Jun 21, 2021
The Dead School
Posted by Patrick McCabe

From the award winning author of The Butcher Boy comes a new novel of extraordinary power that, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, confirm s McCabe s standing as one of the most brilliant writers to ever come out of Ireland.In The Dead School , Patrick McCabe returns to the emotionally dense landscape of small town Ireland to explore the inner lives of two menFrom the award winning author of The Butcher Boy comes a new novel of extraordinary power that, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, confirm s McCabe s standing as one of the most brilliant writers to ever come out of Ireland.In The Dead School , Patrick McCabe returns to the emotionally dense landscape of small town Ireland to explore the inner lives of two men a headmaster and a schoolteacher, each man the product of a soul stifling culture, each battling his own demons of loss and betrayal Tension coils until tragedy strikes a young student in their charge, and the latent despair and rage that has festered in their hearts explodes onto the page As in The Butcher Boy , McCabe demonstrates his remarkable command of the vernacular and an uncanny ability to pinpoint the exact moment when ordinary minds take flight into madness Equally compelling, equally heartbreaking in its impact , The Dead School has established McCabe as one of the most celebrated writers of literary fiction today A spellbinding story of betrayal and broken dreams narrated to a wonderfully menacing effecte sheer force of his languagepositively thrums with life Los Angeles Times The Dead School makes compelling literature.The writing is seamless, the effect shocking Imagine Apocalypse Now cheerfully narrated by Jimmy Stewart The Seattle Times McCabe is as skilled and significant a novelist as Ireland has produced in decades Kirkus Rev

  • Title: The Dead School
  • Author: Patrick McCabe
  • ISBN: 9780385314237
  • Page: 497
  • Format: Paperback
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    The Dead School From the award winning author of The Butcher Boy comes a new novel of extraordinary power that according to the San Francisco Chronicle confirm s McCabe s standing as one of the most brilliant write


    Is it ever too late to forgive Two men, a generation or so apart, begin to plumment, in Dublin in the 1970s Their descents are oddly parallel, notwithstanding the age difference and yet they intersect, once, twice One is a headmaster the other a teacher Events from their childhoods gestate, percolate and perhaps ultimately destroy Their histories make them both time bombs.So too the stories of these two men are written parallel to each other, but intersecting from time to time Their lives are to [...]


    This is a book that haunts and resonates long after you read it It speaks alot to the inevitability of change and the fear of becoming professional, intellectually, and personally obsolete It is sad and painful, a story that makes you hurt but one that also makes you smile It is one of the many books that I read at least once a year.


    At first I didn t like it couldn t get into it After I was about a third of the way through I started to want to know what would befall the two main characters I didn t really like the way the book was laid out or the style of the narrative and I found it hard to have any sympathy for the characters maybe it was because they where teachers and I found teachers in Primary school where often people who where often unkind to they re pupils and so myself have a little bit of a thing against the type [...]

    Rachel d.

    i kept waiting for something to happen It kept almost happening.

    Matt Wesolowski

    This is one of my favourite books of all time Like Ketchum s The Girl Next Door , The Dead School leaves a permanent brand on your emotions I am yet to read a book that fills me with such a haunting melancholy as this one Magnificent work by an author whose work has provided unlimited joy to me throughout my life.

    Dianna Shimizu

    Not the best book I ve ever read, unfortunately.


    definitely the most depressing book i have read so far this year, e.g dead babies and children actually became a motif by the end of the book in the hands of a lesser author this would have been piling on the heartache tragedy etc for the sake of it but i think McCabe s real achievement is that it doesn t feel like that at all it genuinely does read like a modern tragedy.


    All I know about art is that it can make the sad beautiful When that happens, Edward Hopper and The Blue Nile, Pet Sounds and Gummo, the result is often almost religious in its intensity It makes one feel strong enough to say that this one is even better than The Butcher Boy The Dead School is rollicking storytelling with a bleak bleak heart, a delicious descent into private hell starting from the young going all the way to the old and missing none of the sights of a fast changing world which in [...]


    McCabe has the haunting ability to immerse you in interior monologue that deftly describes fits of anxiety, bouts of unbelievable joy, philosophical pondering, suicidality, and madness, all with seeming ease and in a completely believable vernacular You spend most of your time in this novel inside the head of one of two protagonists, both of them completely drawn and intriguing in nearly opposite ways I particularly enjoyed both the humor and the natural self centeredness in both mens internaliz [...]


    So lousy I am amazed it got published The contrived plot, the unsympathetic protagonists, the one dimensional women, the super annoying caricatured Irish tone What precisely was McCabe s point Irish women should never be in charge of their own destinies because they will either cheat on their husbands and traumatize their sons, walk out on the guy who will never be able to love again, or have abortions and ruin a school along with the life of its dedicated principal Was this a warning to any man [...]

    A. Mary

    This is the story of two lives, which intersect briefly, and then careen off on their own trajectories McCabe explores the ways in which a life of effort and duty and uprightness and achievement can suddenly be sideswiped and spin off into outer space He shows how some shattering event in childhood can lie in wait and become a festering wound in later life Not everything is rational and methodical and predictable Life in bumper cars is what McCabe presents here Sometimes we don t understand Ever [...]


    I had to give up after 60 pages, I found this a highly frustrating reading experience The narrative seems really forced, falling into a stilted bog irish voice, it was only missing an occasional begosh begorrah The elements of the story I did read before giving up, was dark and the female character were almost caricatures It probably didn t help me that early on I felt that the narrative was like Dougal a character from the TV show Father Ted stream of consciousness, and couldn t get that out of [...]


    I was not a big a fan of this book as I had been of McCabe s other work, but the plot is sort of fun, in a horrible sort of way Two characters on a simultaneous plummet towards the depths because of their obsessions with the way things were It could have been any two people, but the fact that it s about a teacher and a headmaster made it a little applicable to my personal experience At least no one s ever died on my watch.

    Nicholaus Patnaude

    To draw a classroom in chalk and cobwebs while a child drowns confirms the worst day of work imaginable to be a spiral not only carved in ice but also a hollowing to the very soul of a flippant, Midnight Cowboy existence beset by dreams scrawled on the bathroom walls of a pub where the music playing might be a a tendril linked to a new leaf covered with dew tears.


    This is an excellent book.Do not read this book Please Spare yourself If you do read this book, do not read the end before bed This is a profoundly, existentially horrifying book It s also very funny, because that s how the Irish sort of are, but this book is not a book to read if you want to feel mildly pleasant about the act of being alive.


    An interesting read.The characters sort of disintegrated in a not particularly nice way so I didn t know how to take the bookTeacher friends of mine liked it which surprised me as it didn t portray teachers in a great light


    To be honest I didn t enjoy this book one bit I m just glad the chapters were kept short enough to keep me reading I couldn t wait to get to the end of it, I saw no reason for these 2 men to be joined together, a very melancholy story indeed

    Kate Walsh

    An interesting book I have read very few Irish books I enjoyed the or what the hell is wrong with you so strange but I guess it makes sense than just plain old, or what The saddest book in the world.Excellent writing.

    Derek Bridge

    This early McCabe has the distinction of charting the descent into madness of not one, but two characters Their collision is expertly and entertainingly plotted There is, too, a freshness that, for me, has deserted the later McCabe, forever treading this ground.


    Started off promisingly enough but quickly ground to a halt I found the characters regression really annoying and whiny Maybe I am missing something but I finished it out of spite and will not recommend it to anyone.

    Aishling O'Neill

    This book was very good but you really need to be in the right frame of mind for it because it s very depressing I did have to break half way through and read something a bit lighter But I stuck it out after and I m glad I read it I am now going on to read The Butcher Boy.

    Christine Bowen

    I thought this was a great exhilarating read although the subject matter is very bleak Not read a writer that can pull this off before did feel down for a while when I finished it as it is a very depressing story beneath the humour Will read Butcher Boy at some point.


    This was a tough read for all the adults being so messed up Another good example, although only literature, that adults shouldn t teach anything to anyone in a classroom ever Ouch I see why McCabe thanked Tadeusz Kantor, presumably for his Dead Class theatre piece Ah mannequins

    Annie Pearce

    I had to read this as part of my A Level literature course in college and absolutely loved it it made a change from the other books we were forced to read It s dark humour and creepy storyline are fanatically written, I recommend

    Liam J

    Thx E E for b day present only took me 9 years to read it Like the Butcher Boy in style.

    April Coffey

    Patrick McCabe is probably one of the most underrated Irish writers of all time As Dark as Ian Banks Didn t think he could top the Butcher Boy but he did

    Kerrie O'Neill

    I don t have to words to do this justice, it s an amazing book I don t know how he does it The dialect is spot on It s tragic and darkly comic a book that will stay with you for a long time.


    The Dead School by Patrick Mccabe 1995


    A captivating yet terrorising read How human nature can spiral down into the abyss so easily is a frightening, but salutary, lesson This was an uncomfortable yet magnificent read.

    Beth Shields-Szostak

    1st edition

    • [The Dead School] | Patrick McCabe
      497 Patrick McCabe
    The Dead School