John van de Ruit was born in Durban, South Africa. He went to the University of Natal where he completed a Masters degree in Drama and Performance. Since 1998 he has been a professional actor, playwright and producer, winning numerous awards. Spud is his first novel.
Set in 1990, the year of Nelson Mandela's release, this historical fiction is the diary of a scholarship student's first year at an exclusive South African boarding school. John Milton is given the nickname Spud for both his short stature and his prepubescent anatomy. He and his roommates (the "Crazy Eight") care less about politics than they do pranking, farting, and "pillaging" girls. It is easy to see why this comic romp was a best seller in the author's native South Africa. Why It Is for Us: John's family life offers a satiric counterpoint to all the adolescent mayhem. His father is racist and sure that supporters of the newly legal African National Congress will burn him in his bed, while his grandmother, the "Wombat," makes every family outing an adventure in senility. Fans can continue John's school diary in Spud: The Madness Continues (2008).-Angelina Benedetti, King Cty. Lib. Syst., WA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Some rave reviews from South Africa: Funny, fast-paced and wonderfully observant -- Book Shelf The Daily News Once you pick it up it's almost as if the pages turn themselves Metrobeat Achingly funny Sunday Times Lifestyle