Obviously, this is a book review blog. I mostly read Young Adult books, but I try to branch out every once and a while as well!
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 stars