Released on 11 January 2002.

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The Butcher Boy

3.84 based on 5338 ratings & 328 reviews on Goodreads.com

1992 Short-listed

Man Booker Prize

Synopsis

"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.

In the media

Compelling, unashamedly horrible, memorable and sensitive
Times Literary Supplement
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
The most astonishing Irish novel for many years, a masterpiece
Sunday Independent