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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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  • David
  • STAMFORD, CT, United States
  • 05-27-16

No Kid is an Island

What a remarkable book! From the opening scene at Eddie's Doughnut Shop, where poor Skippy does in fact die, through the "hop" and the visits to the acting principal's office and the attempts to reach the 11th dimension and the drug dealers and the faculty lounge and the sweet loose girls at the school next door, I loved the characters and the plot turns. The author does a great job of giving each of these poor longing 14-year-olds a distinctive voice.

The novel was humorous and light throughout, despite some heart-rending tragedies and real teenage loneliness and misery. Even the central teacher character, Mr. Fallon, was something of an overgrown directionless and horny teenager himself. Yet as the novel progressed, all of the different characters' separate stories converged to give a wonderful sense of an interconnected and caring community. Mr. Fallon's digressions into World War I and the Dublin regiment that was slaughtered at Gallipoli fit the novel as well, providing a background sense of the decency and selflessness that was buried deep in these shallow but proud kids, just beginning to figure out what matters in life.

The multiple narrators voicing each character took some adjustment--at first, its seemed more like a play than a novel. But ultimately, the voices were all well done, especially Dennis and Mario and Lori and Jeff, as well as the adults Howard the Coward and Miss McIntyre. (I have no idea which narrator voiced which character, other than the main narrator John Keating, who had the perfect voice of combined smarts and wonder .)

This book is strongly recommended for those who like a little satire, a little suspense, some romance, some villainy and a lot of fun.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
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Only an adolescent boy could enjoy this.

What disappointed you about Skippy Dies?

This is about adolescent boys disliking school, using drugs, and obsessing over girls one chapter after another.

What do you think your next listen will be?

A book from one of the series in my library.

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

None what so ever. About half way through I jumped to the last chapter and didn't seem to have missed anything.

Any additional comments?

I have enjoyed all the other Audible books I have listened to. I hope this is posted to save other devoted Audible readers a disappointment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Julie
  • Le Center, MN, USA
  • 11-08-15

Most truthful coming of age story I have ever read

The author captured with kindness and unblinking honesty the way both adults and children struggle to make sense of the world and find a reason to go on. the themes echo through the generations and characters, very much like the themes in Pachelbel's canon echo each other. A really touching and well constructed tale.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rebekah
  • Pittsburg, TX, United States
  • 10-21-15

Tried something different - very disappointed

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

I bought this book because it was a recommended title at the time. It is not my typical genre but I thought I would try something different. I was really disappointed. I listened to it hoping it would get better but the drug scene really threw me off. The narration was fine, but the material was not for me.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Mystery, sci-fi or fantasy

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment

Any additional comments?

No

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Extremely unsatisfying ending

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

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.

Has Skippy Dies turned you off from other books in this genre?

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.

What character would you cut from Skippy Dies?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Strange Story!

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I found it difficult to get through this whole story and I found it a bit depressing. It is certainly different. I did read the whole thing but I can't say I would recommend it to anyone. Just an odd tale that I found disturbing. I am sure it was supposed to be just that.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Like Happy Days Moved to Ireland Minus Happiness

If you moved the old TV show Happy Days to Ireland but replaced the soda shop with a doughnut shop, innocence and hope with cynicism and despair, and added drugs, sad sex (including pedophile priests and porn), and the worst of current pop culture instead of the best of 50s pop culture, you'd have an idea of why not to read Skippy Dies.

Skippy (playing the part of the Richie Cunningham character on Happy Days) is the only mildly likeable character but he dies on the first page. Squiggy has become a psychopath drug dealer, the Fonz (or maybe Potsie?) a pathetic science geek. All of their hopes and dreams are squashed as the book progresses.

The adults in the book (teachers, school administrators, and their spouses) are equally sad and hopeless and are unable to help themselves, let alone the young people.

So why has this book garnered rave reviews? Beats me. I'd read that the audiobook was the best way to read it because of it being read aloud by multiple actors with wonderful accents. That was a plus but still found it to be not an enjoyable read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Really Bad

What would have made Skippy Dies better?

This book was terrible. I tried really hard to finish it but just couldn't - I wound up deleting it from my phone a third of the way through.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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What???

I cannot believe the good reviews on this book! The reviews and the great narration were the only reason I kept pushing through to finish it. The adults are neglectful morons and predators who make me afraid for any boarding school children. The kids are all sex-crazed, drugged-out idiots. This is 23 and half hours of my life I will never get back. I was very mad at the end of this book and sorry I bought it. What a waste of time and energy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Just wasn't for me

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

I just couldn't finish this book, and I really tried.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful