Skippy and Ruprecht are having a doughnut-eating race one evening when Skippy turns purple and falls off his chair.....And so begins this epic, tragic, comic, brilliant novel set in and around Dublin’s Seabrook College for Boys. Principally concerning the lives, loves, mistakes and triumphs of overweight maths-whiz Ruprecht Van Doren and his roommate Daniel ‘Skippy’ Juster, it features a Frisbee-throwing siren called Lori, the joys (and horrors) of first love, the use and blatant misuse of prescription drugs, Carl (the official school psychopath), various attempts to unravel string theory... while at the same time exploring the very deepest mysteries of the human heart.
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010 and shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction
"Marvellous, witty, heartbreaking, intensely moving, excellent. The writing is second to none, the banter brilliant. Crazy, but beautiful." (
"One of the most enjoyable, funny and moving reads of this year. A rare tragicomedy that’s both genuinely tragic and genuinely comic." ( The Guardian)
"Savagely funny, brimful of wit, energy, poetry and vision, unflaggingly entertaining. A triumph." ( The Sunday Times)
"Hilarious, heartbreaking, totally engrossing. A triumph." ( Daily Mail)
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Inspired, funny, heartrending & addicitive!
- Linda A. Davies
Brilliant book briliantly read