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Skippy Dies ~ Paul Murray

Irish-looking,’ Halley said, by which she meant a collection of indistinct features – pale skin, mousy hair, general air of ill-health – that combine to mysteriously powerful romantic effect”

The book is essentially described as tragi-comic. Based on a group of teenage boys and their love for pretty girls, drugs and science, this novel is funny in parts and is constantly shrouded in morbidity. Particularly because you know what is going to eventually happen; Skippy is going to die. I wouldn’t claim that the book engrossed me immensely although the characters might all be easily recognisable from your own teenage years at school. I will admit that Murray is a skilled writer in dark comedy and one might enjoy the tragic back and forth of heartbreak and victory.

Reader: Must all your stories be so?

Irish author: I don’t know what you mean

Reader: Well, every piece of writing you create seems to be about loss, misery, death and human hardship

Irish author: We like to blame it on the weather

Reader: But there’s so much to find joy in. At least you loved and lost instead of not loving at all. Aren’t true friendships and human connections things to rejoice about?

Irish author: If we need to feel tropical, we’ll drink some pinacolda. Or not.

Why you should read it:

  • Very real teenage struggles
  • Kids say the darndest things
  • Interesting scientific theories discussed

Why you shouldn’t read it:

  • It might make you sad
  • Skippy dies
  • Predictable plot