Nisid Hajari
May 14, 1993 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Butcher Boy

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
performer
Neil Jordan, Sinead O'Connor, Aisling O'Sullivan, Eamonn Owens, Stephen Rea, Fiona Shaw
author
Patrick McCabe
genre
Drama

We gave it an A-

What’s most gruesome about & Irish teen sociopath Francie Brady (a.k.a. ”pig boy”) isn’t his predictable Dantean slide from reform school to psycho ward to jail and back to psycho ward. The Butcher Boy‘s true horror lurks between the lines of its first- person, fever-dream narrative — in the grim reality of envy, frustration, and loss underlying Francie’s shrill bonhomie. Unhinged in stages by his mother’s suicide, father’s heart attack, and friend’s betrayal, Francie subtly reveals his madness in an unrelenting, upbeat stream of patter. McCabe’s acclaimed third novel — a finalist for the Booker Prize, with The Crying Game director Neil Jordan negotiating for the film rights-walks the path of dementia with remarkable assurance, mumbling quietly to itself. A-

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