Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was longlisted for the Booker prize in 2010, but I just now finished listening to the audiobook. The audio is done by six voice actors and one narrator, and they do a spectacular job (except for the guy whose Italian student Mario sounds more like the Looney Tunes Speedy Gonzales). Irish accents galore!
This is a portrayal of kids at a boarding school in Ireland, so you should expect all the usual - boys with weird issues, bad family relationships, sexual discovery (add that to teenage boys and there are some... awkward moments), drugs, apathy, the usual. What I appreciated is that while you know that Skippy Dies, it isn't as if the book is trying to explain it. It still manages to, but that isn't the point.
I also liked how some of the chapters were more from the teachers' perspectives, with their own struggles and awkwardness. Howard the Coward was definitely a favorite!
I'm not sure how memorable any one moment is, but I definitely laughed out loud at some parts. I think listening to the audio solidified my enjoyment of the text. This won't be for everyone, as some may not be able to stomach the portrayals of... let's call it reality.