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Emerald Germs of Ireland

3.08  ·  Rating details ·  203 ratings  ·  19 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
Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 5th 2002 by Harper Perennial (first published 2001)
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3.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  203 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Apr 11, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  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
Mar 09, 2019 added it
Shelves: abandoned
DNF at 40 pages. Ugh.
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 28, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
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...
Scott Seay
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wacky good fun - probably a whole lot funnier if you know stock Irish problems and people. Not for someone who likes a realistic novel, or wants to read a pretty story.
May 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
"A load of aul' shite" as the protagonist Pat McNabb might say. With a few exceptions, each of the 14 chapters starts with a song, an annoying character crossing paths with, and indeed often staying with, the aforementioned delusional, alcoholic, matricidal Pat, Pat getting thoroughly annoyed with the annoying character, Pat then killing and burying the annoying character in his garden.
It takes until about the halfway mark before there is any exposition of Pat's back story so up to that point
Nov 15, 2009 rated it liked it
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 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.
Oct 01, 2010 rated it liked it
"I cordially dislike allegory" is a fine, gentlemanly way to qualify one's allegorical preference without appearing to be either a snob or a sourpuss.

"Yo Mama so ugly she had to feed you with a slingshot" is neither fine nor gentlemanly, and certainly not as subtle as "Yo Mama so ugly she made Ray Charles flinch."

So there you go. Always remember that in an age dominated by irony, conscious or not, this guy is not afraid to be sincere.
Mar 03, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Loved The Butcher Boy. Loved Breakfast on Pluto. Wanted so much to love this and every other McCabe book I could get my mitts on. But didn't love it. Liked some parts, but no love found. Will still pick up every book that this great writer writes from here on out hoping to find the love.
Martin Roberts
A disappointment compared to other books of McCabe's. Some of these jewels sparkle, but others read like potboilers.
Patrick Hadley
Jul 03, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: murderers, drinkers, crooners
Really repetitive. Not too creative. Lots of good murders, though!
Nov 06, 2007 rated it liked it
McCabe is a fantastic writer but the plot itself getsa bit Norman Bates-ey toward the end.
Jun 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
good read
Beth Shields-Szostak
remainder mark
Tim Corke
Jul 22, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, dnf
Just couldn't get into it - off to the Bookcrossing in the hope someone else can
Mar 31, 2011 rated it liked it
not Butcher Boy brilliant, but still a pleasure.
Matt Reese
Dec 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Witty, gritty and a little twisted. Liked it enough to possibly reread it soon.
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Sep 08, 2012
Sean Walsh
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Jan 12, 2015
Malcolm Burke
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Sep 28, 2015
Mike Bourke
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Mar 16, 2012
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Jun 10, 2011
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Dec 21, 2017
David Thornton
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Jan 16, 2017
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Feb 16, 2009
John Reilly
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Sep 14, 2013
Notcathy J
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Jun 14, 2007
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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