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The Butcher Boy (1992)

de Patrick McCabe

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
1,4552910,229 (3.79)99
When I was a 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. Welcome to the mind of Francie Brady. Just what Francie did to Mrs. Nugent is the final, terrifying act of a young boy at the end of a relentless descent into a world of scorn and fear, brought to unforgettably vivid life in this tour-de-force performance by author Patrick McCabe. Francie Brady, the "pig boy," is growing up in a poor small Irish town in the early sixties, fueled on an adolescent's comic books, Flash Bars, and John Wayne movies. He is determined to win the Francie Brady Not a Bad Bastard Anymore Diploma. But how do you do that when your mother is sent to the madhouse, your father is an alcoholic, and everyone turns their back on you?… (més)
  1. 30
    God's Own Country de Ross Raisin (steevohenderson)
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  2. 10
    The Wasp Factory de Iain Banks (hubies)
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    The Killer Inside Me de Jim Thompson (Booksloth)
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    The Fields de Kevin Maher (nessreader)
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  5. 00
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» Mira també 99 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 29 (següent | mostra-les totes)
"All the beautiful things in this world are lies. They count for nothing in the end."

Set in a small town in the early 1960's Ireland 'The Butcher Boy' is a hybrid of first-person narrative and stream of consciousness told by Francis 'Francie' Brady, also known as the 'pig boy'.

We first meet Francie hiding out "in hole under a tangle of briars" whilst being hunted by the police "on account of what I done on Mrs Nugent." It is only much later that we learn what his actual crime was.

The only child of an alcoholic father and a mother driven mad by despair, as his troubled home life collapses Francie retreats into a fantasy world. Sexually abused whilst at a Catholic reform school, ridiculed by his neighbour Mrs. Nugent, when he is dropped by his best friend Joe Purcell who has outgrown their boyhood mischief in favour of Mrs. Nugent’s son, Philip, Francie finally finds a target for his twisted rage. This novel chronicles 'the pig boy’s' chilling loss of innocence and descent into tragedy and madness.

Written in the regional vernacular it initially takes a bit of getting used to but once I did I found its rhythm strangely compelling that seemed to match Francie's deteriorating mental state really well. My feelings towards Francie were constantly shifting; at times I pitied him, at times I despaired of him and would have liked to have got my own hands upon him. One New York Times critic described the book as “part Huck Finn, part Holden Caulfield, part Hannibal Lecter” and its hard to disagree with that assessment. This novel is certainly dark but there are also touches of humour. I cannot say in truth that I actually enjoyed it but that may have something to do with the subject matter, however I still found it a remarkable piece of writing that is likely to live in the memory. ( )
  PilgrimJess | May 6, 2022 |
I will never read a book about a hitman again. Ever. Unless it has a legless hermaphrodite in it. Then maybe. ( )
  Drunken-Otter | Aug 20, 2021 |
Getting started with the book was a challenge. The stream of conscious, dialect, and unreliable narrator made for much initial confusion. But I started to work it all out and get used to it by about a quarter of the way in. It was worth the effort.

Francie is a very memorable character and being inside his head the entire book you really get to know him. By the end I just felt so sad for him. If I had read about his story in the news I would not have had much empathy. McCabe really makes it hit home what it might be like living with serious mental illness, no to mention the real life circumstances that make management and recovery nearly impossible. ( )
  technodiabla | Jun 19, 2020 |
Last year the Booker prize winner was Milkman by Anna Burns and what a disappointing read that proved to be. Set in Belfast this was a book of gossip told in the first person by "middle sister" in a very claustrophobic and confusing style. Why should I tell you this? quite simply it is only to draw a comparison between a book that did not deserve the prize and a book published in 1992 that was Booker shortlisted but did not win....and what a pity it didn't......

The Butcher Boy is a highly entertaining tour de force novel set in a small Irish Village. The prose is direct and very similar in style to The Wasp Factory by Ian Banks where the main character is also the narrator. In The Butcher Boy our narrator is Francie Brady probably best described as a bit of a scallywag, a good-for-nothing who with his best friend Joe spend their days in a carefree way more an inconvenience to the residents than a real threat. When they make the acquaintance of a local lad Philip Nugent and act in a somewhat dishonest way, refusing to return his comics, Mrs Nugent steps in to rescue the situation and in so doing changes the life of not only Francie but indirectly hers which is only revealed when the book concludes.

This is a startling novel giving great insight into life in a small Irish community in the early 1960s. Through the eyes of Francie we soon become acquainted with the somewhat joie de vivre attitude of the locals none more accommodating than Brady himself. However the second part of the novel displays a bitter and disturbing series of events; events that will have a long reaching affect on not only our narrator but an unsuspecting target. What starts off as a jovial account suddenly changes direction with impromptu violence and a very dark ending, with echoes of Charles Manson. Along the way it is easy to see how it only takes a little act to upset the balance of peace and how such an act can have deadly consequences...nothing is what it seems, people are not what they seem...With a very snappy dialogue that crackles along the book deserves to be read in one sitting..."He had a big breeze block of a head and a pair of eyebrows like two slugs trying to stand up"...."it was funny that face it slowly grew over the other one until one day you looked and the person you knew was gone."....."Oh ma I said the whole house is burning up on us then a fist made of smoke hit me a smack in the mouth its over says ma its all over now".....Highly recommended. ( )
  runner56 | Oct 15, 2019 |
Cult following which I do not share. ( )
  revchrishemyock | Jan 20, 2019 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
McCabe, Patrickautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Lynch, BrianIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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For the McCabes, Brian, Eugene, Mary, and Dympna
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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.
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I was thinking about Mrs. Nugent standing their crying.
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(Clica-hi per mostrar-ho. Compte: pot anticipar-te quin és el desenllaç de l'obra.)
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Wikipedia en anglès (1)

When I was a 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. Welcome to the mind of Francie Brady. Just what Francie did to Mrs. Nugent is the final, terrifying act of a young boy at the end of a relentless descent into a world of scorn and fear, brought to unforgettably vivid life in this tour-de-force performance by author Patrick McCabe. Francie Brady, the "pig boy," is growing up in a poor small Irish town in the early sixties, fueled on an adolescent's comic books, Flash Bars, and John Wayne movies. He is determined to win the Francie Brady Not a Bad Bastard Anymore Diploma. But how do you do that when your mother is sent to the madhouse, your father is an alcoholic, and everyone turns their back on you?

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Mitjana: (3.79)
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1 9
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2 15
2.5 6
3 75
3.5 23
4 112
4.5 18
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