Like some others have said, the start's a bit slow in building up. For me, the first 3 or 4 hours were pretty boring and I almost gave up on the book. But I'm glad I didn't. It builds up and builds up, fleshing out all of the characters. Funny and sad at the same time, it's brilliantly read by the various actors. Well worth listening to. Have some patience with the slow start and it'll pay off.
But, warning. If you're easily offended, turn elsewhere. Drugs and sex abound in this book.
The plot and presentation of this tale are so weird and so painfully true-to-real-life that I don't want to listen to it again, though I fear I'm fated to do so. Its an excellent book.
Paul Murray and the cast of this Audible event must be commended. I found myself becoming overwhelmed by the emotions portrayed and then coming back for more. The cast mastered the" too cool for school" voices of middle school boys, the Italian accent was a hoot. The adults sounded believable and one mother especially was spot on. She is a type and the actor hit the mark. The story wrenched your heart. At the same time I laughed out loud almost as much as I quietly ached for boys and girls who are for the most part so alone even as they are surrounded by life. Kudos to Mr. Murray for a sharp observation of adolescence and, the evil genus of the adults in their livess that work to avoid real responsibility. I look forward to his next topic. He is a master of presenting rounded characters.
Perhaps Audible should label books like this as Young Adult so readers know the book is centered on the joys and horrors of the teenage years. I think the book is a wonderful telling of a very difficult story about kids in a rich kids private school in Dublin, including some twists and turns you won't see in similar books. The ending, coming at the end of some amazing events, was sad but hopeful. The reading by the cast is fantastic.
and a penny for your thoughts
I loved this tale of humanity, life and the angst we all feel growing up, growing old, just growing. The narration is great and despite the fact that the story was sad at times (isn't everything?) I was entertained from start to finish.
The story of teen isolation and awkwardness is one that most of us can relate to and sympathize with. The production with many different narrators embodying their characters wonderfully is engaging and fun. Well done!
Mysteries, classics, non-fiction, time travel, Bounty hunters, grim reapers... anything but vampires, please!
Skippy's immediate death and its subsequent unwinding dives you straight into the heart of parochial Ireland. I'm recommending it now because I've listened to at least 100 books since this one, but it still floats up as one of my favorites when friends ask me for a recommendation.
Genuine, unaffected accents and great age appropriate inflections.
Yes, the title gives it away.
Say something about yourself!
The words in my title describe the different ways I felt about the book as I listened to it. It was not at all what I expected. I liked the beginning more than other reviewers seem to. I loved the nerdy group of boys.
Later, as you see how troubled they all are, it broke my heart. I don't know if this is an accurate portrayal of kids in school Ireland, but it was hard, as a mother, to read and I was going to lower my rating since I was expecting a pretty lighthearted book.
But like the other reviewers have written: If you're going to listen to this, commit to stay until the end. There is so much sweetness and redemption, it made the painful parts worthwhile.
The narration is excellent. I thought the Italian accent of Mario a bit much, though.
I am pretty consistent with checking reviews and narration ahead of purchase and this purchase was not different. I just finished the recording, even though I purchased it some time ago, mostly because I don't like to leave a book unfinished, even the ones I don't like. This was an interesting story, great cast of narrators especially, but I couldn't stay with it. A group of boys in an Irish boarding school, supposedly friends, intertwined with their teachers and Catholic priests. After finally finishing the book, I still don't really know the main point of the story. It jumped around quite often, the author used inappropriate language in many places, not that often a story is enhanced by language, this just didn't seem to fit. Many sexual references, innuendo; I know that is often the mind of teenage boys, however, it just didn't seem to fit into the story. I use the term inappropriate, because the swear words or sexual terms didn't seem to fit, not inappropriate in the sense that I oppose the use of such language. Even the drug use, which was a major theme, didn't seem to fit well into the story and was a bit confusing.
There are 3 parts to this story, the last one seemed to be the easiest listen, but still not that interesting. I didn't feel like some of the main characters dilemmas were resolved, even at the end of the book. The only reason that I did finish the story was because I can't leave a book only partially read, so I muddled through. It did have some interesting parts, but regretfully, not enough to make me like the book.
I thought this audio version was pretty fantastic (other than the totally over-the-top Italian accent of the guy who voiced Mario and Guido)! And I thought the story was great, although I can see why some folks had a hard time with it (there's a lot of crudeness and general bad behavior, from kids and adults alike), and I will admit to having had some doubts myself at times. About three-fourths of the way through I was thinking, "Okay, where on earth is this going?!?" -- at that point I felt alienated from pretty much every single one of the characters (except for Jeff, because he was my fave). But that last quarter really pulled things together for me, and I absolutely loved the ending. Definitely worth a read.