Skippy Dies

Skippy Dies - Paul Murray

I can't remember the last contemporary book I loved this much. I both never wanted it to end and needed to know what and how everything would happen.

 

Probably my favorite element of this book, aside from its generally superb writing, is the way Murray captures the psyches and behaviors of 14-year-old boys in particular. They're vulgar, but often in the most innocuous of ways that makes you (or made me) laugh out loud as you read; they're insecure, they're lost, they support each other, but in the most backward (and entertaining) fashion... The girls and adults of all stripes are just about as well-handled, and I appreciate that no one's a real villain (well, The Automator is definitely the closest) or saint, either.

 

The structure of the book is perfect, too; the titular character dies right away, before we know him or can care too much, but then we're taken back and get to know (and love) him, before he's taken away from us, again, too soon, when it breaks our hearts. Then comes the aftermath, which is where I really found myself tearing up, but not exactly from sadness.

 

I can't recommend this book enough.