Monday, March 21, 2011

Christopher Brookmyre

Diana Gabaldon - who writes novels as fat and dense and darkly delicious as my favourite brownie - is currently singing the praises of Christopher Brookmyre's PANDAEMONIUM. In fact, she enjoyed it so much she was moved to write a fan letter, which is something considering how much she has on her plate at any given time. She gave permission to quote her.

Dear Christopher--

I've just finished wallowing in PANDAEMONIUM, pausing occasionally to gasp with admiration at your sheer technical brilliance (we'll take the tremendous energy, amazing ear for dialogue and eye for social dynamics, and your talent for chronic hilarity (ranging from subtle to belly-laugh) as read). All of which is _nothing_ to my enjoyment of the way your mind works. [g] I couldn't have done a clearer explanation of just what science _is_ (and how it works) myself--and I do it frequently, what with the appalling state of prevalent ignorance and the many practitioners thereof. And the sheer bloody brilliance, not only of the concept, but the _ending_...!

I've been enjoying your books for years, and you've been getting better and better, juggling the ideas so deftly with the satire and the plot (speaking of juggling, I adore your magician from THE SACRED ART OF STEALING and SNOWBALL IN HELL, too). This one is Just Great. Thanks so much.


She goes on to say in my writers' forum, that "Brookmyre's books are all violent, bloody, and absolutely hilarious. They're not a series; some of the books feature a recurring main character, the journalist Jack Parlabane, two of them have a wonderful, emotionally vulnerable, light-fingered magician as the hero (I fell in love with him, and I have high standards in that department [cough]), and some are one-off standalones. ALL of them are wonderfully plotted, deeply satirical, and done with a distinctly Scottish sense of humor."

Now not all of his books are available in North America, but I did see Pandaemonium on and the others are available (new and used) through other sellers, or check your library.

They don't exactly sound like cozies, but I'm going to see if I can get my hands on some of them.

Has anyone else heard of him or read his books?


Julie K said...

I think Eric has some of these...the hero's name sounds very familiar...

Claire G said...

Pam, I haven't read them myself, but my brother has read several and has been shouting Brookmyre's praise for years. He reckons he's never laughed out loud at any book the way he has with these, and reckons a whole planeload of people probably thought he had some odd version of Tourette's because he couldn't keep quiet while reading a particular book in transit. He's hard to amuse, so this is high praise! I don't remember which he's read, though.

Martha said...

I tried to get it on Kindle, but it's not available to customers in the US.
I wonder if I logged on to I will try anything Diana recommends. What a brilliant writer -she- is.

A Novel Woman said...

Ask Eric for me, will you?

Claire, Bill Bryson's books do that to me. In fact, for a while, my kids banned me from reading any of his books in public because I laughed so hard I embarrassed them.

Martha, I don't think it's available on Kindle in Canada either. but his paperbacks are. Got to read them the old-fashioned way, I guess!

Bogpony said...

I live in the UK and have read all of his books. They're fantastic and I heartily recommend them if your sense of humour has a dark side to it.

A Novel Woman said...

My sense of humour definitely leans to the dark side. I'll try him. Thanks!