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Philip Womack is enchanted by a dark tale of adolescence , Skippy Dies by Paul Murray

I grew up and went to school at a similar institution within a two mile radius of "Seabrook College" and even though I'm twenty years older than the author I can assure you that this is a wholly authentic portrait of Dublin's middle class suburbs, which has been a long time coming.

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Middle class suburban Dublin which holds almost one quarter of the population of this country has been poorly represented in Irish literature. South Dublin middle class suburbia was ignored, but it was the social avant-garde of Ireland: it was the most affluent, the most connected to the outside world, it had access to British TV before anyone else, was the first to travel frequently outside Ireland, it was the first place where kids had too much money, where kids started using drugs, where kids could steal their mother's valium, where families started to break down, where pornography was available- smuggled in on various school trips abroad, where anomie developed- and here I'm referring to my memories of the s.

But the arty crowd either ignored or were ignorant of all this.

(pt.1) Let's Discuss: Skippy Dies by Paul Murray

To them South Dublin was vulgar, boring, materialistic, snobbish and philistine. They should have paid attention cos everything that happened in the whole country during the Celtic Tiger was prefigured here 20 years earlier.

Skippy Dies

Skippy Dies is a great book and an authentic portrait of a later generation than my own in which I recognize many of the features of my own South Dublin days of the 70s and 80s. If Mr Lloyd is visiting Dublin soon and wants to experience some Oirishry I can point him in the direction of several fake Irish bars in which he can join the rest of the tourists in search of something long since departed.

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Skippy Dies by Paul Murray. Category: Literary Fiction.

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Reviewer: John Lloyd. Summary: Life and death in and around an Irish private school, in this all-encompassing brick of a novel, which does resolve into an enjoyable plot. Murray is an expansive writer, bouncing around in time, tense and point of view. In shorter, like life. Murray balances. Brimful of wit, narrative energy and a real poetry and vision.

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Murray will never once lose your attention, writing with wit and charm and making this tragicomedy both hilarious and effortlessly moving. A most entertaining book from an excellent writer. Retrieved 18 September Archived from the original on 4 October Categories : novels Novels set in schools Novels set in Dublin city Hamish Hamilton books 21st-century Irish novels Irish comedy novels.

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