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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Butcher’s Sons by Scott Alexander Hess

The Butcher’s Sons by Scott Alexander Hess
Gay Historical Fiction
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (April 18, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590210743
ISBN-13: 978-1590210741
Amazon: The Butcher’s Sons
Amazon Kindle: The Butcher’s Sons

This darkly lyrical and violent family saga set in a butcher shop in New York circa 1930 tells the story about three Irish brothers, each struggling to find their role--to define their lives and express their dreams--amid the poverty of a broken home, alcoholic father, and the violent society of Hell's Kitchen. Dickie is guided by an almost animal desire to get what he wants and, as a fighter, is fearless in his pursuit of being respected by mobsters. Walt, the middle brother, romances a woman whose educated father sees the lad as gutter trash. Then there is frail Adlai, who finds himself on the most perilous path, an illicit affair with his oldest brother's best friend. The Butcher's Boys is an engaging read about desperate young men determined to do whatever they can to find something gilded amid the grime of old New York.


Dark, beautiful writing (sometimes a bit too overwhelming), great well described setting; compelling, draws you in.

A gorgeous and sparse rendering of the treasons of the heart and armed robberies of the soul, this page-turner of a novel should see the silver screen—it’s that good. Hess’s style is disarmingly complex in its simplicity. No words are wasted, and every character is larger than mere dialog could impart. Hess has created a masterpiece re-telling of the old Irish family curses and blessings that seem to course through the Irish DNA so strongly that not even a blip of gene disruption can offset the double helix of fate, destiny and bloodlines. Hess’s story is reminiscent of Dennis Lahane territory but with more heart.


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Tags: rainbow awards 2015
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