SKIPPYJust in time for summer reading I am back to fiction.  I just finished the very entertaining novel, Skippy Dies by Paul MurraySkippy Dies is a sort of comedic drama played out in an all boy’s high school.  Ok, so this may sound like a hackneyed premise, and sure it has been done before of course, but Mr. Murray creates original characters and a very entertaining narrative.

No spoiler alert needed to say that the book’s title character dies.  Not only does it happen early in this long story (650+ pages), heck the title gives that away.  But quickly the book goes back in time to set up how we got to the point where young Skippy meets his demise.  Every step of the way I was entertained.  Well, as much as one can be “entertained” by a story that is basically about the death of a teenager.

About Skippy Dies by Paul Murray: “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.”

Mr. Murray has a great talent at weaving together his rather complex and ambitious tale.  His style is fresh and contemporary which makes the characters and setting truly come alive.  I enjoyed this novel very much and I was reminded how much I like reading fiction.  I had the same sense of satisfaction reading this book as I have had reading some of the best of my favorites authors like Nick Hornby and John Irving.  Heck, as my dear old Nana used to say:  “you have to love a novel who has a major character named “Ruprecht”.

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray can be found on Amazon and at other fine retailers.