Skippy Dies

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Skippy Dies
Cover of Skippy Dies Novel by Paul Murray.jpg
Hardcover edition
AuthorPaul Murray
PublisherHamish Hamilton
Publication date
4 February 2010
Media typePrint (hardcover and paperback)
Pages672 pp (hardback)
Preceded byAn Evening of Long Goodbyes 

Skippy Dies is a 2010 tragicomic novel by Paul Murray. It was shortlisted for the 2010 Costa Book Awards, longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize,[1] and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.[2]


Skippy Dies follows the lives of a group of students and faculty members at the fictional Seabrook College, a Catholic boarding school in Dublin. The title character, Daniel "Skippy" Juster, dies during a donut-eating contest in the novel's opening scene. The rest of the novel explores the events leading up to Skippy's death, as well as the aftermath within the Seabrook community.


The novel began as a short story, concerning a pupil and a teacher, but it quickly outgrew this as Murray created further characters. A later draft of the novel ran to a thousand pages, though Murray culled much of this before publication.[3] The Seabrook College of the book is based on Blackrock College, Murray's old secondary school.


Skippy Dies received almost universally positive reviews, with most reviewers commenting on the mixture of comic and tragic writing and the novel's large scope.[4] The book was included in Time's list of the ten best books of 2010, ranked at number three. British Prime Minister David Cameron was reported to be reading the book during his 2011 summer holidays in Spain.[5] The book was also nominated for the 2010 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction[6] and for the 2010 Irish Book Awards Irish Novel of the Year.[7] In 2011, it was nominated for the 2012 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.[8]

Selected reviews[edit]


  1. ^ Skippy Dies Archived 2010-12-02 at the Wayback Machine.. Man Booker Prize. Retrieved on May 5, 2011.
  2. ^ Barbara Hoffert. "The National Book Critics Circle Finalists for 2010 Awards". Critical Mass. January 22, 2011. Retrieved on May 5, 2011.
  3. ^[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Second year at Seabrook". The Irish Times. January 1, 2010.
  5. ^ Leonard, Nicholas (August 8, 2011). "Skippy's death is least of Cameron's troubles". Irish Independent.
  6. ^ "The Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize shortlist 2010". Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  7. ^ "Irish Book Awards: Previous Winners Page". Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  8. ^ "Three Irish novels among IMPAC nominees". RTÉ News. 7 November 2011.