Skippy Dies

Murray, Paul, 1975-

Book - 2010
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Skippy Dies
Baker & Taylor
After 14-year-old Skippy ends up dead on the floor of a local donut shop, a number of suspects emerge at Skippy's school in Dublin, in a hilarious portrait of the pain, joy, and occasional beauty of adolescence.

McMillan Palgrave

Why does Skippy, a fourteen-year-old boy at Dublin’s venerable Seabrook College, end up dead on the floor of the local doughnut shop?

Could it have something to do with his friend Ruprecht Van Doren, an overweight genius who is determined to open a portal into a parallel universe using ten-dimensional string theory?

Could it involve Carl, the teenage drug dealer and borderline psychotic who is Skippy’s rival in love?

Or could “the Automator”—the ruthless, smooth-talking headmaster intent on modernizing the school—have something to hide?

Why Skippy dies and what happens next is the subject of this dazzling and uproarious novel, unraveling a mystery that links the boys of Seabrook College to their parents and teachers in ways nobody could have imagined. With a cast of characters that ranges from hip-hop-loving fourteen-year-old Eoin “MC Sexecutioner” Flynn to basketballplaying midget Philip Kilfether, packed with questions and answers on everything from Ritalin, to M-theory, to bungee jumping, to the hidden meaning of the poetry of Robert Frost,Skippy Dies is a heartfelt, hilarious portrait of the pain, joy, and occasional beauty of adolescence, and a tragic depiction of a world always happy to sacrifice its weakest members. As the twenty-first century enters its teenage years, this is a breathtaking novel from a young writer who will come to define his generation.

& Taylor

After 14-year-old Skippy ends up dead on the floor of a local donut shop, a number of suspects emerge at Skippy's school in Dublin, including Skippy's drug-dealing rival in love; a ruthless smooth-talking headmaster; Skippy's friend, who is determined to open a portal into another dimension; and more, in a hilarious portrait of the pain, joy and occasional beauty of adolescence.

Publisher: New York : Faber and Faber, Inc., 2010
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780865479432
Branch Call Number: FIC M
Characteristics: 661 p. ; 22 cm.


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Nov 05, 2014
  • gichymichy rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I loved this book. Captures teen angst in its zaniest, brainiest and most heart-rending form. Author Paul Murray deftly captures the voices of his Irish characters. The book is a sort of a backward telescoping tale from the moment of the big bang--Skippy's sudden demise--to its underlying causes, I can't wait for the next book by this author.

Oct 02, 2014
  • stillkicking rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A fantastic read with humour, creativity, insight, pain and grief.
The setting is a school in Ireland, but I think the characters have a universal quality. The novelist writes his story in fragments, shards and you think the tale will always be broken, but then it kicked in for me and I never wanted it to end...

Aug 02, 2012
  • uncommonreader rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This is a story of adolescents at boarding school, with a parallel story of teachers. It was much better than I expected.

Jul 23, 2012
  • dag137 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I fell in love with this book after reading the inside jacket's comparisons to Infinite Jest's Enfield Tennis Academy and Harry Potter's Hogwarts. The book did not disappoint. It was a perfect mix of humor and heartache definitely worthy of the comparisons.

Jun 05, 2012
  • pescarox rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I pretty much loved this. Experimental, funny, tragic. Tackling string theory, midlife angst and teenage insecurity. Oh, and also spiritualism, video games, RPG and WWI. The author deftly switches voices. From the mind of Carl the menacing, hulking, empty yet enigmatic bully. The oftimes lost and pathetic Howard the Coward. Ruprecht. Some of my now all-time favorite characters in literature.

Jan 29, 2012
  • patienceandfortitude rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Very worthwhile read, though I'm convinced that I would have liked it better if I were a guy, a little too much about sex-obsession among adolescents and immature adult males. But beautifully written and makes me want to read Robert Graves.

Jan 18, 2012
  • VRMurphy rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Meh. Couldn't get into it.

Dec 20, 2011
  • halgeon rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Excellent book with rich characters, especially little Skippy. Sits at #1 on my list of top books from 2010.

Nov 12, 2011
  • biblioholic rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Looking at all the previous comments, I don't think I have much to add. Except that this book is FUNNY. Not ha-ha funny, not fun at the expense of others' misfortune. But a kind of sublime humor that arises from the clash of conformity against the chaos and anguish that is youth. This is a book that is worth reading a second time (that is, if you can imagine reading anything a second time in these days!). This is a book that makes me remember what it was, to feel the crush and splendor of first love.

Jul 16, 2011
  • ronandlynda rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Though it starts with the death of a student this novel is not so much a "who-done-it" as a character study of the students and teachers of an Irish private school. It is written with laugh out loud humour and many poignant moments as you glimpse into the hearts of these characters.

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Aug 04, 2012
  • ndp21f rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

‘Do you think we should do something?’ Niall says. ‘Do something?’ Dennis repeats. ‘Like what?’ ‘Like, stop him somehow.’ ‘And just let this Neanderthal waltz off with the great love of his life, is that it?’ Like many pessimists, Dennis becomes strangely energized when things are actually at their worst. ‘He should sit tight and let himself be bullied and trampled over for another four years, and then some day when he’s an accountant married to some mediocre-looking girl the bullies didn’t want he can take revenge by giving Carl Incorporated a really exacting audit?’

Aug 08, 2011
  • Hadley rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Skippy and Ruprecht are having a donut-eating race one evening when Skippy turns purple and falls off his chair. It is a Friday in November, and Ed's is only half full; if Skippy makes a noise as he topples to the floor, no one pays attention. Nor is Ruprecht, at first, overly concerned; rather he is pleased, because it means that he, Ruprecht, has won the race, his sixteenth in a row, bringing him one step closer to the all-time record held by Guido "The Gland" LaManche, Seabrook College class of '93.


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Murray, Paul, 1975-
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