Thursday, October 4, 2012

If a window breaks, but nobody's there to hear it, does Falling Glass make a sound?

To answer this new variant on the old, ponderous, essentially pointless question that has baffled Philosophy 101 students for decades, Falling Glass doesn't just make a sound. It begins with a thunderous roar and never lets up.

Falling Glass is not Adrian McKinty's latest crime thriller, but it is his most recent to be released in the US as of tomorrow. If, like me, you worship at the darkly comic and violently poetic altar of McKinty and wear your fanboyness unabashedly on your sleeve, then you probably already purchased your copy through international channels. If this is the first you're hearing of the book, or of McKinty himself, then I'm really jealous of you.

This book represents a return of sorts to McKinty's Dead Trilogy, which I blogged about before. A minor character from that universe plays the lead here: Killian, a Pavee or Traveller, is forced by the economic downturn and burst housing bubble in Ireland to return to the Life. On the payroll of an Irish millionaire businessman, Killian takes on a wandering wife and kiddies job, but of course nothing is at it ever seems in the world of the thriller and before you know it Killian's own life is in danger as he must outwit a Russian ex-mercenary and ...

Okay, gotta stop myself there before I give away the entire plot. If you love crime fiction, if you love nuanced characters, if you love dark humor, if you love language itself, buy this book and you won't be disappointed.

As an aside, McKinty maintains a great blog and takes the time to respond to comments from readers. Most authors don't do this but McKinty makes himself accessible to all, always one to enjoy the craic so to speak.

By the way, the answer to that dumb old question, does a tree that falls in the woods make a sound if no one's there to hear it, is yes, of course it makes a sound. As my good buddy Mark, a pragmatic engineer who cuts through BS sophistry with a chain saw on a regular basis, once explained to a roomful of drunk undergrads many, many moons ago: sound is a wave. There are plenty of sound waves that man cannot hear but we still consider them sounds. A tree that collides with a forest floor will produce some kind of sound wave, doesn't matter if it's loud enough to hear or if there's anybody there to hear it.

Or something like that. I don't remember. I might have been drunk.


seana graham said...

Great review, Brian. Glad to see you back at it.

adrian mckinty said...

Yes indeed Brian good to see you back.

Brian O'Rourke said...

Two more reasons to read this book:

1) The chapter titles are all clever references to other works.

2) Our hero makes a great reference to Ghostbusters.