“Skippy Dies” by Paul Murray is the August 2022 selection for the IrishCentral Book Club.

Each month, we will pick a new Irish book or a great book by an Irish author and celebrate the amazing ability of the Irish to tell a good story for the IrishCentral Book Club.

Throughout August, we’ll be reading “Skippy Dies” by Irish author Paul Murray, which was published by Penguin in 2010 and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010, shortlisted for the 2010 Costa Book Awards, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Synopsis of "Skippy Dies" by Paul Murray

Ruprecht Van Doren is an overweight genius whose hobbies include very difficult maths and the Search of Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. Daniel 'Skippy' Juster is his roommate. In the grand old Dublin institution that is Seabrook College for Boys, nobody pays either of them much attention. But when Skippy falls for Lori, the frisbee-playing siren from the girls' school next door, suddenly all kinds of people take an interest - including Carl, part-time drug-dealer and official school psychopath. . .

A tragic comedy of epic sweep and dimension, Skippy Dies scours the corners of the human heart and wrings every drop of pathos, humour, and hopelessness out of life, love, Robert Graves, mermaids, M-theory, and everything in between.

Reviews of "Skippy Dies" by Paul Murray

"That rare thing, a comic epic. . . Murray is a brilliant comic writer, but also humane and touching, and he captures the misery and elation, joy and anxiety of teenage life" - David Nicholls, Guardian

"Novels rarely come as funny and as moving as this utterly brilliant exploration of teenhood and the anticlimax of becoming an adult . . . one of the finest comic novels written anywhere." - Eileen Battersby, Irish Times

"I loved Skippy Dies . . . three novels fused into one ignited tragicomic tour de force." - Ali Smith, Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year

"An unforgettably exuberant saga set in an Irish boys' school. The insulting repartee is Shakespearean, the minor characters hilarious, and Murray captures the fleeting joys and lasting sorrows of adolescence perfectly." - Emma Donoghue, Daily Telegraph

"A triumph . . . brimful of wit and narrative energy." - Sunday Times

"The sprawling brilliance of Paul Murray's darkly comic second novel works on many different levels . . . When you finish the last page, you may be tempted to start all over again." - Metro

About Paul Murray

Dublin-born Paul Murray is the author of "An Evening of Long Goodbyes," "Skippy Dies," and "The Mark and the Void," and he wrote the screenplay for the 2018 film "Metal Heart." "An Evening of Long Goodbyes" was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award and nominated for the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award. "Skippy Dies" was shortlisted for the Costa Novel award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and longlisted for the Booker Prize. "The Mark and the Void" won the Everyman Wodehouse Prize 2016. Paul Murray lives in Dublin. His new novel, "The Bee Sting," will be out in 2023.

*Synopsis, reviews, and author biography provided by Penguin.co.uk.

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