Spud is the hilarious debut novel by John van de Ruit It's 1990. Apartheid is crumbling, Nelson Mandela has just been released from prison and thirteen-year-old Spud Milton is about to start his first year at an elite boys - only boarding school. Cursed with embarrassingly dysfunctional parents, a nutty granny and a dormitory full of strange ...Read MoreSpud is the hilarious debut novel by John van de Ruit It's 1990. Apartheid is crumbling, Nelson Mandela has just been released from prison and thirteen-year-old Spud Milton is about to start his first year at an elite boys - only boarding school. Cursed with embarrassingly dysfunctional parents, a nutty granny and a dormitory full of strange characters, Spud has his hands full trying to adapt to his new home. With only his wits and his diary, he takes readers on a rowdy boarding school romp full of illegal midnight swims, catastrophic cricket matches, ghostbusting escapades, girls and disastrous holidays. South African comedian John van de Ruit invites the reader into the mind of a young boy whose eyes are being opened to love, friendship and complete insanity! Some rave reviews from South Africa: "Funny, fast-paced and wonderfully observant". (The Daily News). "Once you pick it up it's almost as if the pages turn themselves". (Metrobeat). "Achingly funny". (Sunday Times Lifestyle). John van de Ruit was born in Durban, South Africa. He went to the University of Natal where he completed a Masters degree in Drama and Performance. Since 1998 he has been a professional actor, playwright and producer, winning numerous awards. Spud is his first novel.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2007-09-10 John Milton, 13, a scholarship student at an elite boys' boarding school in South Africa, records his disturbing but often hilarious exploits in this diary-style first novel set in 1990. As the year begins, President F.W. de Klerk decriminalizes the African National Congress and orders the release of political prisoner Nelson Mandela-but not even massive societal upheaval can get pre-pubescent boys to think about something other than girls, or set aside their depraved trick-playing. Nicknamed Spud because of his small "willy," John reports without judgment the events around him. The large cast of housemates includes mayhem leaders Rambo and Boggo, who instruct in "how to rape and pillage schoolgirls," Gecko, who succumbs to every passing malady, and Fatty, an overeater intent on breaking the school's sustained-fart record. The faculty is another can of mixed nuts: the drama teacher, unimaginatively named Eve, seduces an underclassman; the Guv begins English class by calling Henry James "a boring poof" and tossing his novels out the window. In many ways Spud appears to be a literary cousin of Louise Rennison's Georgia Nicholson, whose diaries also detail, in colorful slang, life with whacked-out relatives, obsession with emergent sexuality and school-related capers. There's a bit more heft here-away from home, Spud sees his parents' racism clearly-but he doesn't come of age: he's a star choirboy whose voice hasn't broken. After all, there are three years of school left and a sequel due next fall. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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