Butcher a Hog: a novel

Butcher a Hog: a novel

by Brian O'Sullivan




Butcher a Hog is a moving fictionalized memoir that recounts one man's struggle with addiction, homelessness, and overwhelming adversity as his life unfolds in a sustained series of misadventures and noble failures that encapsulates his attempt to survive against all odds. Detailing two decades in the life of working-class, undocumented Irish emigrant, Butcher a Hog follows Liam McCarthy from his arrival in New York City in 1985 through a litany of shadowy living situations in Irish-American neighborhoods -from Boston to the Bronx-and traces his efforts to forge a livelihood amidst the realities of marginal employment, manual labor, and chronic substance abuse. With honesty and trenchant Irish humor, the novel shares both warm-hearted moments and bleak, dark times, culminating twenty years later with forty-one-year-old Liam facing an uncertain future of voluntary institutionalization in order to receive a prescribed round of ECT, or electroconvulsive therapy.

Written in a direct, confessional tone, Butcher a Hog moves across decades and generations to revisit episodes in Liam's youth in his hometown in Kerry, introducing a poignant story of secret abuse and childhood pain shaded with family and social dysfunction. Even the tale of Liam's first communion becomes a backdrop for diminished expectations and self-enforced alienation that will underscore his failings in adult life, as he inevitably moves from one fiasco to another, each time somehow managing to transcend the latest in a string of personal disasters. Throughout it is a testament to one man's life and the relationships he formed in the course of trying to move past or run away from a haunting specter of depression and self-destruction. Butcher a Hog tells a meaningful and memorable story of a misguided young man who is forced to immigrate and find a way to survive on the streets of New York in the 1980s that along the way reveals a comical, unrelentingly honest path of personal discovery.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780615732176
Publisher: Sylvie O'
Publication date: 06/01/2013
Pages: 434
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.88(d)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Butcher a Hog: a novel 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AnimalMother More than 1 year ago
Rarely does a novel, especially one from a first time author captivate me like this one has. Brian O'Sullivan has written a book that defines what the term "excessive'' truly means and what it was like for many Irish immigrants seeking a new life and attempting to find the American dream in the 80's. Written as a fictionalized memoir to protect the innocent, Mr. O'Sullivan takes us through the life and times of Liam McCarthy. From his arrival in JFK in the 80's to present day New York. Liam, the narrator/protagonist is brutally honest and often hilarious in that self depreciating way. I found myself rooting for Liam as much as fearing what horrible situation he would put himself into next. Well done Mr O'Sullivan, I sincerely hope you continue to write and I look forward to your next adventure!!!