Eoin Colfer

Commentary


Life
1965- ; b. Wexford; ed. [UCD]; taught Primary School, Wexford; spent four years as TEFL teacher in Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Italy; issued Benny and Omar (1998), a children’s book; Benny and Babe (1999), shortlisted for the Bisto Book of the Year Award, 2000; also The Wish List [q.d.]; wrote a series of books for children aged 6-8 incl. Going Potty (1999), Ed’s Funny Feet (2000) and Ed’s Bed (2001);
 
afterwards opened a successful vein in involving history, Celtic lore and fantasy with Artemis Fowl (2001), built around the eponymous 12 year-old criminal mastermind from North Dublin who holds a leprechaun to ransom - the first in a series of Artemis Fowl novels to date; also books for older children such as Half Moon Investigations (2006), centred on 12-year-old Fletcher Moon, the youngest private detective in the world;
 
also Airman (2008), a novel; also The Supernaturalist (2004), sci-fi; wrote And Another Thing (2009), a commissioned sequel to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by the late Douglas Adams; currently writing a stage musical; he has recently sold the film rights for Artemis Fowl; issued his first adult crime novel, Plugged (2011); currently lives in France.

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Works
Artemis Fowl series
Artemis Fowl (2001); Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident (2002), Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code (2003), Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception (2005), and Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony (2006); Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox (2008); Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex (Puffin Books 2010).
Adult crime fiction
contrib. “Taking on PJ” to Dublin Noir, ed. Ken Bruen (2006); Plugged (London: Hodder Headline 2001), 288pp.
Other children’s novels
Will and Marty: The Legend of Spud Murphy (2004); The Legend of Captain Crow’s Teeth (2006); The Supernaturalist (2004); Half Moon Investigations (2006); The Legend of the Worst Boy in the World (2007)
Discography

The Arctic Incident, read by Adrian Dunbar (Puffin 2002) [CD ROM]


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Commentary
Mary Shine Thompson, ‘Fascinatingly fragile Fowl’, review of Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex [with others], in The Irish Times (31 July 2010), Weekend, p.13 [“Children 10-12”]: ‘Serial fantasy, serial murder and psychological fantasy: that’s what’s on the menu for young independent readers this summer. Eoin Colfer’s seventh Artemis Fowl adventure, combining all of the above, will be warmly welcomed. Fowl has already made, appearances in anime, the graphic novel form. Now he is conventional again in Artemis Fowl, and the Atlantis Complex, dealing with armies of robots from outer space who capture the lost city of Atlantis where fairies have fled ages ago. Only an anti-hero of Artemis’s proportions can save the universe from this dire threat. However, Artemis, now with a fragile male ego, has problems of his own, and becomes more interesting with every book. The strain of growing up as a global master-schemer has left him with a personality disorder, the Atlantis complex - what Colfer call: Child-Genius Syndrome. It manifests first as obsessive compulsive, paranoid behaviour. Then his alter ego takes over: it is shockingly civil and benign, but escapist and ineffectual. Certainly not the Artemis whose company we cherish. Science Foundation Ireland should reward Colfer for brilliantly combining technology and story. Few writers are as witty and technically adroit or have developed a protagonist with such skill and understatement. Another triumph.’

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Linda Buckley, ‘Archer on the return of the boy genius’, review of Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex, in The Guardian (30 Oc. 2010): ‘After a two-year absence, the razor-tongued, criminally-minded, Irish boy-genius is back – to a degree. For Artemis Fowl is not himself. He obsesses about the number four; he is paranoid and delusional; he has developed a split personality. [...] The Atlantis Complex is the seventh and penultimate title in the series and while it works as a novel in its own right, it is also clearly a prelude to the grand finale. So when, in the closing pages, Artemis says to Holly: “This adventure was different ... Usually someone wins and we are better off at the end ... I can’t even think of Turnball as a villain,” we can be sure that Colfer has his mind focused on completing the character arc started all that time ago with the kidnapping of a hi-tech-fairy by an arrogant boy genius who, for all his cleverness, had so much to learn. So we’re just going to have to wait and see how Colfer brings the curtain down on this deservedly popular and successful series that continues to showcase one of the best comic voices in contemporary children’s fiction.’ (See full-text version in RICORSO Library, “Criticism > Revues”, via index, or direct.)

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Declan Burke, ‘Hard-boiled comedy capers’, review of plugged, in The Irish Times (30 April 2011), Weekend, p.10: [...] ‘Colfer's first adult crime novel, Plugged, concerns itself with Dan McEvoy, a former Irish Army sergeant who is a veteran of peacekeeping tours of the Lebanon. Now living in voluntary exile in New Jersey, where he is a casino bouncer, McEvoy has his life shattered when his on-off girlfriend, Connie, is murdered in the car park on the day that his best friend, Zeb, a cosmetic surgeon, goes missing from his surgery. Forced to kill in self-defence when confronted with a knife-wielding gangster, McEvoy taps into his soldier’s survival instincts as he races to stay one step ahead of a posse composed of corrupt cops, a vengeful Irish-American mobster boss and a megalomaniac lawyer with homicidal tendencies. [...] Colfer goes so far as to adopt some of [Ken] Bruen’s narrative strategies [...] The result is a gloriously ramshackle comedy crime caper [...] Colfer, however, is too experienced a storyteller to get carried away himself [...].’ Review notes that Colfer’s first outing in adult crime fiction was a contribution to Bruen’s edited collection Dublin Noir (2006).

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Holy Mary, a play by Eoin Colfer, performed at Kilkenny Arts Festival in 2011 - with Aileen Mythen and Iseult Golden as Mary Leary and Majella, the local bully whom she successfully overcomes. Majella's chosen method of bullying is the comic rhyme – enjoyed by all. Produced at the Watergate. Paul Muldoon, Michael Longley, Claire Keegan and Janice Galloway are reading their poetry.

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