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I think much of how you may feel about this book depends on what you're looking for in your next listen.
I wanted something amusing, entertaining, light, but also not entirely brainless. For me, this fit the bill really nicely.
The narration in this particular novel makes me a bit sad for the people who only read it on paper because it really is that cleverly done. The voices are great, recognizable, distinctive, and so well done. An excellent group of narrators who did the book full justice.
That said... Skippy Dies is about a group of 14 year old boys in a Catholic school in Ireland and about some of the teachers - one in particular. For me, the author did a great job of showing how 14 year old boys want badly to experience adult things but still cling to some very childlike fantasies.
One of my personal favorite passages is when Mario, one of the boys, is confident that he'll have sex at a school dance because he has his lucky condom in his wallet - he's had it for 3 years. When the other boys point out the obvious irony and declare the wallet unlucky for condoms, one states that he bets the condom is in his wallet right now, whistling the tune from The Great Escape and digging its way out with a coffee stirrer. For some reason, this struck me as particularly funny coming from a 14 year old boy.
It also has its bittersweet/tender moments as the boys deal with death, sickness, guilt, etc. But that isn't an overly heavy theme that weighs down the book. I did not find myself bored as I believe some reviewers did.
In sum: the book is entertaining, humorous, clever, extremely well narrated and definitely worth a credit at 23 hours. I gave it 5/5 because I fully appreciated the writing and narration.
73 of 75 people found this review helpful
I just finished this book and it is one of the most insightful contemporary novels I've read recently.
That said, I sympathize with the readers who stopped listening after a couple of hours and gave it 1-2 stars as I would have. The beginning does seem like a simple retelling of adolescent banter and escapades that got irritating and old very quickly. I thought I'd misunderstood the description.
But I kept listening and found the book incredible. Murray's story presents the odd and at times unexplainable elements of human nature in a post-modern age. Who "wins" and who "gets ahead." And how many of us never really see what's truly going on -- even though we're 'good' people.
So, if you like cultural insights - and can accept the obnoxious, humorous, and tragic antics of both adolescents -- and adults. Then you may enjoy this book.
47 of 49 people found this review helpful