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The Butcher Boy

Pat McCabe

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.

Francie Brady is a small-town rascal who spends his days turning a blind eye to the troubles at home and getting up to mischief with his best friend Joe – hiding in the chicken-house, shouting abuse at fish in the local stream. But after a disagreement with his neighbour Mrs Nugent over her son's missing comic books, Francie's reckless streak spirals out of control and gives rise to a monstrous obsession . . .

Fearless, shocking and blackly funny, Patrick McCabe's The Butcher Boy won the 1992 Irish Times Literature Prize and was shortlisted for the 1992 Booker Prize. It is a modern classic of Irish fiction, a portrait of the insidious violence latent in small town life and of a frenzied young man lashing out at everyone, even himself.

‘Brilliant, unique . . . reading fiction will never be the same again’ - Roddy Doyle

‘The most astonishing Irish novel for many years, a masterpiece, 
Sunday Independent

The Butcher Boy takes Irish literature to a place it has never been before. Both familiar and extraordinary, it is the most significant novel to emerge from Ireland this decade ‘-
Neil Jordan

‘An insidious, funny, breathtakingly horrific novel set in small-town Ireland, switching from mischief to madness as an adolescent obsession turns Dennis the Menace into Jack the Ripper’- Observer

‘An intense, disturbing and original novel . . . prose which races yet lets you miss nothing’ -
Alan Sillitoe

‘Compelling, unashamedly horrible, memorable and sensitive
’ -Times Literary Supplement

A modern classic of Irish fiction, shortlisted for the 1992 Booker prize.

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