The Butcher Boy

Front Cover
Picador, 1992 - Boys - 215 pages
182 Reviews
"When I was a young lad, twenty or thirty or forty years ago, I lived in a small town where they were all after me on account of what I done on Mrs Nugent". So speaks Francie Brady, the narrator and anti-hero of THE BUTCHER BOY . When the story begins Francie is a bit of a scamp, full of curiosity and mischief. Then an unpleasant encounter with Mrs Nugent on the subject of her son's missing comic books propels Francie to the brink of madness, and beyond. McCabe's depiction of small-town Irish life and of one boy's deterioration into madness and despair is, surprisingly, one of the most raucous, earthy and horrifically hilarious stories of all time. Dark and gothic, funny and tragic, starring a child who retains the pathos of a grubby urchin even as he evolves into a monster, THE BUTCHER BOY is an absolute treasure.

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A good book, but so hard to read.. - Goodreads
I love Ireland and its writing. - Goodreads
Disturbing, unsettling, sad and dark but a page turner. - Goodreads
Absolutely brilliant ending. - Goodreads
I just absolutely hate stream of consciousness writing. - Goodreads
Patrick McCabe's a great Irish writer. - Goodreads

Review: The Butcher Boy

User Review  - Jessie - Goodreads

I found myself both pained by the process of reading this novel, as well as flummoxed by how I managed to stew about it a great deal. The grammar pained me at first, but it grew easier as I progressed ... Read full review

Review: The Butcher Boy

User Review  - Miles - Goodreads

It's always something of a risk to write a story in which the boundary between internal psychological experiences and actual events becomes blurred. This isn't because doing so is a bad idea or ... Read full review

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About the author (1992)

Patrick McCabe has been twice short-listed for the prestigious Booker Prize in Great Britain. He is considered one of Ireland's major new writers. McCabe was teaching learning-disabled students in a grammar school in London when his third novel, "The Butcher Boy," was published in 1992. The novel is a coming-of-age story written in the voice of its young narrator. The small town that Francie Brady lives in is modeled on the town where McCabe grew up. "The Butcher Boy" was an immediate success, and was nominated for the Booker Prize. It won the top literary prize in Ireland, the Aer Lingus Prize. McCabe's fifth novel, "Breakfast on Pluto," was published in 1998. It too was on the shortlist for the Booker Prize. He has also written several plays, including an adaptation of "The Butcher Boy." Patrick McCabe was born in 1955 in Ireland and was educated at St. Patrick's College in Dublin. He is married to Margot Quinn and has two daughters, Ellen and Katy.

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