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Little Cruelties

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  2,680 ratings  ·  597 reviews
This story begins with a funeral. One of three brothers is dead, mourned by his siblings. But which one? And how? And, most importantly: why?

William, Brian, and Luke are each born a year apart in a lower middle class Catholic family in 1960s Dublin. William, the eldest, rises to the top of the heap in the film industry as a successful movie producer. Luke, the baby of the
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published November 10th 2020 by Gallery/Scout Press (first published March 26th 2020)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  2,680 ratings  ·  597 reviews

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Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


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!
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
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
Oct 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sumit RK
” 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
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"

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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
“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
Aug 14, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

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.)
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
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
Im only going to say a few words on this one bat shit crazy fun read.
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
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 a
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
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 14, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one is difficult for me to review because I really liked it, but it just wasn't what I was expecting. I was expecting a psychological thriller, and it was ... sort of, although I found it to be more of a drawn out domestic drama with psychotic characters, but not really a thriller. That always makes me think a little less about a book and throws me for a loop when it comes to sorting out my feelings about it. So when I'm conflicted, I generally just list the pros and cons and then let the c ...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 wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Nugent’s 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 certa
Liz Barnsley
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 n
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Our Little Cruelties is Ms Nugent’s 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 Luke 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 a ...more

Okay – picture this. Mother, Melissa Craig is a self-obsessed fan of herself; a jaded singer who thinks more of her faded career and doesn’t 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
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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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