Emerald Germs of Ireland
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Emerald Germs of Ireland

3.03 of 5 stars 3.03  ·  rating details  ·  140 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Pat McNab, driven by rage and despair, goes on a rampage after killing his mother and ends up murdering more than fifty people. Or is his whiskey-addled mind merely imagining these murders?

Reality collides with fantasy with dizzying impact as Pat reflects on the long-gone days with Mommy, while fending off the persistent interferences of his small-town neighbors: the purit...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 5th 2002 by Harper Perennial (first published 2001)
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Feb 13, 2014 John rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I had no idea what was going on for a while and then I realised that that was the whole point of the story. No one really knows what is real and what is imagined, the protagonist or the reader. A little annoying for a while but ultimately an enjoyable read.

If you've watched the Butcher Boy more than once you'll probably have Francie Brady in your head for a large part of this book.
Entertaining at first, and then, ya know, you get it. It becomes quite redundant by chapter 6 - Irish song and murder, Irish song and murder...
Apr 17, 2010 El rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kamdine
Shelves: 21st-centurylit
When did matricide become comical? When Patrick McCabe started writing about it.

Emerald Germs of Ireland is a story about Pat McNab and his sick and twisted little mind. He has a strange relationship with his mother, a little Norman Bates-esque at times. This strange relationship ultimately ends (and the story essentially begins) with Pat killing her, and his father, and then starting off into the town to knock off other "germs". The story is told through a series of short stories all revolving...more
Aug 10, 2011 Ryan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: justok
Never before have I given 3 stars to something so well written. It has noting to do with the author's ability to tell a story, but my own preference. You would think from the books description that this is about a troubled man that drinks too much. Instead it is about a man who is completely delusional. His delusions control the narrative. So you don't know if anything described is actually happening in the story. But the way the authors writes, his choice of words and way of conveying ideas, is...more
Aug 17, 2007 Bones added it
I picked this up without knowing a thing about it. My timing, I think, was based on my either immanent or recently finished trip to Ireland. I remember most of the book still - six years later. It left a deep impression on me - I think this was also around the time that I was starting to listen to the album Murder Ballads by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.

Wonderful piece of writing. I'd recommend it to anyone.
I loved Butcher Boy so much that a thoughtful friend bought me this book. I couldn't actually finish it. There was too much flowery descriptions of an obviously mentally disturbed alcoholic. I just couldn't get into the writing, the character or the plot - which I assume would show up eventually if I had continued reading. I gave up half way through the book.
McCabe is a fantastic writer but the plot itself getsa bit Norman Bates-ey toward the end.
Tim Corke
Just couldn't get into it - off to the Bookcrossing in the hope someone else can
Matt Reese
Witty, gritty and a little twisted. Liked it enough to possibly reread it soon.
Patrick Hadley
Jul 04, 2007 Patrick Hadley rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: murderers, drinkers, crooners
Really repetitive. Not too creative. Lots of good murders, though!
not Butcher Boy brilliant, but still a pleasure.
Beth Shields-Szostak
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Patrick McCabe came to prominence with the publication of his third adult novel, The Butcher Boy, in 1992; the book was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in Britain and won the Irish Times-Aer Lingus Prize for fiction. McCabe's strength as an author lies in his ability to probe behind the veneer of respectability and conformity to reveal the brutality and the cloying and corrupting stagnation of Ir...more
More about Patrick McCabe...
The Butcher Boy Breakfast on Pluto The Dead School Winterwood Mondo Desperado

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