It’s not every novel that begins with the death of its title character. But that’s exactly what happens in Paul Murray’s darkly funny and wholly enjoyable Skippy Dies (available 8/31).
Skippy is 14-year-old Daniel “Skippy” Juster, and in the novel’s opening pages, he is participating in a doughnut-eating competition with his best friend when he collapses and dies. But that’s just the beginning of this sprawling tale, about who Skippy was and the mysterious Lori he references at his death, but also about a plethora of other colorful characters. This is a long book (more than 650 pages), and yet Murray will never once lose your attention, writing with wit and charm and making this tragicomedy both hilarious and effortlessly moving.
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