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McCabe, Patrick

ireland irish reader

(Irish, 1955– )

Patrick McCabe's characters are irrepressible, they make you laugh and sympathize no matter what horrible acts they commit. His first-person voices pull the reader in and make it impossible to distance yourself when the violence erupts (and it will!). There is a huge pleasure for the reader in the exuberance and easy rhythms of McCabe's language. His books are a brilliant depiction of the different faces of Ireland; rural village life in The Butcher Boy (1992), two generations of schoolmasters in The Dead School (1995), and an unexpected take on the Troubles seen from the perspective of a transvestite prostitute in the 1970s, in Breakfast on Pluto (1998). McCabe is deliciously nasty but the black comedy conceals a serious purpose, analysing the religious, social, and sexual pressures which have shaped Irish history. He has never been nastier (or funnier) than in Emerald Germs of Ireland (2001), which with McCabe's usual relish tells the story of 45-year-old Pat McNab in his ‘post-matricide year’.

Poppy Z. Brite, Roddy Doyle, Flann O'Brien  RV

McCaffrey, Anne [next] [back] McBain, Ed.

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