The Butcher Boy


Title: Butcher Apprentice

Author: Patrick McCabe

Translator: Peyman Khaksar

Publisher: Cheshmeh

Subject: Irish story

Age category: Adult

Cover: Paperback

Number of pages: 221 p

Language: Farsi

Categories: ,


The Butcher Boy, originally titled The Butcher Boy, is by Irish author Patrick McCabe, who was nominated for a 1992 Booker Prize.

This highly acclaimed novel has always attracted the attention of critics and the public, and much has been written about it.

In addition to being nominated for the Booker Prize, The Butcher’s Apprentice has won the Irish Times Literary Prize and is on the Guardian’s list of the 1001 must-read books to die.

Irish Central also lists Butcher’s Apprentice as one of the top twenty in the history of Irish literature.

Washington Post:
Perfect Novel ب Beckett’s Monologue with Hitchcock’s Foundations…

New York Times:

Mocker… Part Huckleberry Finn, Part Holden Caulfield, Part Hannibal Lecter.

Rady Doyle, author of Paddy Clark Hahaha:

Brilliant, unparalleled. Patrick McCabe pushes you into the world of books as you step out of your comfort zone, praising the book and knowing that your view of the story has changed completely. The best Irish novel I have read in recent years.

On the back cover of the book, there is a part of the text of the novel that reflects its content well:

When I got home, the air was bright and it was ridiculous that if I wanted to go to bed, I would sit next to Baba and think of different things, one of which is that dumb people, because they can not shout, probably have a black hole in their stomach.

The Butcher Boy book summary
The novel is about a mentally ill person and the whole story is about the adventures and events that this madman tells. The story of the book is told in French by Brady, which is a mixture of the first person and the fluid flow of the mind.

The French family has a great influence on him. A family whose father is an alcoholic and the mother of the family is very dissatisfied and disappointed with the current situation.

The situation is so dire that Frances’s mother commits suicide, an unsuccessful suicide that causes her to be hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital. Meanwhile, the only French refuge is his friend Joe Purcell.

Frances and Joe have their own childish world, they have a hiding place in the corner and they love comic books.

Some time later, families migrate from England to their city. The family’s son, Philip Nogent, who is the same age as Frances and Joe, has new comic books that Frances has never seen in his life.

So, together with Joe, they decide to take these comic books from Philip by bullying. The story that makes Philip’s mother very angry.

Mrs. Nougat comes to the front of the French house and says things that greatly affect the French:

I saw Joe and he said, “Beware, Frances, we are at war with Nogent.” He came to our house and is still looking for you. I was lying on the bed upstairs when the doorbell rang, waiting for him.

I heard my mother slipping on the parquet and whispering. Hello, Ms. Nojent, welcome to you, but Nojent, welcome to you, you will not be a donkey.

He told my mother the story of the magazines and many other things, and I heard my mother say yes, yes, I understand, of course I understand! I waited for him to run up the stairs and pick up my ear and throw me in front of Ms. Nogent, who would have done the same if Ms. Nogent had not mentioned a pig.

He said that before he went to England, he knew people like us well and he should not have allowed his son to fly with someone like me, and what else could be expected from a family whose father is never and is in pubs from morning till night and pigs are honored?

Frances herself knew very well what was going on in their house and how bad the situation was.

But hearing these words in a humiliating way from the language of Nojant makes him completely insane.

The main story of the book starts from here and Frances can never forget being a pig and addressing himself and his family as pigs.

It should be noted that the name of the book is taken from a song of the same name. The Butcher’s Apprentice is an English folk song that has been sung by many singers.
From the very beginning of the book, it is clear that the butcher’s student is a special and different novel. A novel that includes the confessions of a sick mind.

A patient who is more a victim of a condition than a patient. Victim of violence and lack of proper support. The black humor in the book illustrates these issues well.

In my opinion, the atmosphere of this book is very similar to Salinger’s Nature of the Plains, and if you like Nature of the Plains, you will surely enjoy the book The Butcher’s Apprentice.

Patrick McCabe has been able to show the French personality of the psychopath well to the audience. The things that Frances does, her mental conversations, the reactions and feelings that Frances shows, all make you identify with this character.

Of course, it must be admitted that at first, the French character is very non-sticky and even nervous.

Someone who has no respect for anything and does whatever he likes. But when you get to know his mental background in the rest of the book, he is right.
The author has written the book in a special way that may seem a little difficult at first. As we have mentioned, the narrative of this book is a mixture of the first person and the fluid flow of the mind.

The author has used minimal punctuation and has not used quotation marks anywhere.

So at the beginning of the book it may be difficult to distinguish which sentence is a narration, which sentence is a French mental dialogue, and which sentence is a normal narrative of the book’s story.

But gradually you realize the style of writing and you enjoy reading it.

Based on this book, a film was made in 1997 that is worth watching. But our suggestion is to read the book first and then watch the movie.

Sentences from the text of the book Butcher’s apprentice
Come on, Frances, get this pair of pliers. Go to Mary’s shop and buy some candy for yourself. I said no mom, I do not want candy, can I buy chocolate instead? He said yes, it can.

Now go go. His face was red and hot, as if he was sitting in front of a fire, the only problem was that there was never a fire in our house. The misfortune was that Mary’s shop was closed and I had to go back and inform my mother.

I wanted to see if I could keep six pence for myself. But when I tried to open the door, I saw that it was locked.

I knocked on the window, but the only sound I heard was the tap. I said, “Mom, I’m probably upstairs and I whistled and turned the coin in my hand and I was thinking of finally buying chocolate or toffee.” Then I heard a rattle and thought it would be better to go out the window to see what was going on.

I said maybe Graves Armstrong or someone else would come and steal the sausage again, but when I entered the kitchen I saw my mother standing in a corner with a left chair on the table.
I told him what the chair up there was, a piece of wire that belonged to Baba was swinging up from the ceiling, but he did not say what he was doing up there, he was just standing and biting his nails and opening his mouth to say something but he was not saying anything.

He said, “Look, what have I bought for you?” He said, “I bought you a page, the best page in the world.” I bet you haven’t heard of a page so well.

I said what is her name? Mom said her name is butcher apprentice, let’s dance together. He put the page in the turntable and made his way. We sighed and walked around the room, Mom knew her poem. The more he read, the redder his face became.

I was scared because I had not planned for him and I had never run away from home before. Saki had to take something with me. But I did not win.

I started walking until I got out. I wanted to walk and walk so much that the soles of my shoes would wear out and I could no longer walk. I looked like the boy behind my painting desk.

His lips were like red plums, and as he walked across the globe, his mouth came out like a steam jet engine.

I had named him. I called him a boy who could walk forever, and now I wanted to do the same, to become him once and for all.
The beautiful things in the world are not very good after all, are they? I want to stay dead.

I was like a mushroom growing on the walls and they wanted to clean me up as soon as possible.

I was becoming a bad mom. Special this way and special this way. I do this, I do not do that. Next again. I know, I only think about the atmosphere and the old days. But then, laugh again. Large spiral clouds of ink powder were hovering in the sky, with a music book in my back pocket.

All the beautiful things in this world are lies. After all, they have no value.

Next week your loneliness will end, you will come out of solitary confinement, what do you think? I wanted to laugh in his face: How does one end loneliness? I had never heard anything funnier than this.

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