I took the book too seriously at first, but once I understood the style of humor I was set. The writing is skilled and quite witty. There are segments that could be published as short stand-alone pieces. The kids are likeable (although sometimes not) and always interesting. The adults made me cringe, and then laugh. The narration was excellent, with the voices helpfully distinct and well matched to the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and can heartily recommend it to anyone who has affection for teenage boys.
Days after finishing Skippy Dies, I'm still haunted by the tragedies and comedies of teenagers and their teachers at a private Catholic school in Dublin. The narrators were excellent. I especially liked the song toward the end.
Murray writes this teenage story with candor and without sympathy or judgment. It all begins with Skippy's death, and then reverts back to what brought this senseless death on. We learn about Howard the Coward's affair, another teacher's sordid past, the boys and girls tortured by their inability to cope with life, sex, drugs and rock and roll. I laughed and I cried toward the end at the absurdities and realism depicted in this book. I highly recommend it for its quirkiness and its "take no prisoners attitude."
I have listened to this book several times and each time, I find it more interesting. It makes me wish I was in a book club. You could compare and contrast the main characters' story lines and debate what pushed Skippy to his decision. You could go through most of the characters and debate why they did what they did and how their actions, or lack there of, contributed to Skippy's life as well as their own. I was a little disconcerted at times because I have 2 young boys and it made we worry at times how they would cope with some of the things that these boys dealt with and how well you really know your teenage children. I didn't think it was slow to start. I like long books because I usually only get 1 book a month so I like to make them last! I didn't think the story drug like other people mentioned. I usually shy away from multiple narrators because they sound like a bad high school plays but this one was really well done. If you like stories with well developed characters, this one might be for you.
This is the first review I have written. "Skippy Dies" is the only book of many I have ordered through Audible.com that I will probably not finish. I feel like I need to give it more of a chance but, quite frankly, I don't want to wast my time. It is hard to follow and boring. Usually I enjoy driving because I get to hear my book but I don't feel that way with this one. I wish I could get my money back.
Reviews by people who read the way Gutenberg intended have resulted in this book being nominated for, but not winning awards. But generally very favorable. My review based on the audio version places it as one of the best audible listens ever. The book as read by a cast of able actors is just outstanding. Tragedy and comedy, the personal demons and antics of adolescents in a Catholic boys school, midlife crises, with a dash of string theory and irish folk lore. I was perplexed at some of the jumps, but never bored with this one. A keeper.
Wow! What a story! I normally am not a fan of audio books with multiple narrators, but this is done so well.
That said, it does take an hour or two before I really got into the book. The story is very dark, but there are very humorous parts.
Native Californian, but lived in TX for 2.5 yrs where I joined a neighborhood book club and never looked back! I listen and read books! After 5 years of raving about audiobooks, I finally got my husband hooked!
It took me a while to get into this story. It builds slowly and I had trouble trying to remember all the characters. But once I got it, I was glued. The narration was excellent and each Character had its own distinct voice. Good book, excellent narration.
This book took forever for me to get through. I almost didn't finish but I'm glad that I did. I agree with other reviews that state that this novel is very reminiscent of Dead Poet's Society. The author painted a very grim picture of boarding schools as this novel works under the premise that the majority of teenage boys and girls do drugs of all kinds, have sex, and hate most adults. There were parts of this novel that I enjoyed and others that were too weird to really make sense within the novel's context. Instead of a movie, this novel would do well as a TV show where it could be broken up into segments. Some of the segments would be laugh out loud funny and some would be too horrible too imagine, perhaps not unlike Parenthood.
Husband, Dad, Principal, Adjunct prof, RC Deacon, radio co-host, story teller, NYer, walker, & occasional sipper of fine whisk(e)y,
As a teacher in an all boys Catholic school, I felt very much at home with so many of the Characters, Paul Murray delightfully captures the voice of the young freshmen, the faculty, administrators and the parents. His universe is void of cheap sentimentality. His portrayal of the Church is fair and his sense of the "catholic imagination" is strong! His story reminds me of the richness of a medieval tapestry in its complexity and beauty. I laughed and cried my way to work for over a week. While I lost touch with current events - I am better for spending time in Murray's story!
I loved this book. Very smart and funny. Great writing. Memorable characters. And the audio version was fantastic. A whole cast performed it, rather than the usual one person. All the actors were wonderful. I highly recommend this book especially to people who like quirky characters and writing. The author reminds me of John Irving a bit