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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

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  • Performance
  • Story

It gets...betterish?

This tale of Irish boarding school and midlife crises suffers a crisis of its own. Like the students and teachers, it meanders, touches on flashes of interest of brilliance but is mired mostly in the 20 something character cast and the multiple mini dramas surrounding this cast. Skippy, the main character to the untrained eye, is actually not particularly fleshed out, nor is his death well explained. I found parts two and three to be more engaging (the first few hours were about as dull as school as) but it is overall not a cant stop listening book. The voice actors did their very best with fairly trite material, and the multiple actors really saved this one from being completely impossible to follow.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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It Sneaks Up on You...

I admit, I was one listener who almost gave up at the beginning. The drug dealing scenes were so unpleasant to me - a high school teacher living in denial about how teens really live and think ;-) - that I was wondering what could come up that would make it worth my time to continue.

But once we were really introduced to Skippy and his pals, I had my answer: the characterizations. I don't mean the narrations - which were fine though not remarkable in my mind - but the characters the author developed, both kids and adults. Murray's subtlety, his way of dropping crumbs of detail along with the big chunks of action and dialog, is what builds the bonds between reader and character, to the point that we even care about the ones we are repulsed by. The story itself was good, but in the end it was just a vehicle for introducing us to a world of people and perspectives that I, for one, would never otherwise experience.


0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jennifer
  • Morrison, CO, United States
  • 03-19-12

Very entertaining, great listen

Funny and quirky, this story engages from the very beginnig.

The cast of narrators all were excellent.

The author did a great job capturing the pathos of adolescence as well as the older characters.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Robin
  • Eugene, OR, United States
  • 03-05-12

Great modern novel

This book is not easy. It's a long story that starts at the end and slowly unfolds the events that have caused the characters actions or lack of action. Through this, we come to understand the characters and why they do and respond in the way that they do. Many of the topics that are addressed are straight out of the current news. I found that I looked at the stories differently after this book. Not many books can do that.

This book is long, 3 sections. I did not like this book in the first section. I thought it was shallow. I stuck with it and by the end thought it was the greatest novel of the last 10 years. Some of the characters are disturbing, some annoying and some pitiful. By the end I could see why they ended up that way. It shows how past events can send out ripples that effect the future. This book will stay with me.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I am not the indented audience for this good book

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I would have preferred not to delved into the lives of 14 year old boys with such detail. As a mother of soon to be 14 year old's I found it WAY to much info and not a mystery at all which is what I actually thought the book was. It is beautifully written but I am not the intended audience.

Would you be willing to try another book from Paul Murray? Why or why not?

Nope, while his story was worth reading it's not the right genre for me and I have no idea how I ended up purchasing this book (again a really well written story) but totally not my genre.

Which scene was your favorite?

I thought the end of the book was great and well thought out but the entire book is well thought out.

Do you think Skippy Dies needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

nope, I think they cover it all. some of the character could be books in and of themselves like Ruprect who I found interesting but not a sequel more of another stand alone book like Enders Shadow.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Sceptical at first, in the end I loved it.

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.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Dark but humorous.

Would you listen to Skippy Dies again? Why?

No. I wouldn't listen again only because there are some many other books I want to listen to.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Giana
  • JESUP, GA, United States
  • 01-03-12

Great Book!

Would you listen to Skippy Dies again? Why?

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.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Skippy Dies?

The characters left behind after Skippy dies as they try to reconstruct their lives are most memorable.
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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Unbelievably lucky find

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.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Flavius
  • Morro Bay, CA, United States
  • 12-03-11

A Beautiful, Moving Mess

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.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful