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New Boy [Paperback]

William Sutcliffe
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
Price: £6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

4 Jun 1998
NEW BOY is a dark modern comedy about the hormonal angst of a Jewish lad growing up in north-west London's bagel belt. "Sutcliffe has managed to pull off a worthy British companion to Portnoy's Complaint" Jay Rayner,Observer "Well-written,clever and very funny" Literary Review "Smart,entertaining stuff...somewhere between Adrian Mole and Holden Caulfield" Philip Hensher,Mail on Sunday

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New edition edition (4 Jun 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140279105
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140279108
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 11 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 364,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Amazon Review

The New Boy of William Sutcliffe's hilariously touching debut novel causes a bit of a stir when he arrives at Mark's posh private school. For a start, Barry is devastatingly handsome and causes girls and boys to buckle at the knees. Mark is more than a little jealous, considering himself to be much less attractive. But he spots an ally in Barry and the two quickly become friends though Mark's feelings for Barry are often confused. For a start, he finds himself lusting after the boy in the showers but refuses to think it's because he is gay. Meanwhile, Barry is getting busy with most of the female population within a 50-mile radius, including an affair with one of his own teachers. Mark quickly realises that if he is ever going to be a hit with the opposite sex, he needs Barry's help. But he learns that Barry is hiding a few secrets of his own.

This wonderfully funny and engaging novel is a fast and captivating read, as Sutcliffe hits so many marks about the clichés of school life. The neurotic teachers, the geeky pupils and the rites of passage will all strike a chord within most readers, and the characters are effectively and warmly drawn. Mark and Barry's relationship is so wonderfully captured; their brief conversations are mainly populated with swearwords and degenerate into arguments by their end. There are examinations of both religion and, more importantly, homosexuality, and it's a comfort to see these issues treated with a respectful sense of humour. In the end though, New Boy isn't so much a novel about being gay, more about being who you want to be. --Jonathan Weir

About the Author

William Sutcliffe was born in London in 1971. NEW BOY was his first novel,published as a Penguin original in 1996. ARE YOU EXPERIENCED? was published in Hamish Hamilton in 1997.

He lives in London,N4.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Along with the rest of the staff, the chaplain at my school failed to notice that the place had long since been taken over by Jews and Asians. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So funny and easy to read. 28 Dec 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The first chapter of this book had be hooked. It is written in such a way that the narrator is talking to you and knows this is a book (being shown from the 'im finding this chapter very hard'). I must say that this is perhaps the easiest book I have ever read. The language is simple to follow and the sheer enjoyment the prose gave me to dead made this book unputdownable. Except, of course, for the moments in which I had to put the book down becuase I was crying from laughter (which happened several times). I suggest you buy this book NOW. And be prepared for painful sides.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very funny book 13 April 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is an hilarious book, although it will only reach it's peak with you if you too went to a all-boys Independant day school. Having read it before 'Are You Experienced' the latter seems to borrow too much material and characterisation, but then why break from a winning format? Back to 'New Boy', it cringingly reminds you of how much of a muppet you were at school as you desperately struggled to overcome puberty and the ugliness it inflicted on you, while being certain everyone else was a regular Don Juan. The writing expertly mingles laughs with toe curlingly cringeworthy moments. You'll be able to pin the identity of every minor character on one of your mates or teachers. It is a very, very funny book; the bit where the kid offers the teacher a tenner to drown his sorrows is priceless.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the funniest novels I have read! 2 Aug 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Totally brilliant! I read and loved the 'Love Hexagon' but somehow this surpasses it - it is more unusual. It may be set in a boys school, revolving around spotty adolescents discovering their sexuality but it's a book for everyone - whatever their age - because it is simply so hysterical. The humour is wicked, sometimes nasty, and neverending, often filthy (hilarious jokes on wanking into a milk bottle). The observations about life in a boys school are spot-on. The only let-down is that, unlike 'The Catcher in the Rye', there are no moving passages. It's too cynical for that. It also means it leaves you with a slightly empty feeling - as if Sutcliffe was far too afraid of approaching anything close to sentiment - or anything basically touching. But it's so funny, it doesn't matter - you will be in stitches!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to School 7 Jan 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I couldn't decide if I liked this book because I attended the same school as Sutcliffe, or just because it was simply an excellent book. It is written in an easy-to-read unpretentious style, and is short enough to read in an afternoon. He addresses most of the issues that concern adolescents, from sexual angst to pushy parents, and does so via the writer's relationship with new boy Barry. Well-recommended, but once again, perhaps I only enjoyed the book because it was a nostalgic trip back to school.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Sutcliffe is one of the most original, fresh and interesting of the 'new' young British authors.His writing is natural, flowing and honest. His characters are totally believeable and easy-to-identify-with. I've read his 'Are You Experienced?' and LOVED it, and was not disasppointed by his first piece of fiction, as often happens to me with other writers. Wonderful, enjoyable read, DO NOT MISS!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I think this book has been misjudged by some... 22 Aug 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great 15 Dec 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
i actually go to the same school as the author did, and every detail bout the coaches etc is true even now several years later,....its great!!and i guess it makes it that little bit more personal, but still, its a great read and i recommend it highly
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Adrian mole meets South Parks - Very good 24 Feb 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The politically incorrect thoughts of a sixth form Jewish Adrian Mole.
Ok, the narrator is a bit simpleminded sometimes and may not at all time be the best of choice as a friend but this makes a very good, funny, entertaining story; the end being at times touching.
It is not a gay novel, the caracter is just confused about is sexual identity, this is not the typical coming out story you could expect but all the better.
A rather unique book, I was very pleasantly surprised.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious
This is the first a few novels by this author I have read and this is by far the best and will appeal to those who like an accurate portrayal of adolescence angst along with some... Read more
Published 7 months ago by C. Bulman
2.0 out of 5 stars Bennett uncut
This novel starts rather like a hormone fuelled version of the History Boys in which a young man describes his experience in a Bennettian day school in which he explores the... Read more
Published 9 months ago by barbicandy
3.0 out of 5 stars A very English Jew
Positioned queasily somewhere between Simon Raven, Philip Roth and Richmal Crompton, but get past the sexual overkill of the first twenty pages (it took me several gos) and it... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Simon Barrett
2.0 out of 5 stars Disapointing
Sorry, I really wanted the book to be a HEA but hime walzting off into the sunset with some other dude will the other guy stands watching......OMG !!! Read more
Published 16 months ago by Donna
4.0 out of 5 stars Witty But Not Profound
The reader can race through this book, admiring the writer's wit and sharp observance of life in a secondary school. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Caro Mio
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy going reading
An effortless read,due to the chatty tone of the prose, but the conclusion of the story felt a bit unsatisfying. As with his other novel, Are you Experienced? Read more
Published 21 months ago by Catriona Lexy Campbell
4.0 out of 5 stars witty with twists
A great relatively short story. The author manages to engage the reader by both amusing you and keeping you on edge with many twists... Read more
Published on 15 Oct 2011 by sl90
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Writing, Funny, But Heavy Going
First I have to say what I love about William Sutcliffe. This is a writer who really does know how to write. Read more
Published on 8 Aug 2011 by Sir Furboy
5.0 out of 5 stars The New Boy
Great read. Not often you get hold of a book that you don't want to put down. I found it very amusing, particularly the bit where the 'New Boy' introduced the other guy to his... Read more
Published on 5 Jan 2010 by david audit
4.0 out of 5 stars New Boy
To be honest, this is not the kind of book I'd usually read. The lad-lit cover is fairly off-putting and when it was initially published in paperback the cover was more... Read more
Published on 1 Jan 2010 by Rich
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