The Butcher Boy: Complete & Unabridged Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Unabridged
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"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.
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Strangest book I ever read. How it ever got nominated for the booker prize is a mystery.
Maybe It's me.
Narrated by the seriously disturbed - yet curiously empathetic - Francie Brady, as he recalls his youth: "When I was a young lad twenty or thirty or forty years ago I lived in... Read morePublished 13 months ago by sally tarbox
A book which has stayed with me. Have read it twice and know I will read it again. Highly recommended.Published 20 months ago by Richard
Not a comfortable read but challenging in ideas and style. Very rewarding - in a masochistic way.Published 21 months ago by Mrs F.
Brilliant,A tragedy and a comedy all in one book,I really enjoyed this book,well written,great story,Loved it,Published 23 months ago by Mrs. m clayton
This is a tale of a boy who is seeking friendship and love and fails dismally at both, but he has a hideously endearing quality about him which makes you long for him to be happy. Read morePublished on 27 May 2014 by Mrs. M.Smith
The book appears to be written from the main character who is a young boy and as such, it is very poorly punctuated. I found this distracted from the story.Published on 27 Feb. 2014 by Rob