Saturday, March 23, 2013

BOOK: Skippy Dies by Paul Murray

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray, 664 pages

Ireland Reading Challenge; Booker Longlist 2010

Skippy dies in the first sentence, so that is no surprise. The rest of the book gets us to that point, and looks at the repercussions after the fact.

Teenage boys at boarding school in Dublin in the 2000s so we have: girls, girls with eating disorders, drugs, geeks, priests, bullies, teachers, sex with girls, teenagers being apathetic, teenagers with varying interests, physics (that was a cool surprise!), cell phones, sexting, divorces, parents even more immature than their children; a little bit of everything, with a strong helping of sex and drugs.

Murray covers a lot of ground with his readable novel. The teenagers and their angsty confused world. The teachers/adults who are their own microcosm of high school with bullies and self-esteem issues. Confusing the issue, many of the teachers are former Seabrooke alumni, coming back to teach with former classmates and teachers and all the previous relationships inherent in that. The relationships and inner thoughts all rang very true for me.

My only issue was with the acting vice-principal character, and only because I hated him so much, which only speaks to how well the character was written. That type of arrogant, ambitious, self-centered control-freak bully can be so impossible to deal with. Watching him make decisions only based on how it served him best, and living the 'old-boys' network makes you realize what obstacles are in place in many work-places for people not in the circle. He made some very infuriating decisions and judgments and every time he was in the book, I hated him.

But the other characters were good and I liked the book.

 also reviewed: jackie at farmlane books; jenners at life with books

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