Paul Murray reads a funny book at Word on Sunday

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

This writer is deadly funny.

Paul Murray has equally charmed and haunted readers with his praised comic novel, “Skippy Dies,” set at a Dublin boys’ school.

That title’s no spoiler alert; within five pages of the Irish novelist’s wildly entertaining book, which was longlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize, Daniel “Skippy” Juster, a shy 14-year-old student, meets his tragicomic demise on the floor of a doughnut shop.

From there, Murray flashes back to the preceding months, from the perspective of the school’s hormone-fueled boys, apathetic teachers, female love interests, and the nerdy, quantum physics-loving Ruprecht Van Doren, whose own life is upended by the death of his friend and roommate.

In addition to its plethora of gay jokes, “Skippy Dies” is deeper and poignant than any book about teenage boys has the right to be — a fact the author himself is well aware of.

“My brain seems to find it quite natural to slip from one register to the other,” said Murray, who crosses the pond to read at Greenpoint’s Word Bookshop on Dec. 5. “I tried to make sure that although the opening chapters are largely comic, the tragic elements are visible to some degree, too. That’s partly why Skippy dies on page five. It’s unambiguous.”

But don’t worry, it’s still OK to laugh.

Paul Murray at Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383-0096], Dec. 5 at 7 pm. Free. For info, visit

Updated 5:22 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: