loved it, so did Beckett and Graham Greene and Jorge Luis Borges, and Brendan Gleeson is trying to turn it into a movie. It’s Flann O’Brien’s ‘At Swim-Two-Birds’ and one of my favorite novels. Go on, find yourself a loud, dirty, boozy girl and give it to her.

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David Hogan is the author of THE LAST ISLAND