Read Spud by John van de Ruit Online


It’s 1990. Apartheid is crumbling. Nelson Mandela has just been released from prison. And Spud Milton—thirteen-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 hasIt’s 1990. Apartheid is crumbling. Nelson Mandela has just been released from prison. And Spud Milton—thirteen-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 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 Africa’s Booksellers’ Choice Award 2006...

Title : Spud
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781595141705
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Spud Reviews

  • Jennifer
    2019-03-06 17:55

    This is a cool book. It is written in the form of a diary of a 14 year old boy living in South Africa. The year is 1990 and it is his first year at an elite private boys boarding school. The hilarity ensues. All of his experiences and thoughts are realistic and although the feeling of the book is comedic, there are more sobering experiences as well. This is a brand new book this year, a hit in South Africa, and the author is coming out with a sequel. I'm definitely interested in seeing what comes next. You don't need to be interested in YA fiction to read this.

  • Jean
    2019-03-23 16:46

    Fans of Adrian Mole and Georgia Nicholson will appreciate this latest entry in the adolescent teen diary mode. With wacky family members, teen romance problems, and faithful friends, Spud doesn't disappoint the reader. The added benefit is that it takes place in South Africa at the time of Nelson Mandela's release from prison and the end of apartheid. The seriousness of the political situation is a stark contrast to the laugh out loud situations in Spud's life in a private boy's school. I'm looking forward to more episodes in Spud's wacky world.

  • Sandys Nunes
    2019-03-02 14:44

    O livro mais engraçado que já li. Se bem que não li muitos livros de humor! O autor conseguiu reproduzir com louvor a atmosfera em torno de um pré-adolescente, com seus problemas, desafios e descobertas. Inegável que dei muitas gargalhadas. Foi perfeito para essas férias de verão.

  • Rincey
    2019-02-28 09:34

    There were points in the book where I had to put it down because I was laughing so hard. Oh man, what a great book to start 2008.

  • Anina
    2019-03-07 10:33

    All the reviews say it's very funny but maybe it's not my type of humor or something because I didn't tjhink it was hilarious.

  • Lauren
    2019-03-05 12:37

    This book has been number one on the bestseller list in South Africa for the last couple of years. Now it is number two, only because the its sequel is number one. With a tag line that touts it as the South African Catcher in the Rye and a rave review from my Penguin rep, I knew I had to read it. Told in almost diary form from the perspective of a 14 year old boy (nicknamed Spud by his dorm mates because his balls haven't dropped yet) who has just started boarding school, this book is laugh out loud funny. I wish I could get my hands on the sequel.

  • Mafi
    2019-03-15 17:39

    O formato narrativo - escrito em diário - não me apelou, sendo a personagem principal um rapaz de 13 anos. O apartheid é referenciado mas muito subtilmente, o que é uma pena, pois pensava que ia ter mais foco no livro mas este acaba por tornar-se num relato da vida de spud e dos amigos e a família e pouco mais do que isso.

  • Skip
    2019-02-26 13:48

    Thirteen-year old, South African John "Spud" Milton receives a scholarship to attend a prestigious boarding school in 1990 and is excited to escape from his crazy home life. Instead, he becomes part of the Crazy Eight in an equally bizarre, but teenage world dominated by sex, farting, harmful pranks, testosterone. Spud, nicknamed for the slow pace of his pubescent development, develops in many other ways, facing the usual teen pressures, especially when it comes to girls, and his hoped for lead role in the production of Oliver. Inverted Southern Hemisphere seasons and cricket references were a bit confusing. This has been compared to many books/movies: I found it to be a sophomoric version of Dead Poet's Society. My favorite part was the periodic summaries of what the boys did on their school breaks.

  • Michele
    2019-03-22 15:47

    Funny at times, Spud isn't super lovable. He's average, and maybe that's supposed to make him appealing to the reader. I find his lack of a moral compass disappointing. He is socially conscious, which shows some growth in his character, but his disrespect for girls is disturbing. He reminds me of a slightly older Greg from Diary of a Wimpy kid. There's less substance to this book that I had previously heard.

  • Louise
    2019-03-19 12:48

    Some amusing bits, some just plain crazy....lots of casual violence...just didn't engage me very much.

  • Owen
    2019-03-23 13:48

    I decided to read Spud because it is sort of like my situation. Mainly the school aspect, which is pretty much the entire book. We both go to all boys schools and have to dress in pointless dress codes. Except, I go to a nearby(ish) school and Spud is at a boarding school in South Africa in the 1990s, at the time of apartheid. Other than that, there isn't much more similarity.I almost want to say that this is sort of like The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I think it's been described somewhere (I can't remember exactly where) as the South African Catcher in the Rye. I haven't read Catcher in the Rye though, so I wouldn't know. I definitely saw similarites, although few, between Spud and the Perks. Spud and Charlie share a similar way of thinking and their situations are closely related, in terms of the fact that they are both learning about themselves and the world around them. Unlike the Perks, which is written in letter form, Spud is written as journal entries. Another small similarity is the fact that they are close to their English teachers. They go over the teachers' houses and have meals with them and their wives, and they are given books which they discuss frequently. I would have to say that Spud is a bit more mentally mature, despite the fact that he is a few years younger than Charlie.Spud is a thirteen year old boy who comes from a dysfunctional family. His grandmother Wombat is senile, and his parents are crazy and will most likely become senile soon. He wins a scholarship to an elite boarding school for boys in South Africa. Once there, he is a bit homesick and overwhelmed by the new environment, which is expected and perfectly normal. Spud eventually gets into his new life at school and he forms a close bond with his seven housemates, nicknamed the Crazy Eight. Playing cricket and being cast as the lead in the school's play, Spud gets to know more of his schoolmates (and girls through the play). A few times Spud goes home, and there he meets "the Mermaid", the daughter of one of his mother's friends. They start dating and Spud is happy as could be. But when the Mermaid, her real name is Debbie, becomes depressed after her parents' divorce and is relocated to England, he isn't sure what to do. Things become more complicated when Spud forms a relationship with Amanda, a girl in his play. Plus there's a flirtatious girl named Christine involved.I think this book is a series, but I doubt I will read the other ones. Not because I didn't like Spud, but because I feel it does fine as a standalone book. It was a very funny book, perhaps not quite as funny as I thought it would be. Mainly because the reviews I have read describe it as:The "funniest book of the year." Julia Paterson, The Citizen"Achingly funny." Michele Magwood, Sunday Times Lifestyle*I'm getting these from the inside of the book. And I've also seen some reviews online.I think the reason I didn't find it super funny was because my sense of humor is very different than a lot of people. But who knows, I haven't read many funny books recently so this might be my funniest book of the year. Also because I've been reading a lot of depressing YA, as well as adult books this year. However, I think it is just as funny as some of the middle-grade humor I read recently, like My Haunted House and Edgar & Ellen (the latter of which is a little bit dark, but in a creepy way, whereas Spud has some dark parts in terms of the struggles South Africa is facing and how he and his friends are affected by aprtheid and the release of Nelson Mandela, etc.)Definitely add this to your collection of coming of age stories. Spud is a break from more serious YA, and it put me in a good mood upon finishing it, which is one thing I was hoping to get out of it. Also, there is a movie so check that out. I haven't seen it but I might, just to compare it to the book.

  • Gill
    2019-03-04 11:31

    Spud:His Succulent StoryWith a soprano voice, a small body, and many bunk mates, would you get teased? Spud by John Van de Ruit, is a realistic fiction novel based in 1990 in South Africa. The main characters are Spud, Vern, Gecko, Mermaid, and Wombat. Spud goes to a boarding school in South Africa, where he meets the crazy eight that includes Vern, Gecko, Mad Dog, Rambo, Boggo, Fatty, and Simon. There is definitely a reason why they are called the crazy eight. Spud goes on many fun journeys that he shares with his diary. Many of these journeys are funny, and some even tear jerking. Eventually Spud becomes a big factor in the play, and he has girl problems so he has a lot on his mind at boarding school. I would like to note that I read this book on my iPod so the page numbers will not be accurate. Three reasons why SPUD is such a captivating book is because we all want to know what it would be like to live at a boarding school for a while, people want to know how he handles his girl troubles, and the book is laugh out loud funny.To begin, the first reason why this book is engrossing, is because we all want to know what it would be like to live at a boarding school. I think at one point or another people think about boarding school and the benefits that it gives us. The thought of leaving your parents for such long periods of time is just too crazy for some people to relate to. Spud says, “I look around at the massive buildings and tall trees, which seem o surround me. I’ve never felt so small in my life.” (50). I really like this quote because it really explains how Spud feels when his parents leave him. No matter how much I hear people say, “I hate my mom and dad!” I know they don’t because when they are on the brick street looking back at their parents abandoning them at boarding school, that’s when the kid is going to love their parents most. I jumped out of bed and called out Mom, before I could stop myself.” (55). This is another example of wanting parents, and just expecting them to be there for you at all times. I think I’m in for a nasty surprise when I go to college.The second reason why Spud is such a captivating book is because Spud is kind of in a sticky situation with girls so people are interested in how he is going to deal with that situation. “ I had a dream about her last night, Amanda that is,[…] to ease my guilt I decided to call Mermaid.” (870). Spud decides to call his girlfriend to ease his guilt about liking another girl. I find it amusing to know that only Spud would get himself in this position. The situation gets worse throughout the book, when Spud can’t make up his mind. He is now sandwiched between two girls not knowing what to do, and I think this is the perfect romantic touch to a book that is supposed to be funny. “She was gone my Mermaid was gone.” (889). Spud has some trouble when Mermaid becomes depressed, because her parents are getting a divorce. This makes Spud not want to hurt Mermaid’s feelings. The depression shows that Spud isn’t supposed to be all funny and I think there should be some dimension to a book.Lastly, the third and final reason why Spud is so captivating, is because the book is hilarious. “And dances like a loon on the lawn in front of my bedroom window. Maybe boarding school won’t be so bad after all.” (26). Spud says this when his dad is spraying deadly chemicals with only a mask and underpants on. John van de Ruit does very well making it look like he doesn’t try to make the book funny. He kept me engaged throughout the book because I kept finding funny jokes in just the right places that made be laugh out loud.

  • Gavin
    2019-02-25 15:35

    Spud: Away From HomeWhat is your nickname? For John Milton 14, it is Spud. He goes to an all-boys boarding school in South Africa and is the book’s storyteller. Spud has a messy love life that makes things interesting. When he was at boarding school, he meets the “crazy eight”, a group of eight boys who do many outrageous things. The group is made up of Spud, Rambo, Mad Dog, Simon Brown, Rain Man, Gecko, Fatty and Boggo. This historical fiction novel is set in 1990. The author of the book is John Van de Ruit. This is a must read for all teenage boys becasue it tells the story of Spud’s comical love life, the book’s characters seem real and it is written in the best diary format I have every read. Spud probably has the most comical love life of all of the boys in the “crazy eight” because there are three girls that he likes or that like him. They are Mermaid, Amanda and Cristine. Gecko offered to help Spud with his girl problems so Spud made a list. “Mermaid… Pros first love, bewitching (when not crackers), beautiful and enchanting (when not crackers), is still technically still my girl friend, I know her mom, my parents like her. …Cons mentally unstable, is in England, prone to depression. …Cristina…. Pros very affectionate, very forward, father has a BMW… Cons probably also crackers, prone to hysteria, huge mood swings, could be a sl•t (this would be a pro if I wasn’t a Spud). Amanda… Pros beautiful, sexy, intelligent, catlike(?) reads books Poetic I can’t take my eyes off her Can’t stop dreaming about her… Cons she is older than me, she is cleverer than me, despite what Gecko says—not sure if she likes me, could also be crackers” (233). This shows what Spud thinks of the girls in his love life. The quote showed that he thinks that all the girls that like him are crackers. Those girls are a sizeable part of this book. If this book was a movie it would probably be rated PG-13 or R because it is very raunchy. It includes bad language and talk about sex. The author has made the characters seam like 13 and 14 year old boys and girls. In the school play Spud played Oliver. He was embarrassed to play the part of Oliver because Oliver looked like a girl. Looking like a girl is something any boy at this age would be afraid of. What boy wants to stand up on stage and look like a girl in front of his friends? The way Spud is written helps enhance the storyline. Since every section is dated, the reader knows when and where Spud is in the story. I like the author’s writing style. He uses short sentences which really keep my interest and make it sound like a school boy is writing. “I lay on my bed, trying not to vomit. Even breathing was difficult.” (153). This just made me want to keep reading, to learn more about what happened to Spud and his mates after they had stolen the food from the cafeteria. This is a must read for all teenage boys because it tells the story of Spud’s comical love life, the book’s characters seem real and it is written in the best diary format I have every read. I can connect to this book because it took place in South Africa when Nelson Mandella was released from prison. During this time there were many riots in South Africa like the riots currently going in Egypt and other countries in the Middle East. Anyone who likes the first Spud, they would definitely like Spud, the Madness Continues.

  • Kimberley
    2019-03-12 12:38

    A close friend of mine has been recommending Spud to me for what seems like forever. Despite often enjoying the same books, I definitely put off reading this book until I realised it had been sitting on my shelf for an age and I was going to have to return it soon. As soon as I started reading it, other friends told me how wonderful it was and I became a little bit skeptical. It definitely didn’t grab me immediately and I was worried that this had already become one of those books that simply does not live up to its hype. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Spud soon had me laughing out loud. Boarding school has always been a familiar thing to me. I was a boarder at my current school for three years and the local boys school also has a boarding house. What these boys get up to in the boarding is no secret (nor, I should add, is what the girls get up to!). Although perhaps a little bit crazy, Spud pretty much hit the nail on the head when it comes to hectic (but lovable) boarding life. Spud is hilarious. It’s a funny book. The humour might not appeal to some people, but I honestly don’t understand how anyone could get through this book without being amused one way or the other. I know that a lot of my friends criticize me for not being amused by some fairly standard gags, but even I found Spud to be funny. As I was reading it I knew that my smiles and giggles (and, not gonna lie, sometimes outright unladylike chortles) were making me seem like a crazy person to all who happened to walk by. The hilarity comes in the characters (teenage boys – surely that speaks for itself!), the antics they get up to, and Spud’s thoughts. It’s written in a diary format and while Spud is most certainly lovable, some of the things he says can’t help but make you laugh. Just like many teenage boys, he can be a touch clueless at times. In a nutshell, Spud is a fun book. It’s fun! It’s genuinely enjoyable to read. It’s not difficult to read. It’s not heavy. It’s just fun. Sure, there are definitely issues of Apartheid and racism coming through, but it is mostly a fun read about a teenage boy who is absolutely not equipped for the life that he’s thrown into when he starts his first year at boarding school. I whole-heartedly recommend this book. You’ll love Spud when he’s with his crazy friends. You’ll him when he’s with his crazy teachers. You’ll love him when he’s with his crazy family. You’ll love him when he’s with crazy girls. And you’ll love him when it’s just Spud, writing in his diary and trying to figure out all of the crazy things life throws at him.

  • The Messenger
    2019-03-03 13:45

    Spud! Oh boy do I love this book. Really, what's not to like? It's got a little bit of everything. There's a whole lot of humor accompanied by some life themes, classic literature, and some South African history. Almost anyone could find something they like in this book. At first I wasn't too sure how much I would like the diary-style entries, but I ended up loving them. John "Spud" Milton is a hilarious narrator and he handles the tough format well. What really makes the book are the characters, namely "The Crazy Eight", which consists of Spud, Robert "Rambo" Black, Charlie "Mad Dog" Hooper, Henry "Gecko" Barker, Alan "Boggo" Greenstein, Vern "Rain Man" Blackadder, Simon Brown, and Sydney "Fatty" Smitherson-Scott. The group really lives up to its "crazy" name, what with Mad Dog cooking pigeons, Rambo and Boggo making racy comments left and right, Gecko either sick or injured 90% of the time, Fatty eating everything in sight, Simon and his inability to handle the crazy, Spud's humorous reaction to events, the whole group going on numerous illegal night swims, and last but certainly not last, Vern. Oh Vern! There is no end to the humor that Vern supplies. Spud's deranged cubical mate may just be the best part of the book. Hearing his conversations with Rodger and other various inanimate objects always made me laugh.However, the Crazy Eight does not allow the other characters to slack off. Spud's father's fight with the neighbor's dogs is always good for a laugh. His mother's constant disappointment with the boys will always make you smile. His grandmother Wombat is nearly as hilarious as Vern. The headmaster, aka The Glock has his moments, and various other teachers help humor the book when things get slow. Even the family dog Blacky has his moments that include his fight with the robot that cleans the pool.However, despite the humor, this book also has lots of serious themes and moments. This book delves into thoughts on relationships, loss, and friendship in a way that isn't corny. It's a great "coming of age" novel, but I'm sure that you don't have to be a teen to like this book.This book is a laugh riot that you shouldn't pass up. It may be a little hard to get your hands on it, since it is a South African book, but if you have access to it, I would definitely suggest reading it! Trust me when I say you don't want to miss this one!Five out of Five starsSee this review, and more like it, here: http://themessengerreviews.blogspot.c...

  • Ankit Agrawal
    2019-03-02 13:50

    The book I read had 309 Pages in PaperbackFor the first about 100 pages I thought this book was fully hilarious and I had 5 stars in my mind. But it got a little boring after halfway through as the same jokes were being repeated and I thought there was a lack of creativity from the writer. So for the next 150 pages from 5 stars I had come down to 3 stars for this book. But thanks to the last few pages of the book that I was caught with some good creativeness and the book went to a different level. The hilarious book almost made you cry. And hence I decided it to rate 4 stars.Talking about the book:I usually borrow books from the library rather than buying it because I don't have much savings. But since this book was not available in the library I had to buy it. I wouldn't say that I regretted buying this book but at the same time I didn't cherish it either. NEGATIVES:-1) The book began with total hilarity but then due to the same jokes and stories being repeated again and again it made me boredom.2) Very few dialogues were used in the book. I think a few more good memorable dialogues would have made this book even more brilliant, albeit it is already brilliant.POSITIVES:-1) Had a mixture of both simple and vulgar jokes. And every jokes and stories were believable. I myself have spent 2 years in hostel life away from home so I can understand what goes around with boys there.2) The secret to success to some extent of a book are its Characters. All the characters in this book(apart from Pike) were enjoyable no matter how good or bad roles they played. Wombat was the best of them all though. I also pretty much liked some of the other characters like MadDog, Gecko, Spud & The Guv.3) There is atleast a smile if not laughter throughout the whole book.Whether I would like to read next part of the series?A: Yes, I would definitely but I had like to get it from the library rather than buying it. This book is not as bad as not reading the next part of it and at the same time its not as good as saving some money and specially buying it. Every young boy should read it atleast once but you also got to make sure that if you don't have much money to buy books than there are better books than this available in the market.

  • Richard Nixon
    2019-03-23 14:30

    I went to Irish and British boarding schools in the mid-seventies to early eighties. The bulk of my time was spent in Northern Ireland where I experienced The Troubles. Spud takes place in South Africa at the time of Nelson Mandela's release from prison which serves as the backdrop that "keeps it real" so to speak. Thirteen year old John Milton goes away to boarding school for the first time, and while he's apprehensive about what awaits him he's equally eager to get away from his crazy family. A paranoid father who seems at war with everything, a mom who doesn't seem to care, an insane grandmother, plus the wreck of a car.Almost immediately, clear dividing lines are drawn. Milton is dubbed "Spud" owing to his being a late bloomer, but he's nonetheless welcomed by his dorm mates into what becomes The Crazy Eight who stick together during the various adventures and go up against the prefects. The teachers play a third party, sometimes doing exactly what you'd expect and sometimes providing some thought provoking depth. Spud is presented in diary form. This is both good and bad; good from the point of keeping the pace fast and bad in that there is less room for detail and thus it's difficult to place oneself in the book. Perhaps my boarding school background made me try too hard, but I also had trouble with the characters for the same reason - they were thin and over the top which made it seem that the author was simply trying too hard at times. There were some parts that simply didn't ring true with me, too, but I didn't let that taint my reading experience - I accepted what he wrote as being "based" on his experiences; mine were simply different.John van de Ruit's Spud keeps on track. It's not a thin story that is fluffed up with filler. It's fast paced and yet doesn't feel like a bunch of rocks being thrown at the face. Overall it was an enjoyable read that appeals to a broad audience.Richard Nixon

  • Alibiserver
    2019-03-24 14:26

    From a cultural standpoint, Spud might be too unbelievable to be a 13 going 14 year old boy, but then again, boys, whatever, whoever, wherever they are, have this similar crux of concern. Themes of belonging, madness, and friendship grace through the pages of the book, and all the while, you will laugh with the boys and their ordeals going through an entire year being together in a boarding school. I appreciate how van de Ruit writes his bildungsroman with wit and wild livery. I admit that through the early pages of the book, you will be baffled with the cast of characters (so take cue and read the dramatis personae listing at the beginning) but you will find yourself digging, egging, turning the pages for more, sympathize with the crazy 8, sway your loyalties with some of the characters, and hoped for it to stretch through (which thankfully does with the introduction of the next 2 books that follows.) It’s also admirable how the author manages to fit all the wackiness of boarding school with the changing political climate of South Africa in the nineties when apartheid was lifted.Funny how the novel came to be and how simple the language was in use. To be honest, I was hoping for the book to rely mostly on comedy based on wordplay and jokes but van de Ruit samples anecdotes, situations which seemed hard to believe that could happen in a year’s time, situations that ring terribly true for some of us guys, who went through the time identifying with fellow boys.As the end looms near for the book, the tone gets serious, and some inserted subject matter darkens the feel of the book to some degree. For this, mixed in with light (and comical) adult situations, Spud is best read at the 15-up category.

  • Tammy Dahle
    2019-03-23 16:32

    If you are looking for laugh out loud funny this is the book for you. Spud by John van de Ruit is one of the funniest books I have read in a while.The story comes from John "Spud" Milton who attends an all boys boarding school in South Africa set in 1990. His tale is written by way of journal entries which relate his various adventures, trials and humiliations.John rooms with a group known at school known as the "Crazy Eight" and they never fail to live up to their name. These 13 year old boys are full of schemes and trouble galore. He deals with feeling home sick, the insecurities of not fitting in and being marked as a lowly freshman. Not only is John dealing with the insanity at school but on his breaks he puts up with his crazy family at home. Which includes his paranoid, bottle loving father, his always on the edge mother and stark raving mad grandmother he calls the wombat.We follow John through his first year of boarding school where he bonds with his crazy roomies, has his first crush, deals with power hungry upper class men and drunken teachers.I found this book hilarious, honest and surprisingly tender.I'm happy to say that this is the first book in a series featuring John "Spud" Milton. I can't wait to catch up with him and the rest of the crazy eight again.I would reccomend this book for readers 14 and up. It's about thirteen year old boys so know that the topic of sex will be brought up, there is crude humor and some rough language.Excellent Book! This book is available at the Salmon Public Library.

  • Mari
    2019-03-19 14:30

    Spud is 14-year old John Milton who writes in his journal about his boarding school experiences. The story is set in South Africa in the 90's, before the fall of the apartheid. I lost count of how many times this book made me chuckle and sometimes even laugh out loud. The people in Spud's life (both inside and outside the boarding school) are absolutely nuts! I loved the crazy eight and Spud's family.At the start of the book, there is a Dramatis Personae or a list of characters. This inspired me to create my own favorites list:Favorite in the family: Dad and Wombat - their antics drove me to stitches! The award for the Craziest of all the Crazies should go to Wombat, hands down. Favorite in the Crazy Eight: Henry "Gecko" Barker and Vern "Rain Man" BlackadderFavorite Girl: MermaidFavorite Prefect: Grant "Earthworm" Edwards and Gavin-the prefect who lives under the stairsFavorite Teacher: The GuvSpud's hilarious accounts are interspersed with his musings on the Apartheid. There is a distinct contrast between Spud's crazy boarding school life and the seriousness of the South African political situation during the time. I confess, I really didn't know a lot about the Apartheid except that it was a race segregation law in SA and reading this book made me want to find out more.Hilarious, sometimes sad and touching, I'd definitely recommend this book.

  • Amanda Patterson
    2019-03-15 13:29

    At last, a South African novel that is just a novel! Someone up there is finally taking note that South Africans are tired of political memoirs and high brow literary offerings that sell 3000 copies and die a lonely death. Spud leaves its British counterpart, The Diary of Adrian Mole, in the dust. Spud and the Crazy 8 have kept me from my dates with Michael Connolly, Ian Rankin, Ruth Rendell and Adriana Trigiani. And that's a feat. I have laughed out loud, giggled and smiled and shed a few tears. As Bryce Courtenay says, "A good novel makes you laugh. A great novel makes you laugh and cry." Spud is a great debut novel. It is the new, wickedly funny coming of age South African story! Join John Milton as he navigates his teenage years. Wait in breathless anticipation for his next encounter with his wacky parents. Explore the world of an exclusive Natal boarding school. Meet the Crazy 8. Fall in love with Rain Man, Mad Dog, Gecko, The Glock, The Mermaid and Earhtworm and The Wombat who holds a special place in my heart. Van der Ruit's, John Milton, will take you through a gamut of emotions that few authors are able to achieve. I hope that he continues writing and I'm holding thumbs that Spud 2 will be as inspiring and well written as this novel. Highly recommended.

  • May Barbieri
    2019-03-01 17:34

    Retiro o que eu disse antes: as últimas 50 páginas do livro são as melhores; não é enrolação, muda a atmosfera do livro total e completamente, e dobrou minha estima por ele. Motivo: é extremamente triste. Pesou, fez um livro meio besta, meio sem propósito, se tornar profundo e bonito. Adorei o final, de verdade - mais que o resto do livro inteiro. Valeu a pena pelas últimas páginas. (principalmente lendo-as ouvindo "Amazing Grace").Ele se propõe a ser mais engraçado do que realmente é, e, apesar de eu ter rido/sorrido algumas vezes, não diria que é uma comédia fantástica, são aventuras de um guri de 13/14 anos. É um livro "coming of age", de descobertas e micos e bullying. Mas o diferencial do livro é o setting: áfrica do sul em 1990, com o apartheid e o Mandela saindo da cadeia... Interessante o take do Cotoco (branco e privilegiado) nos acontecimentos. Mas o setting também atrapalhou em um aspecto: achei péssima (pra caramba) a representação de homossexualidade. Mesmo que se justifique pelo período na história, achei idiota. Mas bem.Cotoco me fez pensar bem mais do que eu estava esperando. (Bem mais do que me fez rir).3.5 estrelas.

  • Lori
    2019-03-21 14:52

    A funny book with all kinds of sweet, frightening and sad about growing up. Sabin Willett had a character warn me that prep school had more psychopaths than prison. It did not matter. I was hooked by the second page."05:00 The neighborhood erupts as Dad fires up his supersonic heat-seeking rose sprayer (which sound like a ski boat hitting a sandbank at full throttle). The machine is so powerful that it blew Wombat's (my grandmother's) Queen Elizabeth rose bush out of the ground on its first tryout. Dad, wearing only his Cricketing Legends sleeping shorts (my Christmas present) and a surgeon's mask to protect himself from the deadly chemicals that he's now spraying into the atmosphere, points his machine at the neighbors' yard and dances like a loon on the lawn in front of my bedroom window. Maybe boarding school won't be so bad after all."

  • Chanel
    2019-03-12 14:53

    Loved every page of this book! John van de Ruit has made me rethink the way I feel about South African writers. This book is strong enough to compete with any well known writers' work. Spud is the type of character you cant help but love! Even though he is such a typical boy and makes so many bad decisions, you still cant help but cheer him on. Every member of the crazy eight has a special place in my heart. You can learn so much from different characters and how they handle situations. My fave character would have to be The Guv. Every page he features on just comes to life in a very different and unique way. Its like you can almost hear him talking to you. Hes the lovable teacher we all miss when we think back to our school days. I cant wait to read the next installment!!

  • Janet
    2019-02-24 12:50

    Definitely not South Africa's Catcher in the Rye, despite the many plot parallels and the blurb making big claims. Still, pretty good. As a parent, I was kind of creeped out by the author's acceptance of a horrible boarding school. Are beatings, uncontrolled bullying, insanity,rampant drunkenness, and affairs with students par for the course in South African schools? Yikes! Spud is very likeable, though a little too good to be true -- star of the school musical, star cricketer, excellent student -- maybe a little wish fulfillment for the author? Still, the characters are really funny, and the plot builds to a thoughtful conclusion that worked well.

  • Payal Jain
    2019-03-20 17:46

    The most absurd and glorious book I've ever had the pleasure of reading. 43 days. That's how long I dragged Spud on simply because I didn't want it to end!There wasn't any facet of life that this book failed to touch. Such colorful, crazy, flawed, unique characters and I feel like I know and understand them all. Brilliant characterization and a marvellous plot.Definitely, #1 on my list now. Sorry JKR.I am not reading the sequel for another year, though. I'd like this journey to last a little longer. :)

  • Blablabla Aleatório
    2019-03-09 16:38

    Cotoco, O diário (perversamente) engraçado de um garoto de 13 anos, marcou o début do sul-africano John Van de Ruit como escritor. A obra publicada originalmente em 2005 fez muito sucesso, sendo traduzida para vários idiomas e em 2010 a editora Intrínseca traduziu e publicou esse que é o primeiro livro da série que contará com quatro livros, dos quais três já foram publicados: Cotoco (Spud), Spud – The Madness Continues e Spud – Learning To Fly.Leia mais:

  • Morné Volschenk
    2019-03-15 16:56

    The adventures of John Milton “Spud” despite its oddness and quirkiness is able to connect with anyone. Refreshingly original and funny the book has a very South African feel but written in such a way as to delight anyone. With astonishing wit and cleverness, as only a 14-year-old spud can provide, there is not a sentence that will not have you giggling with glee. Every page contains some brilliant weirdness to admire and amuse you.

  • Praxedes
    2019-03-10 15:54

    Laugh out loud funny! That is the best way to describe this book, which was recommended to me by a couple of freshmen. The author leads us through the first-year adventure of a new boarding house student who is quickly nicknamed Spud. The plot is filled with the usual teenage drama (girls, sneaking out at night, pranks) but told in a witty way, allowing for moments of tenderness and self-discovery. A terrific read for YA's.

  • Mizzio Batista
    2019-03-27 09:31

    I really loved this book.... Being taken into the mind of a 14 year old boy, while he deals with, not only personal teenage problems, but a dynamically changing country is an experience filled with laughter, wonder and slightly pity (in a good way). Highly recommended read.This book is, also, home to my favorite bookish quote.'When In doubt, keep reading- A book will never die on you.'The Guv, pg 385