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Paperback The Butcher Boy Book

ISBN: 0385312377

ISBN13: 9780385312370

The Butcher Boy

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

"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." Thus begins Patrick McCabe's shattering... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

so you want to know what it's like...

As a stark raving looney myself (albeit a medicated one) I could understand Francie's deep obsessions and inability to grasp reality more than some. This book touched me deeply and the sometimes horrific, selfish, and often childish aspects of insanity are captured wonderfully. If you truly want to delve into mental illness trash your copies of Catcher and the Rye and read this. Obsession, paranoia, hallucinations, crushing despair... it's all in here and tossed about with the wicked humor that keeps us alive at times. I don't know if Mr. McCabe knew what he was tapping into but he did it successfully!

Savage Wit, Wonderful Skill, Unforgettable characters

Like Burgess' Clockwork Orange and Welsh's Trainspotting (the books not the movies) McCabe brings the reader inside the mind of a warped narrator with such convincing style and craft that the reader is left shuddering for days. The end has already happened in the beginning of the novel and the reader sees the why, the how, and especially the details of a boy's descent into black madness. Along the way, Mr McCabe offers a hilarious satire of small-town busybody Ireland. He truly is a descendent of Swift. The characters are real and accurate. He hits the reader on a number of levels. This book, mark my words, will be renown as a classic of modern literature for years to come. Europe's english language writers, such as McCabe and Irvine Welsh, are far greater writers than their american counterparts. Behold this book as an example to American writers. The style is here to stay

in praise of the butcher boy..

Somewhat surprised that so many of the comments here are negative. Maybe Francie's "voice" in the book doesn't speak to everyone, but it spoke to me like no other book I've read (corny as this might sound to some of you) since I read "Catcher in the Rye" as a young man. I did wonder after reading this book how it would translate, whether it would find an audience outside Ireland, whether somebody in, say, America or England would actually "get" this book. On reading some of these comments it seems like many just didn't get it. Of course it's a completely subjective thing and the last thing I'm going to tell you is that you're all you're wrong if you hated the book. But, and I find it very difficult to describe exactly how I feel about this book, I grew up in a town like Francie, and what McCabe has captured in this, what he understands more than anyone else I've ever read, is that dark, surreal side of the rural Irish psyche. As I read it I felt like I was discovering a voice I'd always been searching for, hearing a story I always wanted told and one I understood implicitly. And it was a great release. To me this is a more important book than anything else that has come out of Ireland in the last 15/20 years...including stuff most people readily lap up like Roddy Doyle and Frank McCourt (though they are talented writers). That's why I feel strongly about seeing it dismissed as rubbish by some of the other reviewers here. To me this astonishing book is McCabe's best work, better than Breakfast on Pluto which gets a 5 star rating on this site..though I would also wholeheartedly recommend The Dead School.

Original, heart-breaking, and supremely executed

So "The Butcher Boy" offers nothing new? OK, name one other book that traces the psychological workings of a young boy who turns into a murderer. And while we're at it, name another book that pulls it off with the skill and narrative voice of McCabe. Really, if you're looking for gore and shock, find a highway accident. The heart-breaking tragedy of "Butcher Boy" is that of a lost childhood. If we've no ability to mourn the death of childhood--as it seems some of the reviewers below have--then our society truly is hopelessly lost in a morass of violence, apathy, and the endless quest of cheap thrills. So read your meaningless Stephen King. Read your vapid Bret Easton Ellis. But please, don't point your critical finger at true writers like McCabe.
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