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The Butcher's Sons

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4.18  ·  Rating details ·  33 ratings  ·  8 reviews
This darkly lyrical and violent family saga set in a butcher shop in New York circa 1930 tells the story about three Irish brothers, each struggling to find their role--to define their lives and express their dreams--amid the poverty of a broken home, alcoholic father, and the violent society of Hell's Kitchen. Dickie is guided by an almost animal desire to get what he wan ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 18th 2015 by Lethe Press (first published April 13th 2015)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  33 ratings  ·  8 reviews


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Kazza
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This darkly lyrical and violent family saga set in a butcher shop in New York circa 1930...

Yep. That's The Butcher's Sons. Darkly lyrical, as well as gritty and real. With tangible and beautifully drawn characters of their time, complete with an engrossing story.

If you're looking for standard "MM romance," keep on going because that's not what this book is. Three brothers - two are het, one is same-sex attracted - and all their individual story's are vividly laid out here. It's an ensemble cast
...more
Chase Hackett
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a real wow. Three brothers make their way along the very separate paths they’ve chosen to get out of the grit of Tenth Avenue, paths that inevitably conflict.

I loved Hess’s careful evocation of the period and place—Hell’s Kitchen in the 30s. You get a terrific sense of the sights, sounds, smells of this place.

A really marvelous book.

c.t.h.
George Seaton
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That should be 4.5 stars. A dark read that tells the story of three Irish brothers holding together their father's butcher shop in Hell's Kitchen during the Depression era. The sons, each with their own passions, struggle to make their way in an time and place that provides small comforts and difficult challenges. The only off putting thing about this story--for I do love dark--was an extended narrative from an ancestor that seemed to break the rhythm of the storytelling itself. But that's just ...more
Joseph Ferguson
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 1930s New York, the lives of three brothers working in their father’s butcher shop diverge and intertwine as each finds his own pathway to manhood.

This is a brutally dark, lyric fairy tale in which three brothers – one violent, one indecisive, and one gay, quest for life, while finding their places within a shattered family. Characters are established right away when eldest brother Dickie pushes youngest Adlai to the ground over a perceived slight. Middle brother Walt does not respond, but Bi
...more
Damian Serbu
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great story. Intense. Passionate. I loved the tension and love the existed in the family, all at the same time. The romance is lovely, and the brutality a realistic horror in it. The writing is very, very good. It drives you to keep reading and keep reading until the end. Only one annoyance: some typos, such as missing spaces or a ., or .. Just distracting, but not enough to lesson my great joy at reading this story.
Kathleen Hess
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sah
A great story, beautifully written.
Elisa Rolle
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Butcher’s Sons by Scott Alexander Hess: http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwid... 2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention (5* from at least 1 judge)
...more
Lippincott
Jul 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hopefully we will hear much more from Hess. Hopefully Mr. Spielberg reads this.
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Scott Alexander Hess is the author of five novels, including Skyscraper, a Lambda Literary Award Finalist, and The Butcher’s Sons, which was named a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2015. His writing has appeared in HuffPost, Genre Magazine, The Fix, Thema Literary Review, and elsewhere. Hess co-wrote "Tom in America," an award-winning short film, starring Sally Kirkland and Burt Young. He teaches fict ...more

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