I hated this book with a passion. As an avid reader of crime fiction and great literature, I had heard about The Butcher Boy and was anxious to read it. I wish I could get a refund. It is a dark, depressing book which is to be expected considering the subject matter: a young boy slipping into dementia. A few other readers commented that they stayed with the book, interested, for about 100 pages. That's about the same with me, but everything goes downhill quickly. I applaud McCabe's manner of showing us how Francie loses his grip on reality. But, 200 plus pages of a potty-mouthed, insane boy's stream of consciousness ramblings is enough to cause the reader to join Francie in the looney bin.
All I could think about when I reading it was that the book was written for attention, maybe to shock, maybe to put a feather in the author's cap. Whatever. I could see the book on the reading list for a college English course, but I got no enjoyment out of it as a booklover and casual, not scholarly, reader. Having read William Faulkner and his love of stream of consciousness and run-on sentences (Sound and the Fury), I was prepared to have to work to finish this book. But, should anyone really have work so hard to complete a book?
I guess to put a final nail in the coffin, I was surprised at all the comments that this was a hilarious book. Reader reviews and newspaper/magazine reviews all proclaim this book as amusing or as one puts it "screamingly funny." I found nothing at all funny in the book. Maybe a line here or there was funny, but knowing that these thoughts and actions were coming from a rapidly-forming sociopath made it very hard for me to even crack a smile reading this book. Especially considering the sociopath in question is a young boy.
Sorry for the angry review but, once again, I have bought a book with very high expectations and have found myself sorely and sadly disappointed.