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I LOVED this book. The narrator is the best I have heard, completely exceptional in every way, the different voices of all these different boys were all very clearly defined and easy to follow. The changes in pace were perfect... very impressive. The story is complex and yet fast paced, the dialog is brilliant and funny.
This book is basically about a group of boys at a Catholic boarding school. It's in contemporary times, they have iPods and internet porn. There is a messed up teacher, the kind of 'result' that these young boys can expect from life, he is not the hero. The hero is an unlikely character who dies in the first 10 minutes. We then go back in time to see what lead up to that moment and the final part of the book takes you past the moment of Skippy's death.
The language is brilliantly written, the interactions between the boys ring so true and are in turns hilarious and heartbreaking. The adults surrounding these boys are far more deluded and messed up than the boys and that's part of the charm. Yes there is sex, and bad language, and descriptions of porn and violence.
This is not a kids book. But it felt like a very real description of what goes on inside the heads of boys. I am a woman, so I found that fascinating. I must say the writer clearly has an issue with women, all the female characters are pretty unlikeable and mostly one dimensional. I was worried I would not like the book with all this testosterone flying around, but I love love loved it. I miss all the boys, and am still thinking of them...
It really rewards a second listen as you pick up on stuff and connections you missed in the first. If you liked Dead Poets Society the movie, then you will love this, very similar feel. GET IT NOW!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Patrick Moy is such an outstanding narrator... so much so I was occasionally 'distracted' by his performance. The story is layered and character led and, despite wandering out where the buses don't go, it is a nourishing read with surprises, chuckles and winces. My only issue was it was a story in search of a genre... but perhaps that's what made it interesting. Recommended.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Skippy Dies is based primarily in the all male Seabrook College, home to day and boarding pupils alike. It fixes in on both the young teenage students and their teachers, and their lives away from school.
The book opens with as the title states, Daniel `Skippy' Juster dying. At first the reason for his death seems obvious, but the plot then goes back in time and we slowly discover that the cause of Skippy's death isn't as simple as people initially suspected.
It deals beautifully with the story behind each of the main characters, exploring their past, their family life, what brought them to the here and now and their current emotional state. When you add the girls school next door into the mix the story really takes off.
As I said the title is very self explanatory, but all is not what it seems, so my advice is to let Murray take you on this wonderfully touching journey of discovery.
I don't want to give away too much other than to say all the characters are wonderfully portrayed in such fantastic detail and brought to life by the first class narration of Patrick Moy. Combine Murray's style of writing and Moy’s storytelling and the result you have is both hilarious and poignant.
This is not one to miss.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
I am two-thirds through this book and am enjoying it so much I need to write a review now. I read and loved Paul Murray's first novel An Evening Of Long Goodbyes, which was severely underrated and overlooked, and I have had to wait 7 years for this, his second book. But oh boy was the wait worth it. This is a rare creature: an epic comic novel. Its setting is intimate, its ideas are expansive and its structure is subtley complex and tightly-knit. This is all woven from a painfully truthful portrait of adolescence. (I must add here I normally run a mile from books about adolescence, having no desire to be reminded of it.) As many great comic novels have, there is also a dark heart beating in it producing some unexpected, profoundly moving moments. If that is not enough to recommend it, I have to say this book is seemingly written to be read by Patrick Moy, whose interpretation is so pitch perfect, it turns the whole listening experience into an absolute joy.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful