21st Century Literature discussion

Skippy Dies
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2012 Book Discussions > 3/12 Skippy Dies Afterland and Complete Book Discussion

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message 1: by Deborah (last edited Mar 04, 2012 07:05AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Deborah | 977 comments Mod
This is the place to discuss the book in it's entirety and the last section in particular.

Will (wjmcomposer) Well, it was a somber close to the book, but I very much enjoyed the book. I'll be giving it 4 stars. The elements of magical realism that occupy most of the book made you think Murray was setting up some kind of otherworldly finish, but that he really doesn't instantly changes the book from one of MR into (surprisingly) one that I can only refer to with two long and otherwise pointless words, Bildungsroman, and Eucatastrophe. The former essentially referring to a coming-of-age story, and the latter a sudden violent event at the end that leaves the characters better off than before. Skippy's having clearly suffered by happening far too early. There's an element of the morality play with Father Green, and Carl, but the school continuing on, Tom being allowed to move, Howard's inward collapse however gives this novel's world a somewhat darker note.

Will (wjmcomposer) Also, I noticed a very strong influence of Thomas Pynchon in Murray's writing, and looking it up, he does cite Gravity's Rainbow as one of his fav books.

I also ran across some suggestions he had, and I'll post those in our suggestions thread.

Cees Bood | 9 comments For me is the theme of this book that people hardly listen to each other and use the other to reach their personal goals.

Deborah | 977 comments Mod
Now that we're on the other side, here's a question.

I thought he set up some interesting ideas, but carried some to the end better than others.

For instance, I thought the early metaphor of the evolution was a clever choice and he carried it though. In many ways the characters could be divided into those who left the water and those who did not. Some characters did both.

I think he dropped the ball on the promising white goddess idea though.

Cees Bood | 9 comments I think describing the metaphor of evolution is well chosen, but it is disappointing that so many people still are in the water.

Deborah | 977 comments Mod
That made me laugh.

Will (wjmcomposer) It's always hard to get out of the water on a windy day.

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Gravity's Rainbow (other topics)

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