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Publisher's Summary

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.

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall

I love accents!

I love good value for my credit, but at 3 parts and umpteen hours, this was just a little bit long. I liked the structure - we already know Skippy dies - and I liked the alternating POV between 2nd and 3rd person - a nice change of pace - but some parts were just a little verbose. All in all, a very touching story about 14 year olds and former 14 year olds. [And the Bethany song is so funny - better lyrics than some you hear on the radio!]

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Yeah, they give the plot away in the title, but...

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Hated Getting to the End

Along with The Goldfinch, A Little Life, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and A Prayer for Owen Meany, this is one of my absolute Audible favorites. It just towers above most novels. When it ended (actually even before), I found myself looking for other work by Paul Murray.

Very funny, poignant, and colorful, "Skippy Dies" is rich with fully-realized characters that I really cared about and won't soon forget. I was repeatedly impressed by how well the author captured the attitudes, speech patterns and slang of teenagers -- something not many writers can do.

The narration was sensational -- each narrator did a wonderful job, and their work makes this a novel that is MUCH better listened to than read.

If you like humor, pathos, well-rounded characters and stellar writing, this book is for you.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve
  • Winchester, MA
  • 07-01-15

Coulda been better

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....

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Maybe the "uproarious" part is after the 5th hour?

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

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.

What could Paul Murray have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Change the whole plot?

How could the performance have been better?

ONE talented narrator, not a dozen

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Er, uh, no.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Colby
  • Omaha, NE, United States
  • 05-04-12

Hated it...and I am not that picky.

Would you try another book from Paul Murray and/or the narrators?

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.

What could Paul Murray have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

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.)

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Narrator was not really an issue.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt
  • Bakersfield, CA, United States
  • 05-19-11

slow start, but worth it

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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Weird, Wonderful and Painfully Realistic

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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Dr.
  • Lake Oswego, OR, United States
  • 06-02-11

Couldn't finish it

As always, it is best to know what you are getting into when you start a book. If you are looking for great writing, snappy dialog, a glimpse into an Irish boarding school, and painful, but searingly honest, insights into adolescence, this is the book for you. But it wasn't the book for me - I found it too painful and not a lot of fun. Many of the kids discussed are lonely, unhappy, and starved for love and attention.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Carolyn
  • Friendsville, PA, United States
  • 01-30-11

Incredibly Sad But So Well Done

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful