Friday, March 3, 2017

Ten top black comedies

In 2007 novelist and short story writer Ray French tagged his top ten black comedies for the Guardian. One title on the list:
The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe

Meet Francie Brady: "When I was a young lad 20 or 30 or 40 years ago I lived in a small town where they were all after me on account of what I done on Mrs Nugent." The narrator's tragic descent into isolation, madness and violence is told in disturbing yet hilarious language. Imagine Hitchcock writing the plot for one of Beckett's rambling monologues and you get some idea of the sheer brilliance of McCabe's novel. But, throughout, the author's enormous compassion for Francie shines through. Once you've met him, Francie Brady is impossible to forget.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Butcher Boy is on Allen Barra's top twelve list of the best postwar Irish novels, Nick Brooks's top 10 list of literary murderers, Declan Burke's 2008 top ten list of Irish crime fiction, and Edward Hogan's top ten list of stories set outside the city.

--Marshal Zeringue