Published to critical acclaim last year in the U.K., Sheepshagger, the amazing second novel from Niall Griffiths (Grit), is as raw and unsettling as its title. Ianto is an orphan, raised by his grandmother in the Welsh countryside. Ugly, withdrawn and semiretarded, he is the classic outcast, finding solace first in nature, later in drugs and the company of a few mates. The ramshackle family farm is sold and his fury at his displacement ultimately impels him to murder. Griffiths's prose matches the savage intensity of his protagonist: stoned reminiscences by Ianto's friends are woven with flashbacks (both wondrous and horrible) of Ianto's childhood and the events leading up to the murders, creating a chilling portrait that is nearly mythological in its intensity and pathos.