Starter for Ten
By David Nicholls
Villard Books, Paperback, 9780345498120, 338pp.
Publication Date: January 23, 2007
List Price: $15.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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Utterly charming . . . a big-hearted, flawless coming-of-age tale, as scary and funny as your yearbook picture.
"People" (****/Critic's Choice)
The year is 1985. Brian Jackson, a working-class kid on full scholarship, has started his first term at university. He has a dark secret a long-held, burning ambition to appear on the wildly popular British TV quiz show "University Challenge" and now, finally, it seems the dream is about to become reality. He's made the school team, and they ve completed the qualifying rounds and are limbering up for their first televised match. (And, what's more, he's fallen head over heels for one of his teammates, the beautiful, brainy, and intimidatingly posh Alice Harbinson.) Life seems perfect and triumph inevitable but as his world opens up, Brian learns that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.
Fresh, edgy and very funny . . . Nicholls] has a talent for droll dialogue and a wonderful sense of the ridiculous.
Starter for Ten has that elusive Hornby-factor. . . . It's wincingly funny . . . a prospect to savour.