Skippy DiesBook - 2010
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. With a cast of characters that ranges from hip-hop-loving fourteen-year-old Eoin "MC Sexecutioner" Flynn to basketballplaying midget Philip Kilfether, packed with questions and answers on everything from Ritalin, to M-theory, to bungee jumping, to the hidden meaning of the poetry of Robert Frost, Skippy Dies is a heartfelt, hilarious portrait of the pain, joy, and occasional beauty of adolescence, and a tragic depiction of a world always happy to sacrifice its weakest members. As the twenty-first century enters its teenage years, this is a breathtaking novel from a young writer who will come to define his generation.
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‘Do you think we should do something?’ Niall says. ‘Do something?’ Dennis repeats. ‘Like what?’ ‘Like, stop him somehow.’ ‘And just let this Neanderthal waltz off with the great love of his life, is that it?’ Like many pessimists, Dennis becomes strangely energized when things are actually at their worst. ‘He should sit tight and let himself be bullied and trampled over for another four years, and then some day when he’s an accountant married to some mediocre-looking girl the bullies didn’t want he can take revenge by giving Carl Incorporated a really exacting audit?’
Skippy and Ruprecht are having a donut-eating race one evening when Skippy turns purple and falls off his chair. It is a Friday in November, and Ed's is only half full; if Skippy makes a noise as he topples to the floor, no one pays attention. Nor is Ruprecht, at first, overly concerned; rather he is pleased, because it means that he, Ruprecht, has won the race, his sixteenth in a row, bringing him one step closer to the all-time record held by Guido "The Gland" LaManche, Seabrook College class of '93.
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