Absolute Zero Cool

Declan Burke. Liberties (Dufour, dist.), $22.95 trade paper (238p) ISBN 978-1907593314
In this ambitious meta-thriller from Irish author Burke (The Big O), the unnamed narrator, a stand-in for the author, meets a character from an unfinished novel of his, Karlsson, “a hospital porter who assisted old people who wanted to die.” Karlsson, who now likes to be called Billy, is intent on blowing up the hospital with everyone in it, but he has more cerebral concerns. Author and character meet again and again in online chatfests, where they discuss their options, and soon start Sermo Vulgus, a novel-within-the-novel. Should fictional characters live, die, or never be born? Burke sprinkles his way-outside-the-box noir with quotes from Beckett, Bukowski, and other literary names as he explores the nature of writing and the descent of personal darkness. Those looking for a highly intellectual version of Stephen King’s The Dark Half will be most satisfied. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/19/2011
Release date: 02/01/2012
Open Ebook - 142 pages - 978-1-907593-65-9
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