Books of the year 2010 | Daniel Swift

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray

My book of the year is Skippy Dies' by Paul Murray: a marvel of tone and sensibility. It's a coming of age tale, set in a grim boarding school, and a love story, and also a murder mystery; it's a truly, deeply alive book, and the funniest I've read in years. I believe that this book would have made James Joyce laugh out loud. Although the novel is undeniably comic, it uses humor with a serious intent: to capture the mixed, tricky, wistful, human state of being a teenager and feeling a little askew from the grown-up world, and it achieves this with wild, imaginative grace.


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