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Patrick McCabe

When, the opening pages of The Butcher Boy, it becomes clear that the narrator is an uneducated toughie whose sorry history is going to be the subject of the book, the reader’s danger flags are likely to be unfurled. To sustain such a voice without losing credibility is a tricky task. But the first chapter establishes that voice with exceptional skill, and this success continues through almost to the final scene, which curls back to the beginning, with the narrator an old man, remembering slowly, frighteningly, his tragic life.

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