Friday 9 December 2016

Alan who? -- not for much longer if hollywood has anything to say about it

Published 03/09/2011 | 05:00

Alan Glynn has it made. To have Hangover star Bradley Cooper in the movie of your first novel -- plus screen legend Robert De Niro -- is about as big as it gets. Yet despite his movie Limitless being out this summer, for many people it's still a case of Alan Who?

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Among thriller lovers, however, Glynn (right) is already regarded as a major international talent. The Drumcondra man, who worked for a few years in magazine publishing in New York and as an English teacher in Italy, has written three impressive thrillers, the latest of which has just appeared.

His first, The Dark Fields, filmed as Limitless, was based on the idea that normally we use only a small proportion of our brain power. Perfectly set in New York, thanks to his four years there, it's about a down-at-heel copywriter who gets his hands on a new "smart drug" that releases 100pc of his brain power and makes anything possible.

He soon becomes immensely wealthy trading on the stock market as well as turning into an artistic genius... but he's also addicted and going out of control and when he's implicated in a murder everything unravels and the shocking truth about the drug is revealed. The pace of the book is breathless, which is what attracted the movie makers.

Glynn's second novel, Winterland, was extraordinary in a different way. Written at the height of the boom here, it predicted the economic crash with uncanny accuracy. It is set in a Dublin that is mean as well as bust, in which the worlds of business, politics and crime collide.

His latest novel, Bloodland, has a broader canvas but is also Irish centred. That is probably a reflection of the fact that Glynn now lives in Terenure and is married with children. Glynn did English in Trinity and before that he was "educated by nuns, Christian Brothers and Jesuits, which I somehow survived".

The Dark Fields was published in 2001 and optioned by Hollywood a few months later, but it took all this time to get it to the screen. Winterland may be too local to attract Hollywood again. But his new novel Bloodland has movie written all over it. He won't be Alan Who? for much longer.

John Spain -- Books Editor

Indo Review

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