"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."
Thus begins Patrick McCabe's shattering novel The Butcher Boy, a powerful and unrelenting journey into the heart of darkness. The bleak, eerie voice belongs to Francie Brady, the "pig boy," the only child of and alcoholic father and a mother driven mad by despair. Growing up in a soul-stifling Irish town, Francie is bright, love-starved, and unhinged, his speech filled with street talk, his heart filled with pain...his actions perfectly monstrous.
Held up for scorn by Mrs. Nugent, a paragon of middle-class values, and dropped by his best friend, Joe, in favor of her mamby-pamby son, Francie finally has a target for his rage--and a focus for his twisted, horrific plan.
Wow what an interesting and disturbing book. It was very difficult to read for two reasons. The first being the writing style and lack of punctuation. This was on purpose though, as it was showing what went through the mind of a complete psychopath. The fact that this psychopath was just a child was very disturbing. This is the second reason why it was difficult to read. I was actually rooting for Francie and felt so sorry for him, despite the horrific things he did.
It was interesting to be almost inside his head as it completely splintered. It was difficult at times to know what was actually happening and what was his ramblings and/or imagination.
I knew what was going on when he was in the house with his Da and was cringing throughout and wanted to do something for him.
Not an easy read and certainly not what one could call enjoyable but it was fascinating and such a clever author as he got it just right.