The vast majority of reviews here focus on the comedy elements of this book, but I think they have missed the point somewhat. 'New Boy' isn't fundamentally a comedy, it's the sad tale of a sexually confused adolescent losing his only one true love because he can't come to terms with his emotions and his homosexual tendancies. Ok so it contains a lot of laughs, but can anyone read this book and not feel pity for the main character as he sees others steal Barry away from him? Books such as this and Joseph Heller's 'Catch-22' can all to easily be labelled as plain comedies, but they often have a far more meaningful and inspirational subtext. While I would agree that the ending was somewhat rushed, and I wish it turned out the other way too, life isn't always like that, and if you will pardon the phrase, s**t happens! I admire Sutcliffe in a way for creating a slighty shocking, non-sentimental ending, but he really should have used more pages.