" Now, I should preface this by writing that I have a younger brother and am not at all squeamish. My little brother broke a lot of bones and caught bugs in jars and other gross stuff. I am not under any delusion that little boys are angels. I know that little boys are usually bad. Some of them are very bad. But Patrick Clarke is an absolute terror. Every review that I read of this one included a phrase like "amazingly accurate portrayal of coming-of-age in 1960s Ireland." If the protagonist of this story is at all typical of the average young boy in 1960s Ireland, then I truly pity 1960s Irish mothers. I mean, this kid poured lighter fluid into his younger brothers mouth, set it on fire, and burned his lips off. He and his friends plotted to murder a local "mental" homeless guy. By the end of the book, I guess that he is less bad, and he does mature a bit. But I wanted him to go to prison. The book was wonderfully written, and I was wrapped up in the story, but I can't say that I enjoyed it. Also, it made me want to get my tubes tied. "
— Lily, 1/19/2014