It's South Africa 1990. Two major events are about to happen: the release of Nelson Mandela and, more importantly, it's Spud Milton's first year at an elite boys only private school. Cursed with parents from well beyond the lunatic fringe, a senile granny, and a dormitory full of strange characters, Spud has his hands full trying to adapt to his new home. Surrounded by names such as Gecko, Rambo, Rain Man and Mad Dog, Spud takes his first tentative steps along the path to manhood. (The path, it seems, could be a rather long road.) Armed with only his wits and his diary, Spud takes us from illegal night swimming to the red-hot furnace of the cricket pitch, from ghostbusting to a catastrophic family vacation. He also invites us into the mind of a boy struggling to come to terms with a strange new world; a boy whose eyes are being opened to love, friendship and complete insanity.