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Our Little Cruelties

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4.20  ·  Rating details ·  379 ratings  ·  172 reviews
Three brothers are at the funeral. One lies in the coffin.


Will, Brian and Luke grow up competing for their mother's unequal love. As men, the competition continues - for status, money, fame, women ...


They each betray each other, over and over, until one of them is dead.


But which brother killed him?
Paperback, UK, 384 pages
Published March 26th 2020 by Penguin Ireland
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Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
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Dita
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Omigahhhhhhh!

If you think your family is a fistful of crazy and are planning to binge drink your way through the holidays just be glad they are not the Drumms.

These people are horrible. I mean, truly and often hilariously awful; a living, breathing, throbbing curse on all who encounter them.

I was so there for it!
Paromjit
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Liz Nugent's latest psychological thriller gives us the Drumm family, the selfish and narcissistic show biz mother, Melissa Craig and her three sons. Mommie dearest overtly favours her eldest, William, a film producer, an entitled, nasty misogynist piece of work, is indifferent to the mean and grasping Brian, and is unbelievably cruel to her youngest, the fragile pop star Luke, ensuring that his mental health issues dog him throughout his life. The book opens with the funeral of one of the ...more
Peter
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Dysfunctional
A psychological drama that paints the most magnificently crafted characters with family interactions that are fascinating, absorbing and downright shocking. The Drumm family, led by their mother Melissa, with her three sons, Will, Brian and Luke, seem to be adept at handing out little cruelties (or not so little) to everyone around them, especially each other. A seriously dysfunctional family that has lived the dream in the media industry and paid a heavy price for it.

The story
...more
Ceecee
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Think your family might be somewhat dysfunctional? Think again. The Drumm family puts the dys into functional. The book starts at a funeral which is a cliffhanger as until the end we dont know whose it is except that its one of the Drumm brothers. Theyre a talented bunch which they probably inherit from their mother who had success as a show band singer. The eldest Brian is an agent, Will is a filmmaker and Luke has had a successful music career. They are a colourful and intriguing family as ...more
Beata
Feb 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Liz Nugent knows how to engage a reader without bonding with her characters. At least, this was the case with me. I have a soft spot for non-linear narration delivered by different characters. Interestingly enough, I did not care who murdered who or whose funeral the two remaining brother are attending in the opening scene. What gripped me was the characters, their little, or not that little, cruelties, and the reasons behind such degree of dysfunction in a family. And I was rewarded as a ...more
Felicia
Aug 14, 2019 marked it as to-read
OH MY GOD, OK, ITS HAPPENING!! 

What's the procedure?
What's the procedure?!!!

Stay fucking calm!

Everybody just calm down!


(If you don't know what this references to then your life sucks and I can't help you.)
Carolyn
The Drumm family in this novel would have to be one of the most dysfunctional and toxic fictional families ever!

Mother Melissa Craig, a self obsessed musical show biz celebrity was mostly to blame, as her family always came second to her career. Any maternal love she had was reserved for William, the eldest of her three sons who could do no wrong in her eyes, resulting in jealousy from her middle son Brian while her youngest, most sensitive son Luke couldn't understand why his mother doesn't
...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: All three of the Drumm brothers were at the funeral, although one of us was in the coffin.

Three is an odd number so there had always been two against one, although we all switched sides regularly. Nobody would ever describe us as close.

As the service began, I became tearful. Without ever realising it, I had inherited my mother's acting abilities. My living brother and I stood, side by side, at the top of the crematorium while people lied to us about what a brilliant man our brother
...more
Gary
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the simple preface of this book and instantly wanted to read it. 'Three brothers are at the funeral. One lies in the coffin. Will, Brian and Luke grow up competing for their mother's unequal love. As men, the competition continues - for status, money, fame, women ...
They each betray each other, over and over, until one of them is dead. But which brother killed him?'
Added to that I had previously enjoyed 'Skin Deep' by the same author.
This book had me hooked from start to finish although
...more
Mandy White
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If this tagline doesn't suck you in then nothing will - " Three brothers are at the funeral - one lies in the coffin" Although we do not find out who, how or why until the very end this book is addictive! At any point in the story it could have been any of the 3.

The Drumm family are so dysfunctional they would make any other family look normal. The mother is a minor celebrity in Ireland and does not know how to be a real mother to her boys. Brian, Luke and Will all grow up craving the love and
...more
Anna Luce
★★★✰✰ 3 stars

The opening lines of this novel are wonderfully theatrical:

All three of the Drumm brothers were at the funeral, although one of us was in a coffin.


Our Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent is a gleefully dark novel, filled with mean, selfish, and cruel individuals. It wouldnt be a stretch to say that Nugents latest novel features one of the most unlikable casts of characters I have ever encountered in a book. And yet, while the Drumm brothers and most of their social circle, are certainly
...more
Liz Barnsley
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In a lot of ways Liz Nugent's Our Little Cruelties is an epic family drama, jumping around in time and character, each new little gem of a chapter adding to the reader's experience of this trio of brothers. As ever with her characters none of them are flawless, all of them are divisive and she plays on your emotions pitch perfectly throughout.

As well as that the mystery element- just which one of them is in that coffin and how did his journey take him there - is intuitively embedded within the
...more
Amanda
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
WOW thats a cryptic opener;

All three of the Drumm brothers were at the funeral, although one of us was in a coffin

This is a story about a dysfunctional family, three brothers Will, Brian and Luke and their relationship throughout their childhood and adulthood.

I loved that we dont know who has died until the end of the book and how the timeline skips backwards and forwards so that we see important events in the brothers lives that have shaped them to who they are.

I really immersed myself with
...more
Brenda
3.5s

Okay picture this. Mother, Melissa Craig is a self-obsessed fan of herself; a jaded singer who thinks more of her faded career and doesnt have a clue how to parent her three sons. The eldest, Will is a film producer with barely a decent bone in his body, while the middle boy, Brian can only be described as a mean and cruel bully and the youngest, Luke is a bewildered, fragile boy who tries in the pop industry only to get caught up in the toxicity of the drug culture as his mental health
...more
Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
Wait..... What??!!!! What the actual hell?? How did I not get this message??? Ahhhhh one of my all time favorite authors😍😍😍😍😍😍 I need this book!!! Now!
Lou
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Our Little Cruelties is Ms Nugents fourth psychological thriller and having read her preceding three, which I enjoyed, I must admit this, for me, was a considerable step up in terms of quality compared to the rest. The plot revolves around three brothers William, Brian and Like who have been at loggerheads most if their lives the catalyst for which was their mother favouring one more than the others. It really is one of the stupidest and most short-sighted/myopic things you can do as a parent as ...more
Mark
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it

A story that starts with 3 brothers at a funeral, the funeral being for 1 of them!!
You are then taken on a history of the 3, their lives, often chaotic, rarely not interesting and how and why we are at this funeral
Other family members play a part and the Mother is hideous ( but fascinating ) a narcissist extraordinaire
None of the characters are likeable but there is something alluring about the book and even though reading has been the last thing on mine ( and prob everyones ) mind this last
...more
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
Our Little Cruelties is horrifically compelling.
Divisive characters, extremely messed up familial relationships and a brilliant story meant I couldnt stop reading.
Dark, brutal and compulsive, this is my favorite book of Lizs for sure!
...more
Linda Strong

Three brothers ... only one is in a coffin. You won't know who or why until the very end of this character driven psychological family drama.

The Drumm family are totally dysfunctional. Mom is a small time celebrity of sorts and feels she deserves more. She really has never been much of a mother and even doesn't want anything to do with the first grandchild. After all, according to her, she has borne 3 sons ..she's done.

The husband is almost a shadow. He's been beaten down by life ... and his
...more
Louise Wilson
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a stoeynabout three brothers Will, Brain and Luke Drumm. We learn of the relationships that they had with their mother who had been in showbusiness. The story opens with the funeral of one of the brothers, we just don't know which one yet. We don't find out until the end who it was.

The story is told, in turn, by each of the brothers perspectives. They are each given a third of the book to tell their part. The timeline also jumps back and forth so that we learn about different stages in
...more
Nadia
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
My first book by Liz Nugent and I wasn't disappointed. 

Our Little Cruelties centres around a dysfunctional family of three brothers Will, Brian and Luke, and their crooked relationship starting in their childhood and only getting more twisted as they become adults. 

The book is filled with lies, betrayals, selfishness, pretence, addiction, mental illness and more. Despite the unlikable characters, the book is addictive and you will want to know how the story ends!

Many thanks to the publisher for
...more
Gary
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read the simple preface of this book and instantly wanted to read it. 'Three brothers are at the funeral. One lies in the coffin. Will, Brian and Luke grow up competing for their mother's unequal love. As men, the competition continues - for status, money, fame, women ...
They each betray each other, over and over, until one of them is dead. But which brother killed him?'
Added to that I had previously enjoyed 'Skin Deep' by the same author.
This book had me hooked from start to finish although
...more
Adrian Dooley
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Liz Nugent. This is the third book Ive read by her and they never cease to be interesting and slyly seductive. They are subtle beasts that woo you without you even knowing it.

Our Little Cruelties is the story of three brothers Will, Brian and Luke, their relationship with their showbiz mother, and to a lesser extent their father.

The book opens with the three brothers at a funeral, only one of them is in the coffin, killed by the hands of his brother. We dont know which brother is dead and
...more
Sheri
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Liz Nugent excels at creating unlikeable yet complex characters, as well as telling an incredibly readable story, and in the tale of the brothers Drumm (not Grimm, though the story is indeed grim at times), she has delivered brilliantly on both fronts.

The sons of Melissa Craig, a well known singer (the only Melissa of her generation, according to her son - it wasnt the name she was born with), spend their lives in complicated battles with one another, beginning with that for their mothers
...more
Linda Harris
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My goodness talk about dysfunctional families ... This one takes the biscuit. Thoroughly disliked the main characters .... Very dark ,somber read.
If you think your family is bad ! Read this you might think again . As always Liz nugent delivers a riveting read .
Tracy Fenton
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved Liz Nugents previous books especially Skin Deep and Lying in Wait so when I saw that she had a new standalone psychological thriller called Our Little Cruelties being published on 26th March 2020, I jumped at the chance to read an early advance copy thanks to Netgalley.

There was NO DOUBT in my mind that Liz Nugent is a very sick and twisted person in real life who should possibly not be allowed near small children or pets, however having met Liz at Harrogate Crime Festival she is
...more
Julie Lacey
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a tricky one to review as I dont want to give too much away but the blurb for this book really pulled me in:
Three brothers are at the funeral. One lies in the coffin.
We hear about their lives from each perspective and learn about the relationship they have with each other and their parents.
The only slightly annoying thing was the time jumps of each chapter, they seemed to hop around 20 years in the past then it would be 10 years later and back again.
They all betray each other in their
...more
Lavender
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
The book starts with a funeral. William, Brian and Luke Drumm are brothers and now one of them is dead. We dont know which of them ended up in a coffin and which of them maybe responsible.

Our Little Cruelties is an epic character driven family drama as well as a murder mystery. Each of the brothers tells us their story from their point of view. If you ever saw a dysfunctional family, consider the Drumms. This family is the real kicker. Their mother is a kind of small celebrity in Ireland. She is
...more
Linda Richardson
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Fame. Fortune. Family. Fatalities. 5 Fabulous Stars. Liz Nugent writes character rich dramas that redefine the genre psychological suspense, and Our Little Cruelties is her best to date. The book opens with a funeral, but we are not told who died. The three brothers then tell their tales which unfold over many years. I was sure I knew who was in the coffin after 3/4 of the book, but as always the author twists my empathy until Im shown that the people we call our enemies, are not the greatest ...more
Adi Rocks Socks (semi hiatus)
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like Shakespeare's darker stories
4.5 stars

Dysfunctional family + Betrayal + Murder = Our Little Cruelties

It is with the deepest regret that I inform you that this book makes you lose track of time, makes you want to shirk all your quotidian responsibilities, and keeps you guessing right up to the 99% mark.

Let me paint you a picture. A young woman, annoyed that work kept her late, stays up till 3 am so that she can spend enough time with her book. She wakes up at 8 am, and instead of rushing to get ready for the office day,
...more
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Liz Nugent worked as a stage manager in theatres in Ireland and toured internationally before writing extensively for radio and television drama.

Unravelling Oliver was published in 2014, hit the number 1 spot for several weeks and won Crime Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards.

Lying in Wait, published in 2016, went straight to number 1 and was chosen for the Richard & Judy Book Club.
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