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...
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 Reviews)
Shortlisted for The Booksellers' Choice Award 2008.
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More Madness Please...Was this review helpful?
Reviewed by Spud fan from Pietermaritzburg on 10 July 2007
2111 of 4260 people found the following review helpful:
I found myself eagerly awaiting the next installment, and I was not disappointed! Wickedly funny! Here's hoping there will be a Third installment!
DissapointingWas this review helpful?
Reviewed by Unknown on 28 March 2008
1462 of 3005 people found the following review helpful:
Dissapointing, was too similar to the first book, same old jokes, same old story.
Spud the madness continuesWas this review helpful?
Reviewed by Unknown from Cintsa East South Africa on 18 January 2008
1543 of 3178 people found the following review helpful:
I enjoyed this as much as the first book. Eagerly await the next one.
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