As Spud Milton continues his awkward 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, in South Africa, radical change is in the air. The country may be on the bumpy road to an uncertain future, but Spud Milton is hoping for a smooth ride as he returns to boarding school as a senior. Instead, he discovers that his vindictive arch enemy is back to taunt him and that a garrulous Malawian has taken residence in his dormitory, along with the regular inmates and misfits he calls friends. Spud’s world has never seemed less certain; he attempts to master Shakespeare, wrestles constantly with his God, and the power of negative thinking, and develops an aversion to fried fish after a shocking discovery about his grandmother, Wombat.
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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 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.
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