Nob 23, 2001

My sister's volume of Patrick McCabe's "The Butcher Boy" is a hardbound copy straight from the dirt-cheap annals of Booksale. Judging from teh markings, the copy was discarded by the Floral Park Public Library. Maybe for some minor defect? I don't know... volumes that bore much more physical abuse than this are the standard fare in our libraries.

I read it without watching the film featured on HBO. Of course now, after I have seen the spiralling light, I try my luck in the cable's TV guide, waiting for the elusive film to show up again. Not much fortune so far.

I don't think National has any on stock. It's a fairly recent book so one can request it from Page One or Power Books. Or from a relative abroad maybe. I doubt if anybody can get the book at Php 49 in any case. This was pure luck. For are a connoisseur of books featuring psychological cases, this is perfect. For people looking for great contemporary tragedies, this will whet their masochistic appetites. It is laced with humor too. Which makes it all the more painful.

Finally, what is it all about? Cross an orphaned alcoholic dad with an emotionally distraught suicidal mom and you get a screwed-up boy. Place him in an Irish small town complete with bullies, sheriffs, perverted priests, and high-brow, condescending neighbors. What do you get? The Butcher Boy.

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