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Spudby John Van De Ruit
Synopses & Reviews
I‛s 1990. Apartheid is crumbling. Nelson Mandela has just been released from prison. And Spud MiltonÂ—thirteen-year-old, prepubescent choirboy extraordinaireÂ—is about to start his first year at an elite boys-only boarding school in South Africa. Cursed with embarrassingly dysfunctional parents, a senile granny named Wombat, and a wild obsession for Julia Roberts, Spud has his hands full trying to adapt to his new home.
Armed with only his wits and his diary, Spud takes readers of all ages on a rowdy boarding school romp full of illegal midnight swims, raging hormones, and catastrophic holidays that will leave the entire family in total hysterics and thirsty for more.
Winner of South Afric‛s Bookseller‛ Choice Award 2006
"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"It's 1990 in Durban, South Africa. Nelson Mandela is just out of prison, but apartheid is hanging on like grim death. Spud is 13, white and off for his first year at a posh boarding school, all red brick and ivy, housemasters and cricket. Oh, and he's a choirboy. If you're having trouble with this scenario, just read Spud's fictional diary, which shows acute understanding not only of the teenager's... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) burgeoning powers of observation ('Robert Black has the hugest willy'; 'Charles Dickens is a boring old fart') and cherished dreams (a girl who looks like Julia Roberts, the acting chops of Robert De Niro) but also of his stirring conscience, in passages that evoke an unlamented era ('Tonight's African Affairs meeting focused on the anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko. ... The police said he had slipped and fallen out of the prison window — but how dumb do they think we really are?') Elizabeth Ward can be reached at warde(at symbol)washpost.com." Reviewed by Elizabeth Ward, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
(hide most of this review)
Thirteen-year-old Spud Milton, who's about to start his first year at an elite boarding school in 1990. Armed with only his wits and his diary, Spud takes readers on a rowdy romp full of illegal midnight swims, raging hormones, and catastrophic holidays.
The record-breaking, bestselling Spud arrives in paperback
JOHN ?SPUD? MILTON takes his first hilarious steps toward manhood in this delicious, laugh-out-loud boarding school romp, full of midnight swims, raging hormones, and catastrophic holidays that will leave the entire family in hysterics and thirsty for more!
The winner of South Africas Booksellers Choice Award, this wickedly funny novel by John Van de Ruit introduces 13-year-old Spud Milton, whos about to start his first year at an elite boys-only boarding school in 1990. Armed with only his wits and his diary, Spud takes readers on a rowdy romp full of illegal midnight swims, raging hormones, and catastrophic holidays.
About the Author
JOHN VAN DE RUIT was born in Durban,South Africa, in 1975. John is an actor, writer, producer and playwright, and is now at work on Spud: The Madness Continues.
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