If anyone's capable of portraying hell, it's John Milton. In this
case, hell is an elite, all-boys boarding school in Durban, South
Africa, in 1990, and Milton is 13-year-old John "Spud" Milton, his
nickname referring to the diminutive private parts of this
preadolescent boy, an indicator of the level of humor and behavior
(and privacy) at the school. Spud is a good guy, a companionable
narrator whose journal captures his first year - classmates Mad
Dog, Rambo, Gecko and Fatty, and teachers Sparerib, Viking and The
Guv. Spud is a good observer and, unfortunately, his portrayal of
boarding-school life rings true. A parallel story line - Nelson
Mandela's release from prison - lends depth to Spud's tale as he
begins to develop a social conscience. Some readers may tire of
300-plus pages of random acts of meanness and the parade of quirky
characters, but those humored by it will be eager for the
forthcoming sequel. A bestseller in South Africa, it's likely to be
a hit with American readers as well. (Fiction. 12+) (Kirkus
The year is 1991, and Spud Milton's long walk to manhood is still
creeping along at an unnervingly slow pace. Approaching the ripe
old age of fifteen and still with no signs of the much anticipated
ball-drop, Spud is coming to terms with the fact that he may well
be a freak of nature. With a mother hell-bent on emigrating, a
father making a killing out of selling homemade moonshine, and a
demented grandmother called Wombat, the new year seems to offer
little except extreme embarrassment and more mortifying Milton
madness. But Spud is returning to a boarding school where he is no
longer the youngest or the smallest. His dormitory mates, known as
the Crazy Eight, have an unusual new member and his house has a new
clutch of first years (the Normal Seven). If Spud thinks his second
year will be a breeze, however, he is seriously mistaken. He is
soon beset with women trouble, coerced into misguided late night
adventures, and finds his dreams of a famous career on the stage in
tatters after landing the part of the Dove of Peace in a disastrous
house play production of Noah's Ark. Hilarious, bitter-sweet,
tragic and real, join Spud as he takes another tentative step
forward while all around him the madness continues.
Is the information for this product incomplete, wrong or inappropriate?
Let us know about it.
Does this product have an incorrect or missing image?
Send us a new image.
Is this product missing categories?
Add more categories.
Review This Product
Sun, 19 Dec 2010 | Review by: Michelle E
Van De Ruit's writing has definitely improved in this novel. A very entertaining read - although fans of the Crazy 8 will be sad to see another member written out of the story.
Did you find this review helpful? Yes (2) | No (1)
Mon, 20 Dec 2010 | Review by: Terrence B
I think this is the best "Spud" book! It's about John Milton (Spud), and he is learning to grow up.
He faces hard challenges, he is surounded by mad men (Madog, Vern, Rambo, Simond, Fatty, Boggo, Pike, the Guv, the normal 7 and his dad), but in the end he survives.
Did you find this review helpful? Yes (1) | No (0)