Thursday, 30 December 2010
Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
Being over 650 pages long and set in an Irish boarding school I read this book purely because so many other bloggers loved this one. Since I enjoyed it so much, I'm going to conclude that these bloggers have great taste (I knew this anyway really)
Daniel ‘Skippy’ Juster dies in the first chapter (although you might have gathered that from the title) the book then travels back in time and shows the reader the events leading up to Skippy's death. Most of the plot takes place in Seabrook College; the boys boarding school that Skippy attended where a whole host of characters from Skippy's friends, teachers and the girls in the neighbouring school are introduced.
The teenagers in the book spend large parts of it being quite nasty to each other in an environment where bullying seems to be rife among the more unpopular students. Copious amounts of drugs, eating disorders and sex seem to be on the cards for many of the more popular teens. Added to the mix are the teachers exploits making this a sometimes sad and depressing book but also thought provoking and laced throughout with humour.
'When he came back from summer holidays this year the boys had changed. Suddenly everyone was tall and gangling and talking about drinking and sperm. Walking among them is like being in a BO-smelling forest.'
The boys themselves and their environment are drawn well and are typical of the age they live in where all the teenagers have the latest gadgets and the use of mobile phones and the internet mean nothing is secret for long.
There is a lot in this book and one which I found highly enjoyable, if heartbreaking to read.
If you find the kind of rude things 14 year old boys say to each other quite funny then you will find many funny moments in this book. I do and so I laughed out loud even if the characters did ruin the poem The Road Less Travelled for me.
Posted by Jess