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)
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 love long books. The longer, the better. I wanted to return this book after the 3rd hour. I made myself keep listening. Around hour 5, I lost my patience. I get irony. And I get sarcasm. I get absurdism. I like all kinds of humor. I never once thought anything in the first 5 HOURS was funny, much less uproarious.
I *didn't* like the characters, or the plot, or the numerous voices. Good luck with this one, apparently I'm in the minority.
Change the whole plot?
ONE talented narrator, not a dozen
Er, uh, no.
Married mother of three teenagers, back to work after 15 years at home - when I read a lot. Now I am the assistant to the Mayor of Omaha and work at least 60 hours a week, and on top of what I have to do at home - no more books. This lets me listen to the classics, the latest, whatever I want. I can learn or escape. I have always love audio books, but now I NEED them.
The narrator was not the problem, although I wasnt' sure if he was Irish or English, but that was irrelevant. The problem was the rambling of the the story. That is an author issue, so I would not pick another Paul Murray book. In addition, I am not a teenage boy, and unless you like hanging out with them - you won't understand or like this book.
Make it understandable. Make me know the difference between a dozen characters. All of the boys were the same. I actually thought Skippy was a dog at first. (I am not kidding.)
Narrator was not really an issue.
No. I kept reading reviews where they promised a pay-off in part two - never happened. I actually gave up and didn't finish the book. I NEVER do that. I even watched all of Waterworld, but this I could no longer sit in my car and listen to.
Typical cat lady: lazy, sings off-key, craves spicy bloody marys.
I listen to books at night when I tuck myself into bed so sometimes my dreams are interwoven into the plot. Weeks after I finished it, I could still hear the charming, melodic voices of Skippy's EIGHT NARRATORS in my head. Truly a great performance and a clever look at how human beings fool themselves every day.
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.
Suspense books that pass the Bechdel test
Smart 14 year old's who like to talk about cocaine, fisting and despair.
Too much going on, it was like an audition for the BBC's version of the Simpsons.
An enjoyable novel, marred by all the unnecessary readers. I liked the main reader but was so distracted by the multiple readers trying to act out every little nuance....
I can't think of anyone who I would recommend this story to. I would feel guilty knowing, that when they got to the end, they would undoubtedly feel disappointed and annoyed.
In all honesty, I have no clue what genre you could call this book. It's certainly a work of fiction, but it is not funny enough to be a comedy, dark enough to be a horror story, and the ending is too vague and unclear for it to be a satisfying mystery. I most likely will not seek out other books by this author.
I would have cut the part of the geography teacher, as she, despite seeming very important in the first part of the book, becomes relatively pointless as the story goes on.
If you are a fan of closure and if you prefer to have all your questions answered and loose ends tied up, you will not enjoy this book. For a book that is almost 24 hours long, one would assume that Paul Murray would have made a thorough and well planned ending, but no, The story just sort of cuts off, Villains go unpunished, Heros go unrewarded, and characters are left floating in the ether. It is a long lead to a very dissatisfying end.
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