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Publisher's Summary

It's 1990. Apartheid is crumbling. Nelson Mandela has just been released from prison. And Spud Milton - 13-year-old, prepubescent choirboy extraordinaire - 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 listeners 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.

©2007 John van de Ruit (P)2008 Penguin

Critic Reviews

"[ Spud] is funny and the characters...are wildly eccentric." ( KLIATT)
"A bestseller in South Africa, it's likely to be a hit with American readers as well." ( Kirkus Reviews)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kim
  • Sidney, BC, Canada
  • 01-14-09

A really fun book!

I love this book! The narrator is terrific. I find myself laughing out loud in the car. The boys dorm world in 1990 South Africa is brought alive by the author & narrator.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Insightful, Quirky, and Fun

Spud's insights stay with you long after the book ends. The author delves into heavy topics such as sexuality, racism, mental illness, and alcoholism. The irreverent tone of the young teenager named Spud makes the journey so much fun.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book!

Spud is a fantastic book and wickedly funny. I would recommend it 100%. It is interesting and nothing like what you've read before.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very, very funny!!!

Very entertaining & funny. Excellent performance by the reader! My 15 year old son & I listened to this on a long car ride...it kept us entertained for hours! Definitely recommended!!!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Julie
  • Le Center, MN, USA
  • 04-23-09

Delightful Coming of Age Story

Anyone who's ever endured boarding school, and many who haven't, will enjoy the trials and tribulations of young spud as he navigates this right of passage. It's laugh out loud funny in many places and very touching in others. I chose it because it was set in South Africa where I had once studied, but the story is universal.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Tom
  • raleigh, NC, USA
  • 04-30-10

1990 Monday 17th January

Rain man here, having issues even starting something that gets the day of the week wrong. Maybe the calendar in SA is non-Gregorian? Woe is me, as 19900117 was a Wednesday.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cristy G
  • Bluffton, SC, United States
  • 08-18-11

So funny.. truly a must read!

This witty and cleverly written coming of age tale is hysterically funny and had me cracking up all the way through from beginning to end. John van de Ruit's SPUD is truly a feel good read for readers of all ages and all genders and one that has definitely earned a place on my favorite's shelf. I highly recommend the audio version narrated by Maxwell Caulfield available on audible.com. The added element of Caulfield's accented narration perfectly compliments John "Spud" Milton's story, as we relive this South African, thirteen year olds boarding school days through his first person journal. Brilliant!... bravo, great fun, a must read/listen!!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful