Michael's Reviews > Skippy Dies

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
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's review
Sep 04, 2010

it was amazing
Read from September 04 to October 01, 2010

The title of Skippy Dies reveals a main plot point, but it can’t be considered a spoiler, since Skippy dies almost on page 1 of this darkly comic, deeply complex novel of life in and around a Dublin Catholic boys’ school. It has an unusual depth of field, a fully realized arena of action (and, at times, inaction) that portrays the parallel universes of students, teachers, parents and community, and the consequences of the lack of understanding between and within these worlds. It takes an almost anthropological approach to the cultures and subcultures of the school, to the degree that it humanizes all its characters while at the same time revealing the darkest recesses of their souls. It’s told in so many voices that the reader gets a feeling of living the lives of the characters, feeling their emotions and understanding their motivations better than they do themselves. The quality of the writing is engaging, and it kept me going to the point that I felt I’d earned the exquisitely emotional ending.

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