The Butcher Boy
'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.