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Preview — Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
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
Popular Answered Questions
skippy dies on the first page of this book.
then there are 600 pages of buildup and aftermath.
it has been compared to Infinite Jest,which i can see, but i also feel it is a good companion-piece to The Instructions. all three of these books (IJ only in part) focus on adolescents who are in school/boarding school environments that use genuinely funny (as opposed to manipulative-funny) humor to offset the horrors of youth and its incipient discoveries. they all have elements of the absurd, of the ne ...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
A : ...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
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
‘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
Second, I've read about half of the Harry Potter books, and I don't see the comparison between ...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
Skippy Dies is an eager-to-please puppy.
Now let me just say, I'm very sympathetic to the problems of an author: avoid cliches, show, don't tell, consistent characters that grow, realistic dialogue, active voice. Semicolons? Adjectives? and so on. I pat Skippy on its head and say good boy, you’re really trying.
Little Skippy, I like you well enough - but you do get on my nerves.
Let’s be clear: Skippy is not a dog. I mean that in every sense. It’s pretty much a good story, though somewhat ...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
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
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
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
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.
That said, how in the world did Paul Murray pull me into Sea ...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
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
Love is tough. Death is tough. Adolesc ...more
Quando Skippy è morto, io ero ancora in libreria. Perché Skippy, per chi come me ha l’edizione Isbn, muore già in copertina. C’è scritto tutto. Dove, come, quando è successo, e c’è anche una sua foto. Quasi un necrologio da vetrina.
Mi è stato inevitabile ripensare alle Vergini suicide di Eugenides, a quell’uso competente dell’ossimoro letterario, per cui ti ritrovi a leggere una storia partendo dalla fine cronologica di tutto. Ma qualcosa non tornava già dal tit ...more
Those are my excuses for not reading this earlier. It's an amazing four stars. But in all fairness, I still don’t like the cover and the blurb is just god-awful! (Why on earth does it mention a tertiary character, at best, and a nearly non-existent character and leave out the awesome cast of main characters?!) And another thing—best to get all cursory compla ...more