The Butcher Boy

Front Cover
Picador, 1992 - Boys - 215 pages
148 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
I just absolutely hate stream of consciousness writing. - Goodreads
Patrick McCabe's a great Irish writer. - Goodreads
It was very difficult to read for two reasons. - Goodreads
Very strong writing. - Goodreads

Review: The Butcher Boy

User Review  - Darren - Goodreads

I saw the film way back when, but for some reason delayed reading the book until now. It's compelling. Francie is not just an unreliable narrator; he's a character experiencing a psychotic break. As he disintegrates, he becomes more dangerous to know but more sympathetic. Read full review

Review: The Butcher Boy

User Review  - Eva - Goodreads

Exceeded my expectations. A definite great work. The book is an original take on a rural Irish life through the eyes of the "mad" protagonist Francis, the intermingling of imagination and reality in ... Read full review

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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