The Lammisters: Comic novel of linguistic playfulness and invention

Declan Burke escapes long arm of crime yarns to write meta-fiction set in 1920s Hollywood

Declan Burke, author of The Lammisters.

Declan Burke, author of The Lammisters.

With The Lammisters, Declan Burke decided “to write a book that broke every rule I was ever taught.” Burke is a seasoned crime writer, with six acclaimed novels under his belt, and writes and talks about books in many outlets including this paper. So what might a book that breaks all the rules look like?

The Lammisters – the title comes from its motley cast who are “on the lam”, ie fugitives from justice – sets out its stall from the cover blurb. “A comic novel that will likely be declared a wholly original comedy classic by anyone who has yet to read Flann O’Brien, Jane Austen, PG Wodehouse or Laurence Sterne.” This is what we might call having your cake and eating it: invoking those high literary spirits in order to be self-deprecating next to them.

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