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The Butcher Boy: Complete & Unabridged Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Unabridged

4.0 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Chivers Audio Books; Unabridged edition (April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0754002993
  • ISBN-13: 978-0754002994
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,528,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

"I was thinking how right ma was--Mrs Nugent all smiles when she met us and how are you getting on Mrs and young Francis are you both well?...what she was really saying was: Ah hello Mrs Pig how are you and look Philip do you see what's coming now--The Pig Family!"

This is a precisely crafted, often lyrical, portrait of the descent into madness of a young killer in small-town Ireland. Short-listed for the Booker Prize. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

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) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Television, the drug of the nation
Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation
(Television, the Drug of the Nation by Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy)

Television has played a large part in the formation of the psyche of Francie Brady, the titular Butcher Boy.
His mother’s nervous disposition and his father’s drunken violence have resulted in Francie seeking refuge in the fantasy worlds of John Wayne and giant octopuses.
This, then, is the family unit that Patrick McCabe establishes in the opening pages of the novel.

With the destruction of the television and the breakdown and, ‘garagisation,’ of his mother, two of the central tenets of Francie’s life are removed in quick succession, leaving him in the care of his useless father Benny.
Just as the glass of the TV fragments, so too does the Brady family.

The reputation that the Bradys have in the neighbourhood is something that concerns Benny, and prays on Francie’s mind for much of the novel.
There is a belief in the family that their neighbours the Nugents, Purcells and Connollys look down on them, and this paranoid notion has infected Francie’s youthful mind, which leads to his problems with the Nugents: he wishes to be like them rather than his own 'Pig' family, but at the same time does not want to disown his tribe.

His paranoia can be seen when he guesses/imagines what the Nugents are saying as they approach him in the street: there is no reason to think that Mrs Nugent would be poisoning her son against the Bradys, but Francie has been brought up to believe that others think badly of him, and he obviously thinks badly of his home life; if he did not, he would not castigate himself for allowing his father to abuse his mother.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Darkly comic, The Butcher Boy, is McCabe's tour de force. He achieves an authentic narrative voice, documenting young Francie's decline into madness. We witness his love, and his loss, the harsh realities of life, the brutality of the catholic church and the adults that fail him. This is an excellent read, both funny and poignant, and Francie Brady is an unreliable narrator of gigantic proportions.
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By Macca on 15 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Butcher Boy is similar in some respects to Iain Banks' The Wasp Factory. Both are narrated by troubled juvenile boys from dysfunctional families and whose actions are driven by emotional poverty; a tragic lack of love and hope. Authors like McCabe and Banks have an incredible talent for creating a compassion for the narrator even as he shocks and revolts us.

I loved The Butcher Boy. What I particularly enjoyed was the deliberate dearth of punctuation which called attention to the sing-song hysteria of Francie. It gave it immediacy and honesty; the innocence of youth so startlingly pure, spoiled.

I have wondered (and at times worried about) why I am drawn to these deeply dark, twisted, violent and disturbing books. I think ultimately it is because of the adenaline infused emotion of being placed right smack inside of the warped mind of the protagonist while at the same time being aware of what is going on outside of the delusion and ignorance. It is a ride like no other!

Irrespective of genre, a good book is one that lives with you and never fully goes away. It leaves an imprint on your consciousness, for whatever reason. This book will remain with me for some time.
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By ACB(swansea) TOP 100 REVIEWER on 30 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This remarkable story is narrated through the voice of Frances Brady, a schoolboy in a small Irish town. Frances's tale begins with an innocent delinquency when everything going wrong is somebody else's fault. He is a victim of his environment and his innate tendencies. This is a darkly humorous novel full of innocence enveloped by tragedy. Frances has his own viewpoint on his actions and subsequent destiny. He makes a case his life, with it's calamities, that a lawyer would admire. This is a marvellous book that retains it's poignancy and brilliance.
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Format: Paperback
After reading McCabe's Modern Gothic classic 'The Dead School' for my A-level English Literature course, I was inspired to search out his other works. I have just finished reading 'The Butcher Boy' and don't quite know how to react! I can only describe the style of narrative as a kind of 'fragmented stream-of-consciousness' - the narrator is a disenfranchised boy, Francie, living in late-1950s Ireland who loses his mother and father to suicide and drink respectively and subsequently becomes violently obsessed with well-brought-up schoolboy Philip Nugent, whose own family is in many ways the antithesis of Francie's.
Packed full of bizarre characters such as the paedophilic priest, 'Tiddly', who Francie exploits whilst having a spell in approved school (for defecating on Mrs Nugent's carpet no less!) and Francie's Uncle Alo, with his unrequited love for Francie's mother making him just one example of the sad and deluded lives contained within the book. The tale has enough of the gothic within it to remind me of 'The Wasp Factory', whose narrator leads a similarly confused existence, however the end is far more cruel and will surely have you feeling pity for Francie, no matter how monstrous he has become.
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