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New Boy Mass Market Paperback – 4 Jun 1998

3.8 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (4 Jun. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140279105
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140279108
  • Product Dimensions: 0.1 x 0.1 x 0.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 461,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 28 Dec. 2002
Format: Mass Market 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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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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I generally enjoyed this book, though I lost a bit of interest towards the end. The part of Jews in private schools was particularly well written, and from a stand point of great understanding. There are not may books, or certainly I have not read any of them about the development of teenagers generally in school, the only one that comes to mind is 'The Fourth Of June' by David Benedictus, but that is more about growing up as a pupil at Eton. Was tempted to read this book after reading Maggie O'Farrell, and reading her biography, they are married. A good read, but rather dribbles off at the end, and you always thought the possibilities for the resulting scenario possible..
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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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Ok, when I read this book I really didn't get what I was expecting. In my opinion, the book is not about Mark's relationship with Barry, but about his last two years at school. The relationship between them certainly plays a part, but it is overshadowed by Mark's school life and experiences. Towards the end the relationship is the key theme, but I literally mean the last twenty pages. Whilst the book has been leading up to this turning point, it has only done so with the brief paragraph or sentance.
Don't get me wrong, this is an alright book, and i did find myself laughing out loud, but don't buy this book thinking it's going to be about the relationship between two boys, because its not...
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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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I really enjoyed this novel and it was read in a day. That is a good sign as I wanted to keep going with this book. My only wish is that it had been longer although it still would have to end eventually. Every so often I read a book and its one I never want to end because I have enjoyed it so much. This is one of those books. I laughed out loud several times while reading it and thought the story was wonderfully told. On the strenght of reading this novel I have now purchased Sutcliffe's two other novels. He is truly a writer with a true gift for storytelling. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a laugh. Our main character is a strange but likeable guy and it was a relief to read about someone more paranoid than me...this book is more than worth the money. Be brave take a risk and read this you won't be disappointed (well some of you might but only if you've lost your sense of humour)
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By A Customer on 7 Jan. 1999
Format: Mass Market 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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