[[quoteright:162:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/butcherboy_5688.jpg]]

->''"When I was a young lad twenty or thirty or forty years ago I lived in a small town where they were all after me on account of [[CruelAndUnusualDeath what I done on Mrs Nugent]]"''

The Butcher's Boy is a 1992 novel by Patrick Mc Cabe. Set in a small town in Ireland in the early 1960s, it tells the story of Francie Brady, a delusional boy who retreats into a violent fantasy world as his troubled home life collapses.

The novel won the 1992 Irish Times Irish Literature Prize for Fiction and was short-listed for the 1992 Booker Prize.

A film adaptation was made in 1997, starring Eamonn Owens (as the title character), [[Film/TheCryingGame Stephen Rea]] and [[Main/HarryPotter Fiona Shaw]]. Sinéad O'Connor cameos as the Virgin Mary.

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* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: The Brady family, because they are dysfunctional.
* AlphaBitch: Mrs Nugent, who is a {{jerkass}} neighbor who thinks she is superior to the Bradys and thinks of them as pigs.
* AnimalMotifs: Pigs.
* AssholeVictim: [[spoiler: Mrs Nugent, a snobby and judgemental woman, is horribly killed and butchered by Francie.]]
* BittersweetEnding: In both the book and the film adaptation.
** [[spoiler:In the book, Francie, still delusional, is sent to a mental hospital where he writes memoirs about how he killed Mrs Nugent and he attempts to forge a friendship with an inmate similar to the one he had with Joe.]]
** [[spoiler:In the film, a much older Francie is released from the psychiatric hospital at the end to be brought to a halfway house, where he seems to have matured.]]
* BlackComedy
* CainAndAbel: Francie's father Benny and his brother Alo.
* TheCameo: Sinéad O'Connor, as the Virgin Mary. Ironic, considering her views on religion.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Francie is quite mischievous and delusional and unaware of the world around him.
** CloudcuckoolandersMinder: Joe was this to Francie until he got fed with it.
* [[spoiler: CruelAndUnusualDeath: Francie kills Mrs Nugent with the butcher gun in the head, then he chops her up and writes “PIG” in rooms upstairs with her insides.]]
* DissonantSerenity: As his sanity slips with each chapter, Francie is disturbingly chirpy and cheerful. His playful pranks begin to advance into more destructive and menacing behavior. It concludes with him [[spoiler: killing Mrs Nugent]].
* DrowningMySorrows: This is what kills Francie's father in the end. Francie is oblivious to this and the readers only find out when the police finds his rotten corpse.
* DrivenToSuicide: Francie's mother after he briefly runs away.
* DysfunctionalFamily: Francie's family. His mother is frequently abused both verbally and physically by her husband, a bitter alcoholic, and often considers committing suicide. Of course, Francie is oblivious to this and claims that his mother is "in the garage".
* EtTuBrute: Francie's reaction after finding out that Joe befriended Philip.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: The fact that Francie works as a [[TitleDrop butcher's boy]] and cuts up pig carcasses foreshadows [[spoiler: the way he kills Mrs Nugent in the finale.]]
* GreenEyedMonster: Not that he ever accepts it, but Francie is jealous of the Nugents because they are a happy and stable family.
* {{Hypocrite}}: Francie accuses Mrs Nugent on being this.
-->''"I was thinking how right ma was. Mrs Nugent all smiles when she met us and how are you getting on Mrs and young Francis are you both well?...what she was really saying was: Ah hello Mrs Pig how are you and look Philip do you see what's coming now...The Pig Family!"''
* ImprovisedWeapon: [[spoiler: Francie kills Mrs Nugent with a butcher's bolt gun, no less!]]
* LivingEmotionalCrutch: Joe is this to Francie, especially in the film. When Joe matures and befriends Philip Nugent, cutting all ties with Francie, he snaps.
* LongingForFictionland: Francie loves fantasising about [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking alien takeover, atomic apocalypse, and the Virgin Mary]].
* MoodWhiplash
* NeverMyFault: After his mother commits suicide by drowning, Francie refuses to accept that he somehow provoked it and puts the blame on the Nugents, especially Mrs Nugent.
* [[spoiler: OffWithHisHead: Mrs Nugent.]]
* SanitySlippage: And it gets FromBadToWorse.
* TheSixties
* SocialServicesDoesNotExist: Subverted, as they do. Not that they do much ...
* SoundtrackDissonance: Especially in the film. For example that cheerful tune after Francie defecates on the floor of the Nugent's house.
* ThroughTheEyesOfMadness
* TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior
* UnreliableNarrator: It's Francie after all ...