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John van de Ruit

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Spud News for North Americans

Thanks to those who have blogged about Spud and sent positive letters. I’m thrilled you enjoyed Spud and his crazy gang and I find myself relieved that the humour seems to have translated well into the North American context. So here goes…

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I have just completed the final edits to the Razorbill version of Spud – The Madness Continues. The book is the sequel to Spud and is the diary of John Milton’s second year at school. It’s edgier than the first book and I think funnier. Unfortunately readers in America and Canada will have to wait for the Fall for The Madness to hit the shelves. (Meanwhile the Razorbill website keeps track of Spud‘s reception in the US – see snippets below.)

Spud the Movie moves forward without seeming to. We are still some way off for setting a definite date for casting and production. Various director possibilities are being thrown about and obviously things will only be finalized once the head honcho has been appointed. As far as actors from America and Canada are concerned, at this stage there’s nothing to prevent you auditioning. More will be forthcoming when the grey becomes black and white.

I met up with Alison Lowry, my editor, publisher and CEO of Penguin SA, for a few days of brainstorming in the Natal midlands. I threw a series of ideas at her and judging by the way she was sniggering into her beer, they weren’t all entirely bad. I have now filled many pages with scrawled ideas, stupid cartoons and random lines. I’m not saying it’s the beginning of Spud 3 but then again I’m not not saying it’s the beginning of Spud 3. Likewise I’ll keep you posted.

Keep reading



Spud snippets pinched from

Spud is a hilarious coming of age novel about John ‘spud’ Milton.

It is set in 1990 and Nelson Mandela just got released from prison. This makes his dad quite shaky and go completely bonkers. Spud’s family is already dysfunctional enough thanks to Wombat, his grandmother who goes on rants. [...]

Spud was an absolute delight to read! I was laughing so hard throughout the book I could hardly put it down. John Van De Ruit wrote it with such wit and charm. All the characters brought so much to the story. I felt like I was one of the gang. I’m already aching for Van De Ruit to finish writing the sequel! I already miss these characters. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good laugh. It’d be hard to enjoy it without a good sense of humor. If you enjoyed The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky I also recommend this.

Book Divas

‘Spud,’ a South African best-seller, amuses and delights

Harry Potter mania having subsided (insofar as that’s possible), we’re heading out of Hogwarts and all the way to South Africa for our next boarding-school adventures. Here we find 13-year-old John “Spud” Milton, nicknamed by his dorm mates after they see his you-know-what in the shower. A best-seller in its native country and fun for older kids and adults alike, this YA novel details farting challenges, illicit night swims, drunken parents—the stuff of adolescent dreams.

New York Magazine

“An Instant Laugh: As apartheid crumbles, a South African boy leaves his dysfunctional family for boarding school. Believe it or not, the novel is a comedy—and the fastest-selling book in South African history. Meet Spud, and expect the unexpected.”

“The boarding-school diary of Spud Milton—a 13-year-old South African choirboy lost in a sea of hormones and Julia Roberts fantasies—veers between the hilarious and the serious. If Spud sounds a lot like Adrian Mole, you’re right—but this book stands on its own merits as a deeply funny chronicle of male adolescence.” B+
Entertainment Weekly


Recent comments:

  • 382riri
    June 25th, 2008 @03:57 #

    i LOVE spud and am thrilled that Spud: The Madness Continues will be in the states in October!
    the movie MUST be in America as well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • skibby02345
    January 12th, 2009 @03:28 #

    I cannot find any way on how to write a letter to John Van de Ruit! Where do you find this information?!?!?

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    January 12th, 2009 @11:04 #

    You could do it the old-fashioned way -- c/o his publishers. The address will be on the imprint page of all his books.

  • skibby02345
    January 13th, 2009 @02:41 #

    Thank you! :)

  • andrewbeattie
    February 4th, 2009 @12:48 #

    Dear John,

    I love both the books. They brought back some happy and seriously disturbing memories of my time at a UK boarding school. Please keep the series going, (and long before 2016 of the next!).

    As for the film, I trust you will ensure it is keept close to the spirit of the book. The last thing we need is a watered down version.



  • Chloe
    April 10th, 2010 @14:57 #

    Dear John

    I would really like to thank you sooooooo much for the awesome spud series.I started last year November.I never know i would like a boys book since i am a girl.I loved all the books and stayed up late into the night reading.I finished all three books in a week!!!!!!!

    Cant wait for the film.Keep writing.
    Love Chloe


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