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A powerful and unrelenting journey into a young boy’s heart of darkness, The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe is startlingly original and impossible to put out of your mind.
Set in a small town in Ireland in the early 1960s, The Butcher Boy is the story of Frances “Francie” Brady, also known as “pig boy,” the only child of an alcoholic father and a mother driven mad by despair. As his troubled home life collapses, Francie retreats into a violent fantasy world. Held up for scorn and ridicule by the sanctimonious neighbor Mrs. Nugent, and dropped by his best friend Joe in favor of Mrs. Nugent’s son, Francie finally finds a target for his rage, and a focus for his twisted, horrific plan. Dark, haunting, and often screamingly funny, The Butcher Boy chronicles the pig boy’s ominous loss of innocence and chilling descent into madness.
Written in a hybrid of first-person narrative and stream of consciousness, critics marveled at Patrick McCabe’s unique use of rhythm and language upon the novel’s publication in 1992. Critic Tim Guathier claimed McCabe’s style of writing forces the reader to “constantly reassess Francie Brady’s psychological stability,” making the novel all the more terrifying. The New York Times hailed The Butcher Boy as “stunning… part Huck Finn, part Holden Caulfield, part Hannibal Lecter.”
The Butcher Boy won the 1992 Irish Times Irish Literature Prize for Fiction, and was shortlisted for the 1992 Booker Prize. In 1997, it was adapted by the author and Neil Jordan into an award-winning film.
ABOUT THE EDITIONS
The signed limited edition of The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe is presented in three states: Artist, Numbered and Lettered. The editions measure 6” x 9” and feature six full color illustrations by David Lupton, as well as a new exclusive introduction by the author. The Numbered and Lettered editions are signed by Patrick McCabe and David Lupton, and the Artist edition is signed by David Lupton. The editions are printed offset on premium Mohawk Via paper.
A NOTE ON THE TYPOGRAPHY
The text face for The Butcher Boy is Study, recently designed by Jesse Ragan and based on the 1968 hand-drawn alphabets of Rudolph Ruzicka, a Czech-American illustrator, typeface designer, and book designer. The face is both typographic and calligraphic, with many distinctive characters and quirks. To call it child-like would be dismissive. Let’s call it human. It’s that humanness that suggested it as the text face for The Butcher Boy as the main character (although at times savage) is always human.
The wild display face is Folk, designed by Maurizio Osti and Jane Patterson in 1995, and based on the Ben Shahn Folk Alphabet of 1940. It’s unpredictable and untamable with a manic energy that’s a perfect match for the protagonist of The Butcher Boy.
The Artist edition is limited to 1000 copies, and is the only edition to feature a wraparound dust jacket illustrated by David Lupton. It is a full cloth, smyth sewn binding with two-hits foil stamping, and is housed in an embossed paper covered slipcase. The edition features illustrated endsheets and is signed by the artist.
Product info: PREORDER (ETA: Summer 2022), published by Suntup Editions
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