Could it have something to do with his friend Ruprecht Van Doren, an overweight genius who is determined to open a portal into a parallel universe using ten-dimensional string theory?
Could it involve Carl, the teenage drug dealer and border...more
"The Road Less Traveled" by Robert Frost is actually about anal sex. (Now please don't all leave me outraged comments and personal messages asking me how I can be so disgusting and impugn Frost's memory. I didn't make it up -- it's actually in the book. Ok, I did choose to mention it, but seriously, how you can review this book without mentioning it, I don't know.)
But there's a lot more to Skippy Dies, which was long-listed for the Man Booker. Paul Murray is pre...more
‘How telling it is,’ he says in his sermon, shaking his illustrious golden-locked head, ‘that Daniel’s short life should come to its end in a restaurant devoted to doughnuts. For in some ways, is our modern way of life not comparable to one of these doughnuts? “Junk food” that satisfies only temporarily, that offers a “quick fix”, but has, at the center of it, a hole?’
Doughnuts, alcohol, drugs, sex, tv, video games, exercise, goodreads --you name it -- we as a society have used it to try to fill...more
“…a string vibrating at one frequency will give you a quark, say, and a string vibrating at another frequency will give you a photon…Nature is made of all the musical notes that are played on this superstring, so the universe is like a kind of symphony.” (Ruprecht, p. 152)
It’s been years since this book came out. It made such a big splash on its debut I feared it may be popular fiction of a type that doesn’t interest me. I waited a little, had a peek, retreated. A big book in the vernacular of...more
Skippy, buddy, I am sorry. I wanted to hear out your story, but some of these people around you tried my patience too far.
From the moment I started reading Skippy Dies, I couldn't stop thinking that I could be reading something better instead. More than 150 pages later, I was still thinking the same. I decided I didn't want to continue reading about a couple of teenagers (except Skippy and Ruprecht) being kind of d*cks and the dismal life of one uninteresting adult.
Skippy Dies is not bad. I so w...more
As promised in the title, Skippy dies. In fact, he dies in the first few pages when he falls off his stool in a doughnut shop. Who was this kid and what happened? Well, that’s what the rest of the book is for.
Skippy was Daniel Juster, a shy and nerdy boy at a Catholic boy’s school in Ireland. In the time before his death, we meet a variety of characters that are unknowingly part of the chain of events that lead to his untimely demise. There’s Skippy’s roommate, a...more
Can you hear me strumming
On the strings of your heart?
Have you ever wanted to sit down right after finishing a good book and with a handheld loudspeaker as big as the earth sing into the cosmos just how good it...more
This is a very, very funny book. At times, it’s relentlessly funny. But then, …
‘Hmm, maybe you should have asked one of the nuns,’ Dennis remarks contemplatively. ‘Did you ask them, Ruprecht? Did you ask the nuns to show you their mound?’
I will suggest to you that, questions of aesthetics and all things literary aside, that it is, in fact, impossible for most male readers, straight or not straight, to avoid being caught up by the frequently juvenile boy-humor that runs rampant throughout Skippy...more
Oh dear GAWD please please please send plagues of boils and masses of ingrown back hairs and painful rectal itch upon the next writer, editor, and publisher to think the adolescent Irish boys are worthy of ANY MORE ATTENTION!!
Enough already, no more, basta, and just F*CKING STOP IT!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Love is tough. Death is tough. Adolesc...more
Holy balls this book is so good. I put it #1 on my CCLaP best-of-2011! Here's what I said about it there:
This is a straight-up, no nonsense, trickery-free whirl of a novel. It takes place in an Irish boys' school, following a whole group of tween boys, as well as many of their teache...more
But my guilt only carries me so far. Most of the blame here must be assumed by Mr. Murray. The narration is tedious and gloomy. The characters are bleakly hopeless. There are occasional references to things like cell phones, string thory, and computers, but I frequently felt the author had r...more
It's several months in the life of a boys' public school in Ireland. It is nothing like Harry Potter. It is chockablock with early teen angst and cruelty, and the particular vagar...more
Honestly, several days after finishing it I just don’t feel motivated to make my normal analytical effort. I enjoyed several turns of phrase (“twiddling his...more
Sobald man den Titel dieses Buches gelesen hat, kommt jeder Spoileralarm zu spät. Es geht um das Leben und Sterben des Internatsschülers Daniel „Skippy“ Juster, um seine erste Liebe, die Freundschaft zu seinem Zimmergenossen, dem adipösen Genie Ruprecht Van Doren und dem bittersüßen Weg ins Erwachsenendasein. Parallel werden die Geschichten seines Geschichtslehrers, des Schulschlägers und des Internatsdirektors erzählt.
Eines meiner Lieblingsbuchgenres sind Geschichten üb...more
That said, how in the world did Paul Murray pull me into Sea...more
Christmas Canon (after Pachelbel’s Canon)
“Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living.”
-Søren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher (1813 - 1855)
“Maybe instead of strings it’s stories things are made of, an infinite number of tiny vibrating stories; once upon a time they all were part of one big giant superstory, except it got broken up into a jillion different pieces, that’s why no story on its own makes any sen
Murray's a terrific writer and the whole thing prickles with energy, a...more
I guess that's more a reaction than a review, huh?
If we go by the premise that people read novels because we need stories, Skippy Dies succeeds by setting out a story where a chain of events is set in motion and the reaches a conclusion, and the entire trip from beginning to end is compelling. We go with the chara...more
I’d heard nothing but praise for this book before I started it. Almost all of my Goodreads friends who’ve reviewed it have given it five stars. Nearly all of the top-rated reviews on Goodreads give it five stars. It was nominated for various awards, including the Booker (well, it was longlisted at least). Apparently, it’s one of Donna Tartt’s favourite books. So you can imagine that I had high hopes for this one, and started it with absolute optimism that it wa...more
Don’t you listen in class? Poetry’s never about what it says it’s about, that’s the whole point of it. Obviously Mrs Frost or whoever isn’t going to be too happy with him going around telling the world about this time he gave it to her up the bum. So he cleverly disguises it by putting it in a poem which to the untrained eye is just about a boring walk in some gay wood.
Paul Murray’s “Skippy Dies” is my #1 choice for 2010 book of the year.