Irish novelist. His first two novels, Music on Clinton Street (1986) and Carn (1989), were followed by The Butcher Boy (1992), a story told in the voice of Francie Brady, an engaging but disturbed boy in an unnamed small town in Ireland; we follow his loosening hold on reality and increasing inability to respond appropriately to the society into which he was born. McCabe's virtuoso use of his character's voice plays back and forth between humour and horror, while remaining realistic and compelling throughout. Among other novels are Breakfast on Pluto (1998), about a transvestite boy who escapes to London and becomes involved in prostitution and the affairs of the IRA. Recent novels include Emerald Germs of Ireland (2001) and Winterwood (2006).