Writer Sandra Ruttan (sounds like Wu-Tang - almost) has declared March 12 as Ken Bruen Day. Some other bloggers out there are posting their thoughts on the Irish noir writer (see Sandra's post for a list), and so I thought I'd write a little something.
I first read about Bruen, I think, on Sarah Weinman's blog a while back. The Guards had just won The Shamus, I believe, and I was curious about the book. I finally picked it up, went home and read it from cover to cover. Wow. At the time I was, and to a certain point I still am, fascinated with minimalism - examining how much can you leave out and still impact the reader. To discover Bruen at this time was like vindicating my theory that crime fiction could sustain a minimalist approach. His language is so sparse that at times it seems Bruen hits the auto-pilot and allows the reader his/her own trajectory when it comes to imagining the dark world of Jack Taylor.
And so, Bruen became one of my favorite writers; a status that was solidified by the end of The Dramatist, which affected me like no other book since Richard Yates's Revolutionary Road. I think Bruen will prove to be as influencial as any of the past masters of the crime genre.