Gavin's Reviews > Spud

Spud by John van de Ruit
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Feb 20, 11

Away From Home
What 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.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Hannah C. (new) - added it

Hannah C. Well. This book sounds pretty hilarious. I might read it, but judging by your book review it's kind of a "guy book". Anyway, nice review. I thought you did a good job at summarizing it and using the right quotes to support your thesis. p.s. I think it's funny how in South Africa they call their friends mates. They have funny words for other things, too.

message 2: by Emmett (last edited Feb 23, 2011 05:12AM) (new)

Emmett I would love to read this book it sounds funny and hilarious. I loved the thesis it was strait forward and to the point.

Hannah Wait, is your name Gavin, like Gavin the weird prefect who lives under the stairs? If so, that would be hilarious. I agree that this was a great book, and that John van de Ruit did a fantastic job of making the book seem believable and like a teenage boy was actually writing it. I found it interesting that Spud always felt homesick, yet he was always embarrassed by his parents. It's kind of strange because he seemed like he wanted to be a school when he was at home and wanted to be at home when he was at school. I am personally looking forward to reading the second book in the series, "Spud, The Madness Continues.

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