5.0 out of 5 stars
Enjoyable tales of one student's life through university, 9 Aug. 2011
With all my clothing and other worldly goods packed into two suitcases and a rucksack, I was leaving home to attend "The University of South Wales and Monmouthshire" (as it was then called). After my train arrived in Cardiff I found my digs and then the next day went to the University to register for my course. This was something I had forgotten all about, but it was vividly brought back to mind as I read the first chapter of Colin Andrews's book "A Matter of Degree" - his debut novel. His description of Fresher's Week also coincided with my experiences of that week.
As one of our years overlapped I shared some experiences with Colin at University but he doesn't mention these - his stories are far more interesting. They weave the threads of what happened to Robert Kiddecott as he worked his way through university and teaching practice, from the day he arrived at the university until the day he gained his degree.
The stories which are all believable are written through the eyes of Rob as he is "forced" into co-operating with the unexpected ideas of Jake - a fellow student with whom he shares accommodation. The incidents include, amongst many others, organising a mumming play to make money for Rag Week through to starting up a Morris team (which obviously dance at local pubs!) His story continues through the holidays - but I won't mention what happens as I don't want to spoil the suspense he builds up! And of course, also included are Rob's liaisons with female students and acquaintances.
Before that though, the story tells of life in the Student's Union building - the curries I got so used to consuming (student's basic food - together with a pint of Brains) together with the student newspaper and the folk song club. Also included are stories about the inter-college eisteddfod - an event that students going to any Welsh University college could never forget.
This is a book well worth reading - especially if you were a student in any college or university as it is bound to bring back many (forgotten?) memories. I hope Colin has more ideas hidden away that could lead to a further book. Will Rob tell us more now he is in the big wide world? I hope so.