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Our Little Cruelties

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  6,165 ratings  ·  1,139 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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Margaret Butler Beachi has it right. Not really murder but depraved indifference. The book was compelling until it wasn't. What a poor excuse for a family. And what a…moreBeachi has it right. Not really murder but depraved indifference. The book was compelling until it wasn't. What a poor excuse for a family. And what a commentary on the last 30 years of the world with regard to many things including life threatening disease, the Internet and social media and and basically the increased narcissism in the world as a result of all of those factors and more,(less)

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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,165 ratings  ·  1,139 reviews

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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 broth ...more
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 star
Feb 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
*4.5 stars *

This is by anyone's standards a brilliantly written novel. Highly original, with exceptionally well-drawn characters.

It is the story of a Dublin family, in which there are three brothers, William, Brian and Luke. The boys are the children of a famous show band singer, with access to all glitterati show biz personalities. Their mother is known professionally as Melissa, although by her birth family as Moll.

In the eighties, Bob Dylan held a huge concert in Dublin. Melissa has an entre
There have been some really GREAT thrillers this year.

Unfortunately, though, this one does NOT make that list for me.

This is a dysfunctional family drama-not the THRILLER, that I was expecting!

The book opens with a funeral.
Three brothers in attendance but one is in the coffin.

You are reading to find out WHO it is, HOW he died, and WHY.

Each brother will tell you in his own voice, his perception of his childhood years, his early adult life, and his life in the present day-this is a dysfunction
Oct 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
everything you need to know about this book is in the title and the synopsis.

the story begins with a funeral, but we dont know whose and we dont know why. the vast majority of the book is a reflection on the lives of each of the brothers, how they waned in and out of their relationships with each other, and the little cruelties they have both endured and inflicted throughout their lives.

and because the funeral doesnt come back into play until the last 20 pages or so, i wouldnt call this a myst
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The bloody Drumm brothers horrified and disturbed the hell of me more than Grimm brothers:
This is truly delicious, mind blowing, detailed, conflict, brain cell punching, twisty, nerve bending, fantastic masterpiece!

Three flawed, dirty, irritating brothers with dark secrets, both of them are ready to stab the other behind, reveal the dirty skeletons they hid in the closets for centuries.

Now three of them at the funeral and one of them is already in the coffin. Who is in the coffin? Who is respo
Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
Well... 😬😩 Guys it is hurting my heart to give this 3 stars, it really is. I always try to be honest, even if I don't want to be! Look I LOVE Liz Nugent's books! I am obsessed with them. Unraveling Oliver was my favorite book of the year, two years ago. This writer is brilliant! I just didn't mesh well with this book and I think I know why. I just had a different expectation built up from my experience with her last three books. Her writing style is dark, twisted and some super snarky humor. I L ...more
Sumit RK
Jun 23, 2020 rated it liked it
” Three brothers are at the funeral. One lies in the coffin” “

The opening line of the novel is enough to grab your attention and it manages to hold your attention till the end. First thing first, though classified as a mystery thriller, Our Little Cruelties is more of a family drama. The main mystery is the identity of the dead brother but it’s not critical to the main story. This is a dark, disturbing story of a dysfunctional family of three brothers Will, Brian, and Luke, and their twiste
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
A Funeral, three Brothers - two alive, one dead. What a mess.

This book is told through the POV of the three brothers: William, Brian and Luke. William is a successful film producer; Luke is a worldwide pop star and Brian is a teacher who also manages Luke's career and finances. They could be typical normal guys, but they are not! They are all a mess in varying degrees. Each doing "little cruelties" to each other. Betrayal after betrayal. They give new meaning to the term "dysfunctional family"

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 don’t know whose it is except that it’s one of the Drumm brothers. They’re 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
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
A disappointing Family drama where a bunch of dislikable characters take precedence over the plot, so much so that by the end of the novel I was very happy to part company with the Drumm brothers. A dysfunctional family that became monotonous and annoying and just didn't make for compelling reading.

I am fan of Liz Nugent’s novels as she is known for her smart, dark and brilliant story telling, her opening lines are always terrific one liners that draws the reader in and her opening line in Our
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 ha
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 reader ...more
Elyse  Walters
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“The Drumms sounded like characters from a Greek tragedy or the shoddiest soap opera there ever was”.

In much the same way that I loved Joyce Carol Oats book, “Night, Sleep, Death, and The Stars”....
I loved this novel > marveling the storytelling > marveling the characters....
contemplating....difficulties....struggles...worries...moral values...human flaws and decency....and life experiences.

I read a little each morning ....pausing to look out the window savoring each page - appreciating Liz N
Dec 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-books
Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent paints a portrait of a dysfunctional family (with a capital D). The Drumm brothers of Dublin, Will, Brian and Luke have spent their childhood seeking love and approval from their mother, a selfish performer with a giant ego. This competition has driven a wedge between the brothers and they turn against each other, go out of their way to make the others miserable. This does not change when they become adults. The rivalry simply becomes more cruel. And this ends with ...more
Dec 09, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss, audio
This was my second go around with this book. After nearly a third of the way I set it aside and called it a day. When the audio version was released I quickly snatched it up hoping it would be an improvement. But sadly it didn’t sway my opinion.

Always a fan of Liz Nugent books in the past, I was anxious to read this one as well. I can’t pin-point what happened. I just wasn’t able to connect with the characters, finding each one to be mean, selfish and unlikable. I think this left me with the i
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 lo
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
2 stars.

It is really disappointing for me to give 2 stars to one of my most highly anticipated books. I am a huge fan of this author but this novel felt like it was written by someone else entirely.

The storyline was dark and depressing and it failed to draw me in. I kept waiting to feel a connection that never happened. I didn’t care for any of the characters. The writing itself felt quite basic and rambly - like a personal journal that was never edited. Perhaps I missed the whole point of the w
Aug 14, 2019 marked it as to-read

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 Walsh
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rereading
4.5 stars rounded up to 5.
This is a dark, disturbing story of a dysfunctional family. None of the characters are remotely likeable, but always intriguing in this compulsive tale of sibling rivalry, competition, insidious mental cruelty, drugs, alcoholism, betrayal, and emotional breakdowns. The author, Liz Nugent, portrays family dynamics at its most shocking and fascinating. There are touches of diabolical black humour to make one laugh or gasp.

The story begins with one of the three Drumm son
Nov 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thrillers
Im only going to say a few words on this one bat shit crazy fun read.
Frank Phillips
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say, other than this was yet another Nugent vintage domestic drama that had me nothing less than completely enthralled! The beginning scene of this incredible novel was at a funeral of one of our three protagonist Drumm brothers, although we are not given any indication as to which one it is! At that point I was a goner. I was what you would call obsessed with this, taking it everywhere I went: bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, when I had to drive to go get food (in case there was a tempora ...more
Katie B
4.5 stars

This is the 4th book I have read by this author and once again it was a good read. Liz Nugent has a knack for coming up with these crazy characters who you wouldn't want to encounter in real life but are so much fun to read about in her books.

Brothers William, Brian, and Luke Drumm grew up in 1970s Ireland. And let's just say their childhood helped shape them into the men they became as adults. The beginning of the story opens up with the funeral of one of the brothers. So how did the
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
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
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 a
Jul 13, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars
Our Little Cruelties is a story of a dysfunctional family. 3 brothers who always come to betray each other. Until one of them is dead (at the very end)…

I had high hopes for this one but it wasn’t what I expected it to be. Yes, the writing was good enough to hold my interest but my issue was with the story itself. The mystery is about which brother is going to be dead (that I guessed wrong) and not which brother killed him (as you can see in the blurb). I liked reading about their life b
Aug 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
“The Drumms sounded like characters from a Greek tragedy or the shoddiest soap opera there ever was."

What an incredibly fecked up family. I mean, holy cow. I think every single character in this book was completely off the rails, but man, was it a naughty pleasure.

Divided into three sections, each voiced by one of the three Drumm brothers, this story was absolutely masterfully written. I loved how we got to see different life events, both tragedies and celebrations, but through the
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
WOW that’s 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 don’t 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 wi
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this chilling book about twisted family secrets and tragedies. Our Little Cruelties focuses on three brothers, Luke, William, and Brian, and is narrated alternately by all three of them. In the beginning, two brothers attend the third’s funeral, but the reader does not know who has passed away. The rest of the book slowly unravels the many family dynamics and secrets over the years until the reader finally learns who has died.

The book is beautifully written, and each brother has a unique
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

The Drumms sounded like characters from a Greek tragedy or the shoddiest soap opera there ever was.

I loooooooooooooooooooove some fucked up family drama – especially during this time of Covid when you have to isolate from any real-life action that might occur within your own jacked up family tree.

This one starts off with Nugent’s signature “you had me at hello” whammo of an opening line . . . .

All three of the Drumm brothers w
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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. It wo

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