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Shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2008 Breakfast on Pluto and The Butcher Boy were both shortlisted for the Booker Prize and made into acclaimed films by Neil Jordan Winner of the Irish Novel of the Year 2006

About the Author

Patrick McCabe was born in Ireland in 1955. His novels include Music on Clinton Street, Carn, The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto. The latter two were shortlisted for the Booker Prize. The Butcher Boy won the Irish Times/Aer Lingus Literature Prize in 1992 and was made into a film, directed by Neil Jordan, in 1997. The film Breakfast on Pluto, also directed by and co-written with Neil Jordan, was released in 2006 to great acclaim. Patrick McCabe lives in his home town of Clones, County Monaghan.


Attempting to keep as much as possible hidden from himself (and the reader), the narrator of this strangely absorbing Irish novel changes names and lurches from memory and repression to the edge between reality and fantasy as his story gradually unfolds. Beginning as a journalist who travels to a rural area to visit an old musician named Ned Strange, narrator Redmond Hatch soon starts telling the story of his idyllic marriage to Catherine and the birth and early years of their daughter, Imogen. Then the marriage collapses, daughter and mother abandon him for reasons only hinted at, and Redmond stages a fake suicide, reemerging as Dominic. As he begins stalking his estranged family, he is haunted by the stories of the old musician, who turns out to be a child molester and killer-a fate the new Dominic may be doomed to replicate in his confused and alcoholic state. In his latest work, respected Irish author McCabe (The Butcher Boy) seems driven by the connection between the economic success story that is modern Ireland and the loss of rural tradition and a more natural if primitive lifestyle. While the novel does make for engrossing reading, figuring out what it is supposed to add up to can be difficult; certainly, it's an antidote to images of emerald hills and laughing leprechauns. Recommended for larger fiction collections.-Jim Coan, SUNY Coll. at Oneonta Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

'A true original' John Banville 'This is McCabe's greatest work ... A sustained achievement of often dazzling brilliance ... Winterwood is that rarest thing: a novel dealing with humanity at its most twisted and bleak, but one that leaves the reader feeling curiously uplifted. And that's because we realise that we've been standing in an illuminating beam whose source is, and can only be, truly great art' Irvine Welsh, Guardian 'A masterpiece' Observer 'He is the fortunate possessor of a savage and unfettered imagination; his books dissect life's miseries with a gleaming comedic scalpel' The Times

Freelance writer Redmond Hatch loves his young wife, Catherine he is 40 and she is 22 when they wed in 1981 and adores his infant daughter, Imogen, but in Irish author McCabe's eighth novel (his prior work included Breakfast on Pluto and The Butcher Boy, both shortlisted for the Booker Prize), Redmond's happy slice of the world cruelly crumbles. A few years into wedded bliss, Redmond's wife cuckolds and then divorces him; he feigns suicide, assumes a false identity and disappears into a sad-sack life that spirals sharply downward after he reads a newspaper account of the suicide of convicted child murderer (and creepy acquaintance) Ned Strange: Redmond's suddenly haunted by nightmares and hallucinations in which Ned molests him. He stalks his former family and, in 1991, kidnaps and kills his estranged daughter, burying her in the isolated countryside their imaginary "winterwood" and visiting her grave over the next decade. Redmond, however, has yet to bottom out. Despite a fractured, hard-to-follow chronology, this tale about a man's descent into madness is both artfully repellent and hypnotically compelling. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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