The book settles around a group of friends, clergymen and teachers at Seabrook College, an Irish, Catholic boarding school outside Dublin. While the story is very human and real, it also has fantastic elements–UFOs, travel to alternate dimensions, and fairy mounds. It also digs into much darker elements–drugs, sexual molestation, and abusive relationships. All the main characters have strong arcs, but true to life, not every bad guy gets his comeuppance, and everything isn’t tied up tidily at the end.
This highest praise I can give this book is that by the time I finished Skippy Dies, I felt like some of the characters were my best friends. I cared deeply about what happened to them. I was sorry when the book had to end.
Also, Paul Murray writes a good pop song.