This touching and uproarious novel by author Paul Murray made everyone’s best fiction of 2010 lists, including The Washington Post, Financial Times, Village Voice, and others. Why Skippy dies and what happens next is the mystery that links the boys of Dublin’s Seabrook College (Ruprecht Van Doren, the overweight genius obsessed with string theory; Carl, the teenager drug dealer and borderline psychotic; Philip Kilfether, the basketball-playing midget) to their parents and teachers in ways that no one could have imagined.
This unique production of Murray’s heartfelt exploration of the pain, joy, and beauty of adolescence features an all-star narrating cast of 16 Audible favorites: John Keating, Graeme Malcom, Khristine Hvam, Nicola Barber, Fred Berman, Clodagh Bowyer, Terry Donnelly, Sean Gormley, Lawrence Lowry, Paul Nugent, Tim Smallwood, Fiona Walsh, Fiana Toibin, Declan Sammon, Heather O'Neill, and Ed Malone.
©2010 Paul Murray (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
"Hilarious, haunting, and heartbreaking, it is inarguably among the most memorable novels of the year to date." (Booklist)
"Dazzling... If killing your protagonist with more than 600 pages to go sounds audacious, it's nothing compared with the literary feats Murray pulls off in this hilarious, moving and wise book." (Washington Post Book World)
"Extravagantly entertaining." (The New York Times Book Review)
This book is a slow start. At first it seems to be all about adolescent angst and boring, incompetent adults. Don't give up. It takes a while for the story line and characters to develop, but once it does the book is compelling, funny, thought provoking and entertaining. Murray deals brilliantly with the theme of obstacles to meaningful human communication. Again and again his characters fail to understand one another, trapped by their separate perceptions of the world and false assumptions about others.But they keep trying and the moments when they do connect are wonderful. It is also a book about the role of friendship, the value of history vs. the march to the future, and the important part stories play in bridging the gaps between human beings. And, oh yes, the nature and origin of the universe. As other reviewers have noted, the audio version is particularly wonderful, an excellent full-cast performance. It is well worth listening to the end.
No. I wouldn't listen again only because there are some many other books I want to listen to.
A well written book full of coming of age angst, and science fiction. I will gladly listen to this book again because the language was very poetic and engaging. The characters were well developed and the plot unravels in such a beautiful tragedy.
The characters left behind after Skippy dies as they try to reconstruct their lives are most memorable.
I picked this out almost at random, and then avoided actually listening to it for months. When I finally got around to starting this massive book, I feel in love instantly. The group involved in performing this was simply outstanding, and the storyline itself was very compelling. It was not a lighthearted story, but that was a given from the title.
I would very much recommend this, as both an excellent story, and a wonderful example of everything an audiobook can be.
Like real life, "Skippy Dies" is messy. The story ambles, seemingly aimlessly toward its conclusion, at which point some plot elements are wrapped up too neatly, and others left adrift.
And yet, "Skippy" is the best book I've listened to in some time. The story is wickedly funny, and real, with characters who, although they are largely Irish, will speak to readers worldwide. It's not clear at the beginning of the novel who will be the protagonist(s); it is only somewhat clearer at the end. But with all great reading experiences, I'm sorry to leave these characters behind.
The narration is a treat. I normally prefer a single reader, even for multiple characters, but the narration was excellent, with a variety of lively and distinct voices.
This book is largely about boys (and man-boys), but it will enrich anyone who reads it. Highly recommended.
Sci-fi, detective, cozy. Only give 5s to those books I think stand above the rest. 4 is a good solid book. 3 is average, nothing special.
Disgusting and boring. The narrator might be good but since the story is so bad it's hard to tell. I would not recommend this book to anybody.
I totally understand those who are put off by this audible's length ... it's enormous! ... and by the realism. This work seems to be a complex fiction based on very late 20st century social realities that many of us wish not to face or admit exists. Or if they do exist, we don't wish to have our free time reading (or listening) to fiction that so clearly outlines human frailties or certainly not our vulgarities and there are many in this epic novel. I have a feeling that the author was giving us an outline of what he observed while at school in Ireland himself. If so, so much the better. I felt like I was in the middle of a long epic stage play. The narration was stellar and brilliant. Yes, there were a few head-scratching dead spots, but not many. It took me through all emotions, a good thing in my estimation. The book made me laugh, sigh, ponder, smile and even feel regret. Yes, this book is not for everyone, it's too honest for that. By the way, I thought the ending very theatrical and fitting. I won't be listening to this tome again because there are so many audibles I wish to listen to, but I already miss the characters, especially Mario and I have a certain affection also for Howard, but they all contributed to this triumphant production!
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.
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