Malachy Dudgeon has escaped the misery and madness of his childhood home and landed a job in the most famous school in Dublin. The headmaster, Raphael Bell, has overcome his own tragedies to forge a model career, but when Malachy Dudgeon and Raphael Bell meet, they become inextricably engaged in a macabre relationship which proves fatal to their fortunes and their sanity.
`McCabe can make you howl at the darkest antics . . . He never sets a foot - or syllable - wrong. His novel is death on a laugh-support machine. Stupendous.' Scotland on Sunday
`Raphael, the great headmaster, is a marvellous creation . . . McCabe has a charm as a storyteller which is all his own' Sunday Telegraph
`Exhilarating. Reading the distilled gouts of consciousness which pour from the minds of these characters is like being trapped on a big dipper with articulate maniacs . . . Horribly funny' The Times
`An appallingly funny story . . . horribly memorable' Times Literary Supplement
Patrick McCabe was born in Clones, County Monaghan, Ireland in 1955. He is the author of the children's story The Adventures of Shay Mouse, and the novels Music on Clinton Street, Carn, The Butcher Boy (winner of the Irish Times/Aer Lingus Literature Prize and shortlisted for the 1992 Booker Prize), The Dead School , Breakfast on Pluto (shortlisted for the 1998 Booker Prize), Mondo Desperando, Emerald Germs of Ireland and Call Me The Breeze. He lives in Monaghan.