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Skippy Dies

by

Skippy Dies Cover

 

Awards

The Rooster 2011 Morning News Tournament of Books Nominee

Staff Pick

Talk about a spoiler! Yes, Skippy dies. (Or maybe he doesn't. I'll never tell.) But the fact of his death isn't nearly as important as the why, which Paul Murray's Dublin-set novel explores with a dizzying mix of hilarity and tragedy that's never less than thrilling.
Recommended by Rico, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Why does Skippy, a fourteen-year-old boy at Dublin's venerable Seabrook College, end up dead on the floor of the local doughnut shop?

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 borderline psychotic who is Skippy's rival in love?

Or could "the Automator" — the ruthless, smooth-talking headmaster intent on modernizing the school — have something to hide?

Why Skippy dies and what happens next is the subject of this dazzling and uproarious novel, unraveling a mystery that links the boys of Seabrook College to their parents and teachers in ways nobody could have imagined. With a cast of characters that ranges from hip-hop-loving fourteen-year-old Eoin "MC Sexecutioner" Flynn to basketball-playing midget Philip Kilfether, packed with questions and answers on everything from Ritalin, to M-theory, to bungee jumping, to the hidden meaning of the poetry of Robert Frost, Skippy Dies is a heartfelt, hilarious portrait of the pain, joy, and occasional beauty of adolescence, and a tragic depiction of a world always happy to sacrifice its weakest members. As the twenty-first century enters its teenage years, this is a breathtaking novel from a young writer who will come to define his generation.

Review:

"At 672 pages, this is an extremely ambitious and complex novel, filled with parallels, with sometimes recondite references to Irish folklore, with quantum physics, and with much more. Hilarious, haunting, and heartbreaking, it is inarguably among the most memorable novels of the year to date." Booklist (starred review)

Review:

"The novel is a triumph....Brimful of wit, narrative energy and a real poetry and vision." The Sunday Times

Review:

"[A] splendid, sardonic magnum opus....Long and impossibly involved, but also beautifully written, with much truth and not a wasted word. A superb imagining of a strange world — that of pimply-faced kids, that is." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Review:

"One of the most enjoyable, funny and moving reads of this young new year." The Guardian (U.K.)

Review:

"An utterly engrossing read." Elle

Review:

"Noisy, hilarious, tragic, and endlessly inventive...Murray's writing is just plain brilliant." The Times (U.K.)

Review:

"A blast of a book." The Irish Times

Synopsis:

Why does Skippy, a 14-year-old boy at Dublin's venerable Seabrook College, end up dead on the floor of the local doughnut shop? Why Skippy dies and what happens next unravels a mystery that links the boys of Seabrook College to their parents and teachers in ways nobody could have imagined.

Synopsis:

"For its darkness and its glee, I loved this novel." —Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbras 24-Hour Bookstore A high school music festival goes awry when a young prodigy disappears from a hotel room that was the site of a famous murder/suicide fifteen years earlier, in a whip-smart novel sparkling with the dark and giddy pop culture pleasures of The Shining, Agatha Christie, and Glee

Synopsis:

"For its darkness and its glee, I loved this novel." —Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbras 24-Hour Bookstore
Fifteen years ago, a murder/suicide in room 712 rocked the grand old Bellweather Hotel and the young bridesmaid who witnessed it. Now hundreds of high school musicians, including quiet bassoonist Rabbit Hatmaker and his brassy diva twin, Alice, have gathered in its cavernous, crumbling halls for the annual Statewide festival; the grown-up bridesmaid has returned to face her demons; and a snowstorm is forecast that will trap everyone on the grounds. Then one of the orchestras stars disappears—from room 712. Is it a prank, or has murder struck the Bellweather once again?

The search for answers entwines a hilariously eccentric cast of characters—conductors and caretakers, failures and stars, teenagers on the verge and adults trapped in memories. For everyone has come to the Bellweather with a secret, and everyone is haunted.

Full of knowing nods to the shivery pleasures of suspense and the transporting power of music, this is a wholly winning new novel from a writer lauded as “charming” (Los Angeles Times), “witty” (O, The Oprah Magazine), and “whimsical” (People).

Synopsis:

Why does Skippy, a fourteen-year-old boy at Dublins venerable Seabrook College, end up dead on the floor of the local doughnut shop?

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 borderline psychotic who is Skippys rival in love?

Or could “the Automator”—the ruthless, smooth-talking headmaster intent on modernizing the school—have something to hide?

Why Skippy dies and what happens next is the subject of this dazzling and uproarious novel, unraveling a mystery that links the boys of Seabrook College to their parents and teachers in ways nobody could have imagined. With a cast of characters that ranges from hip-hop-loving fourteen-year-old Eoin “MC Sexecutioner” Flynn to basketball playing midget Philip Kilfether, packed with questions and answers on everything from Ritalin, to M-theory, to bungee jumping, to the hidden meaning of the poetry of Robert Frost, Skippy Dies is a heartfelt, hilarious portrait of the pain, joy, and occasional beauty of adolescence, and a tragic depiction of a world always happy to sacrifice its weakest members. As the twenty-first century enters its teenage years, this is a breathtaking novel from a young writer who will come to define his generation.

About the Author

Paul Murray was born in 1975. He studied English literature at Trinity College in Dublin and creative writing at the University of East Anglia. His first novel, An Evening of Long Goodbyes,was short-listed for the Whitbread Prize in 2003 and was nominated for the Kerry Irish Fiction Award.

Table of Contents

The Program

Prelude: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 1982

   THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 1997

      Andante Misterioso

         1. Heaven Help Me for the Way I Am. . . . . . . . . . 11

         2. Rabbit Makes an Entrance.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

         3. Roommates and Mothers.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

         4. Natalie Takes the Elevator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

         5. The Face of the Bellweather.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

         6. Bad Rabbit.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

         7. Who You Are.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

         8. Alice Sees the Future. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86

   FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 1997

      Scherzo Agitato

         9. Clear as Crystal.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

         10. Return of the Unremarkable Cupcake.. . . . . 115

         11. Alice in the Morning.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132

         12. Declarations.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140

         13. Dangerous Girls.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154

         14. Big Dance Number. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170

         15. Surprises.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180

         16. In the Dark. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192

   SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 1997

      Allegro Furioso

         17. Alice, the Next Morning.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203

         18. I Want to Believe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212

         19. Connections.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224

         20. Accelerando. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234

         21. Solo Viola. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258

         22. What Hastings Saw. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265

         23. Found.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 270

         24. Lost.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284

   SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 1997

      Grave e Cantabile

         25. Only One Afternoon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 293

         26. Songs for Two Voices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 307

         27. Hatmakers Descending. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 325

Postlude: AND AFTER

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 16 comments:

Elizabeth L, May 26, 2011 (view all comments by Elizabeth L)
At its most basic, this novel chronicles the declension (and, unfortunate, sacralization) of an all-boys Irish (obviously Catholic) boarding school in a contemporary time and place where even suggesting the existence of such a space seems anachronistic. But, at its most epic, this novel is much more. It's a parable of science versus religion, traditional versus contemporary. In a somewhat predictable way (particularly in an Irish setting) it is the twinned virtues--love and humor--that transcend the otherwise insurmountable dichotomies the book sets into play, emerging triumphantly from the embers of all else that has been destroyed. Beyond such abstractions (and I have no idea why I'm reviewing a book that is in many ways intensely realistic in such grandiose and vague terms), the book is a page-turner. It envelops the reader wholly into the glory that is existence and the agony that inevitably travels alongside it. It makes you remember exactly the toils and pleasures of adolescence and simultaneously question just how far you've actually traveled beyond it. To raise one final dichotomy, from the earliest pages in the novel (wherein Skippy, as the title announces, dies), this is a novel about life.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
simmonsr, May 14, 2011 (view all comments by simmonsr)
I read this because it was one the Tournament of Books choices, and I am happy to say that I am glad for it. The book is a "coming of age" novel that takes place in an all boys private school, and follows the foibles of a cast of young men at the "voice cracking" stage of life, along with some adult characters that are well fleshed out. Full of poignant passages and lovely writing. Once the end came I found myself wanting to know more of what awaits in the future for this cast of characters.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
Matthew Yasuoka, March 15, 2011 (view all comments by Matthew Yasuoka)
This book is in a word amazing. It is so beautiful, magnificent, and lovely, and the characters are so memorable and relatable that upon finishing it I had the strongest desire to turn back to page one and start again.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(9 of 15 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 16 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780865479432
Author:
Murray, Paul
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Author:
Kelman, Stephen
Author:
Racculia, Kate
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Humorous fiction
Subject:
Adolescence
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20140513
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
A<BR><BR>&#8220;Dazzling . . . If killing your pro
Language:
English
Illustrations:
15 chapter openers and line art
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » Narrative
Featured Titles » Morning News Tournament » Tournament of Books 2011
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Skippy Dies Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Faber & Faber - English 9780865479432 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Talk about a spoiler! Yes, Skippy dies. (Or maybe he doesn't. I'll never tell.) But the fact of his death isn't nearly as important as the why, which Paul Murray's Dublin-set novel explores with a dizzying mix of hilarity and tragedy that's never less than thrilling.

"Review" by , "At 672 pages, this is an extremely ambitious and complex novel, filled with parallels, with sometimes recondite references to Irish folklore, with quantum physics, and with much more. Hilarious, haunting, and heartbreaking, it is inarguably among the most memorable novels of the year to date."
"Review" by , "The novel is a triumph....Brimful of wit, narrative energy and a real poetry and vision."
"Review" by , "[A] splendid, sardonic magnum opus....Long and impossibly involved, but also beautifully written, with much truth and not a wasted word. A superb imagining of a strange world — that of pimply-faced kids, that is."
"Review" by , "One of the most enjoyable, funny and moving reads of this young new year."
"Review" by , "An utterly engrossing read."
"Review" by , "Noisy, hilarious, tragic, and endlessly inventive...Murray's writing is just plain brilliant."
"Review" by , "A blast of a book."
"Synopsis" by , Why does Skippy, a 14-year-old boy at Dublin's venerable Seabrook College, end up dead on the floor of the local doughnut shop? Why Skippy dies and what happens next unravels a mystery that links the boys of Seabrook College to their parents and teachers in ways nobody could have imagined.
"Synopsis" by , "For its darkness and its glee, I loved this novel." &#8212;Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbras 24-Hour Bookstore A high school music festival goes awry when a young prodigy disappears from a hotel room that was the site of a famous murder/suicide fifteen years earlier, in a whip-smart novel sparkling with the dark and giddy pop culture pleasures of The Shining, Agatha Christie, and Glee
"Synopsis" by ,
"For its darkness and its glee, I loved this novel." &#8212;Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbras 24-Hour Bookstore
Fifteen years ago, a murder/suicide in room 712 rocked the grand old Bellweather Hotel and the young bridesmaid who witnessed it. Now hundreds of high school musicians, including quiet bassoonist Rabbit Hatmaker and his brassy diva twin, Alice, have gathered in its cavernous, crumbling halls for the annual Statewide festival; the grown-up bridesmaid has returned to face her demons; and a snowstorm is forecast that will trap everyone on the grounds. Then one of the orchestras stars disappears&#8212;from room 712. Is it a prank, or has murder struck the Bellweather once again?

The search for answers entwines a hilariously eccentric cast of characters&#8212;conductors and caretakers, failures and stars, teenagers on the verge and adults trapped in memories. For everyone has come to the Bellweather with a secret, and everyone is haunted.

Full of knowing nods to the shivery pleasures of suspense and the transporting power of music, this is a wholly winning new novel from a writer lauded as “charming” (Los Angeles Times), “witty” (O, The Oprah Magazine), and “whimsical” (People).

"Synopsis" by ,

Why does Skippy, a fourteen-year-old boy at Dublins venerable Seabrook College, end up dead on the floor of the local doughnut shop?

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 borderline psychotic who is Skippys rival in love?

Or could “the Automator”&#8212;the ruthless, smooth-talking headmaster intent on modernizing the school&#8212;have something to hide?

Why Skippy dies and what happens next is the subject of this dazzling and uproarious novel, unraveling a mystery that links the boys of Seabrook College to their parents and teachers in ways nobody could have imagined. With a cast of characters that ranges from hip-hop-loving fourteen-year-old Eoin “MC Sexecutioner” Flynn to basketball playing midget Philip Kilfether, packed with questions and answers on everything from Ritalin, to M-theory, to bungee jumping, to the hidden meaning of the poetry of Robert Frost, Skippy Dies is a heartfelt, hilarious portrait of the pain, joy, and occasional beauty of adolescence, and a tragic depiction of a world always happy to sacrifice its weakest members. As the twenty-first century enters its teenage years, this is a breathtaking novel from a young writer who will come to define his generation.

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