Skippy Dies broke a lot of my rules for literature and still allowed me to love it. I can't stand violence to children in what is, essentially, an entertainment. Really graphic, unhealthy sexual activity is another one that bothers me. Drug abuse is too hard for me to relate to and comes across as an author struggling for some sort of street cred. I'm really square and don't like being manipulated. And I can just picture the editor who leans across the desk to whisper to an aspiring 'literary' author that he may be just a rape scene away from a Booker Prize.But I loved this book even with all of the lines it crosses. It feels relevant and realistic; the bullying, disconnected loss, scrambling for identity - I can see all of my little rules as a hindrance to getting to the heart of all of these damaged and good people.I may return to this review after a few days. I expect this one to stay with me for a while and I wonder how it'll wear.Tournament of Books 2011 - still a gloomy affair but considerably improved by Skippy Dies.