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Spud - Learning to Fly (Spud #3)

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  1,548 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
As Spud Milton continues his diabolical stagger through adolescence, he learns one of life's most important lessons: when dealing with women and cretins, nothing is ever quite as it seems. 'I'm practically a man in most areas, ' writes Spud confidently on his sixteenth birthday. The year is 1992 and, as always in South Africa, radical change is in the air. The country may ...more
ebook, 420 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Sa Penguin (first published June 10th 2009)
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Dec 23, 2016 Gauri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book in the series Spud, which is about a young white student entering a prestigious boarding school by scholarship in South Africa, around the fall of the apartheid. The school's social environment prizes Hypermasculinity and refers to the concept for establishing its standards for behavior and appearance, which creates a rather violent and chaotic setting. However, one decent thing that comes out of this is the deep sense of camaraderie, as the main character, Spud, is indoct ...more
Feb 10, 2012 Emi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 18, 2009 Liza rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spud returns.

This book series is starting to look like some kind of SA version of Harry Potter, with Michaelhouse instead of Hogwarts (minus the girls and wand waving of course).

The book certainly has a lot of charm and is wrought with nostalgia for the days of teenage mayhem and angst. But it does lack the unabashed zaniness of the first book, where all the characters were introduced. The first book was an absolute scream, the other two were merely funny.

The books are also getting a bit more
Quintin Merwe
Aug 06, 2011 Quintin Merwe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The only bit I'll say about this book (on top of what I've already said about the first two) is that I actually went and bought this book the day after I finished number two... Just had to read the rest.

I hope that John is going to release another book in this serious - it feels unfinished....

Very funny once again and I appreciate the say that the writer jokes around in a clever enough way that I don't feel like I'm being spoon fed the funny bits. I can imagine that some people might not catch
Aug 06, 2011 Shirley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once again, a beautifully written story by John van de Ruit. I thoroughly ejoyed the whole series. It was interesting to read how Spud grew and matured into a fine young man. I was surprised to find myself shedding a tear or two at the end of this book. I sincerely hope that John will be giving us more of the adventures of Spud Milton!
Dec 15, 2010 Stefan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
And the boy becomes the man...the student becomes the teacher...this story just inspires you to be alive
Feb 19, 2011 Luke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another amazing spud book.
Jul 24, 2011 Ifahh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: diary
I personally hate diary-like entries in books, but the Spud trilogy is something different. It really really is a hilarious read. I disliked the Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging because it was all centred on the protagonist, but this book was all-rounded. It showed about friendship and Spud's daily struggles. (Though I admit I skipped parts on when he played cricket -- that part bored me to death)
But overall, I absolutely loved reading about Spud from book 1 and look forward to future books ab
Amber Lombard
Jan 21, 2015 Amber Lombard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book especially out of the others becuase they brought in a new character, Garth Garlic who is very....annoying and needy. This adds a whole new side to the story. John also has to deal with his friend mad dog being sxpelled last year and his crazy family who not a very sane one. I recommend all the spud books if you are a beginner of reading or if you just enjoy humour and highschool life.
Jun 09, 2011 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I disagree with those reviewers who maintain that 2 and 3 disappoint. Spud is a real teenager in these books, and the teen-psychology and claustrophobic school atmosphere are wonderfully portrayed. MUCH better than Harry Potter! I hope books 2 and 3 will be filmed: "Spud" was wonderful! And I look forward to book no. 4!
Wanda Hartzenberg
I could not believe that the trials of a few very badly behaved boys could have me laughing out loud and then crying a few pages later. This is a must read and probably my favourite book in the series.
Kailash Maharaj
I have been after this book for a while. I have become a fan of Spud Milton and his growing-up angst and related to the youngster. I enjoyed this book but some of the magic of its predecessors was missing. I look forward to the fourth book.
Angelika Brzozowska
Great book. Was quite as funny as the first and second one with more twists and turns of funnyness. found it quite good :)
Jan 10, 2011 Elzaan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
the boys are to big now, not full of pranks and stuff like that anymore. but I guess everybody should grow up
Layla Rohan
Sep 21, 2011 Layla Rohan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
3 of 3... Again, a brilliant read! I was very sad on finishing this book purely because there were no more books in the series. I would definitely re-read!
Mpumi Sithole
Mar 25, 2013 Mpumi Sithole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exhilarating, i wish I was a boy:-)
Jul 18, 2013 Travispug rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love these books and thank divine intervention or some sort of miracle for letting me discover them. I love the Crazy Eight. They seem so unreal yet real altogether. The shenanigans they create and the ones they go through are unbelievable, yet something you can imagine being completely plausible if you yourself were at an all boy private boarding school. I enjoy the character that is Spud. It's rare I find a literary character I can relate and bond so easily with. I'm not speaking ...more
Mar 01, 2015 Nisarg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like all the previous 'Spud' books, Learning to fly not only constantly remains funny but also surpasses all of them in every terms. Personally, this one might be my favourite instalment in the series. It not only remains impishly funny but the characters have developed and matured. John Van De Ruit has developed all the individual characters into something much more interesting and has brought in a twist with many a few members of 'The Crazy 8.' The author has a beautiful thought process and hi ...more
Sandra Visser
Dec 25, 2014 Sandra Visser rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 21, 2016 Fluffy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
The story continues and it's still fun though momentum drops a little.

Character development is great in this book and the individuals all seem to grow in their own way. This is especially true of the protagonist who really starts to show himself as an individual in this one. You get a better sense of who he is and who he's becoming. He really starts to stand out in his sea of madness.

The diary style and language continues to work well and our protagonists style is really drawing and enjoyable.

Jun 01, 2014 Riana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The adventures of Spud and his buddies continue. His third school year at Michaelhouse brings a grand Shakespearian play, an unforgettable farm vacation, feats and failures on the sports field and awkward encounters with ex-girlfriends. As if this is not enough, his father secretly dives into a crazy business venture with a friend and Spud is often thankful for leaving his family members at home during the school term.

This installment is a bit less dramatic and fast-paced than "Spud: The Madnes
Oct 04, 2012 Elisabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any South African who was a teenager in the late 80's, early 90's
Recommended to Elisabeth by: Alex' friend Alice
Shelves: 2014
So bittersweet. Spud is growing up. His family continue crazy, he still doesn't understand girls (not completely on him because they are very strange), he's higher up on the school totem pole but not really scotfree yet. I love that we're getting a real sense of some of the other characters - I'd love to know what is going on with Rambo becos he's really cultivating an enigmatic bad boy image, I really want someone to come out and tell us that Vern is Asperger like or something becos this really ...more
Jul 13, 2014 Sheridan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A total scream, as were the other Spud books. This series is very close to my heart, as it's the school that my dad went to that its set in - MichaelHouse. Despite the fact that this is set in the early 90s, I know that the chaos, misadventure, and shenanigans are very similar to how things were when my dad was there - but with a little less cruelty nowadays I think! Vern, Garlic, Mr Owen and the Guv.....awesome characters. I will never hear the word Malawi without remembering Garlic and Lake Ma ...more
Apr 11, 2015 Ame rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book was a bitter-sweet moment for me....bitter in that the Spud Milton diaries were coming to an end, and sweet because I LOOOOVE the wayJohn Van De Ruit portrays this Spud lad. I actually once believed that this was some sort of autobiography and the fact that it was pure amazes me to date.
David Fick
I just finished reading Spud: Learning to Fly, the most recent in the series of Spud books. This latest one is better than the second book, and almost achieves the balance of adventure, schoolboy fun and poignancy that made the first book so effective.
Roxane Lapa
Book 3 of the Spud saga. John Milton's third year at boarding school is not as funny as his first and second, largely owing to the authors obsession with giving a blow by blow of every boring play rehearsal, but even so, it was still pretty good. Looking forward to the fourth.
Dec 20, 2014 Giselle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un-put-downable. Charming and entertaining, I was transported through Spud's adventures with him, finding myself nostalgic after my own school days. The characters are engaging in their own unique ways, keeping the reader laughing and often incredulous at their adventures.
Judith Brink
Nov 09, 2010 Judith Brink rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like the previous two books it was a good laugh. I can't wait for the movie to come out.
There is a new character and a whole new experiance fort he crazy eight in this book. A great fun read.
Joe Clifford
Aug 06, 2015 Joe Clifford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is such a brilliant book, its a shame that there is only one more book to read before the series is over.
Olga Lempert
Sep 15, 2015 Olga Lempert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Made me laugh out loud many a time. Glad there's another book left in the series.
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John Howard van de Ruit is a South African novelist, actor, playwright and producer. He has been a professional actor, playwright and producer since 1998. He was born in Durban and educated at Michaelhouse, where he stayed in Founders House and from where he matriculated in 1993. He then went on to complete a Masters degree in Drama and Performance at the then University of Natal.

He is best known
More about John van de Ruit...

Other Books in the Series

Spud (4 books)
  • Spud (Spud, #1)
  • Spud: The Madness Continues
  • Spud: Exit, Pursued by a Bear

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“i'm learning that life frequently does this to me. first it offers you an impossible challenge. which you can't refuse. then it breaks your spirit by messing with your ballpoint pen. these may seem like isolated events that can be explained away as coincidences, but i fear not. it's happened far too often to me to be a coincidence. it's this kind of thing that convinces me that i'm not going to make forty and my death will most probably be humiliating and painful - a death that people will still laugh about in three hundred years' time. one day i'm going to sift through every single entry of all my diaries and mark down how many times a stroke of 'bad luck' has followed the issuing of severe test in my life . . .” 0 likes
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