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New Island publishes some of the best fiction written in Ireland. From literary fiction and short stories, to chilling crime, you’ll always find a book to transport you.

The Big Yaroo

The Big Yaroo

from 14.95

by Patrick McCabe

From the author of The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto.

Join us on Oct 8th in Whelan’s for a special launch event with Pat and his guests Paddy Goodwin and the Holy Ghosts! Tickets €5 available here.

Francie Brady is back…

B-format paperback | 250pp | IBSN 9781848407411 | Release date: 5 October 2019

This item will be released on 5 October.


–Did you think I expected you to stay a child forever, Francie?

& I could have leapt twenty feet in the air, the very second I heard her saying that.

As off I went, with a whole new world of wonder, it seemed to me, beginning to open up all over again.

With it leading me to getting out my coloured pencils and starting to draw all these pictures in rainbow colours – and putting little stories from the old days along with them, little memories from a time when it had all made sense.

Francie Brady, the broken Butcher Boy, leads a busy life in Fizzbag Mansions, where he was incarcerated five decades ago after the mistake with Mrs Nugent. Still obsessed with the comic books of his childhood, he has found a new vocation – as a publisher of his very own magazine, The Big Yaroo, and Francie throws himself into its production, working to a deadline in more ways than one. Along the way, he remembers Da, Uncle Alo, Joe Purcell and his beloved Ma, and wrestles a desire to escape his past with the world’s need for him to exorcise his childhood demons. As Francie is drawn even further into the dark world of his own mind, the line between reality and delusion ceases to mean anything. Uproariously funny, terrifying and profound, this is the swansong of one Irish literature’s most enduring characters.

Praise for The Big Yaroo

Bombastically zany and brilliantly annoying, this twatcap coddle of barmy characters, strange facts and hilarious scenarios, would make you forget the pain of festering away in an Irish institution and the real energy required for survival. I laughed and laughed until I remembered to feel just a tiny bit sad.
— June Caldwell
Any reader who, like me, has been moved, changed, by the experience of reading The Butcher Boy will feel impelled towards this novel by a character who, many decades of incarceration and anti-psychotic drugs later, is still the Francie Bradythat, joyously, unbearably, we recognise.
— Ross Raisin
Pat McCabe, the generous genius of contemporary Irish letters, catches us up with Francie Brady, and old man now, but still a thrill in these days of digital babble.
— Henry Glassie
Hilarious, touching and terrifying, The Big Yaroo charts the final, geriatic disintegration of a perpetual childhood. The most distinctive voice in Irish literature has returned: Francie Brady rides again!
— Oisín Fagan
Brutal, disturbing and at times hilarious, The Big Yaroo is a rollercoaster of a read.
— Jan Carson
Dark, irreverent, sharp and energetic—Pat McCabe’s exceptional gifts remain unparalleled.
— Nicole Flattery
Gloriously deranged, wired to the moon, truly inspired—this is a beautiful comeback for Francie B.
— Kevin Barry
An ode to possibility, a counterculture, all of its own...a devastating depiction of loneliness and familial love.
— Danny Denton