Skippy Dies is a wonderful tragic comedy infused with wisdom, hilarity, some deeply disturbing scenes & a real sense of the reality of life. It took me a while to realise that the story is set in Ireland and to warm to the characters and style but I was soon hooked. The title & opening pages rather give away the turning point in everyone's life because, yes, Skippy does die. We then learn about the life for the adolescent boys and girls and their teachers as it was before that event-and I found myself having to be very patient, to wait for what came after. The reward is some very insightful writing about the inevitable impact that Skippy's death and some other very funny events have on the cast of great characters.
In this story the good do not always triumph, the bad get away with stuff they should not escape from -a lot like life really. Murray's look inside a school, it's inhabitants and the way that life shapes their lives is imaginative and at times, heartbreaking.
One of the most enjoyable reads for me this year.