Paul Murray – Skippy Dies

This was recommended by an English teacher friend who loved it so much that she nearly recommended it to students but held back due to some slightly dodgy content.  It was therefore a bit of a disappointment to find that I was largely bored for the first two thirds.  There was a lot of science that I skimmed over and generally boring, boyish humour centring on porn.  I also found the lack of speech marks slightly irritating.

Skippy a 12 year old student (not a bush kangaroo) at the Seabrook boarding school, collapses and dies in Ed’s doughnut house in the opening chapter.  The rest of the book then goes back to the preceding months to show the build up to this tragic event.  There are a range of flawed characters – Howard the, disillusioned, crap History teacher, Lara the screwed up girl who wants to be skinny, Carl and Brian the student drug dealers, Tom the swimming coach who was originally a sports hero but was disabled in a bungee incident and Skippy whose mother is dying of cancer but refuses to discuss this with anyone.

This book is very long and it is only after the book returns to the events after Skippy’s death that it becomes interesting. The book is full of generally horrible characters – are teenage boys really like this?  If so, that is slightly depressing.  I am not sure what this book wants to be – funny, clever, an exposé of abuse in Ireland but I think maybe it is trying to be too many things and the result is a bit confusing.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Paul Murray – Skippy Dies

  1. Sophie

    So – you didn’t like it then?

  2. No, sorry I was really disappointed. Do you think we share the same taste in books?

  3. Carol Jepson

    Mmm – I bought this book for Phil as it had such good reviews. I don’t feel offended now by the fact that he didn’t finish it.

  4. It is so long, I really struggled with it and only managed as I was on holiday and had a limited amount of books with me. So no, don’t be offended!

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