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 that ruined him. 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 increasingly drawn into the darker world of his own mind, the line between reality and delusion ceases to mean anything. Still funny, still terrifying and still profound, this moving swansong of one of Irish literature’s most enduring characters explores redemption, faith and small-town Ireland. Francie Brady is indeed back but what price freedom?