Spud – Learning to Fly
Hey Guys! Sorry for the lack of a blog posts these last few weeks. But, please check out the rest of my website. I’ve made some really cool changes including some more titles on The List and a whole new Challenge for you to try. See if you can beat my score. For now, let’s get back to my next blog post on the another of the Spud books, Spud –Learning to Fly.
Spud -Learning to Fly is the third book in the series and by now, I think we’ve all kind of got a pretty good idea about our dear friend Spud and what he wants. Now as he enters his senior years of high school, we get a bit more of a glimpse into Spuds world.
It’s only one year before Spud’s final year of school and the time has come for Spud to get serious about his future, or so everyone keeps telling him. But, with his social life in chaos, his grades almost causing problems and his acting career in a weird place, how can he possibly focus on the distant future? And will he make it to his future with his arch-nemesis after his blood?
So, I’ve watched the movie version of this one too and, at present, it seems to be the last of the films made about our dear friend, Spud, though, there is still another book to come.
As for my feelings towards this movie. It’s the same critique I’ve given to every single one of the other films and that is that it doesn’t fit with the book. As I’ve said, I totally understand that the producers cannot fit every event described in the book in the film. But, what bothers me is which event they’ve decided to foreground because it’s by no means the most important scene in the book.
Most of the book centres around the school play Spud has got involved in again. Probably about half the book is dedicated to this play, first as Spud prepares, as he auditions, as he prepares to go to Wrexham and as he rehearses for the play. The time Spud spends at Wrexham are vividly described and reveal quite a bit about Spud’s character. But, the film centres around Spud’s attempts to keep his scholarship by trying to become a prefect. The whole movie becomes about the push to become a prefect. It still makes for some really funny antics but they’re different from the book. All in all, a good film but not a very good film adaptation.
In my humble opinion:
So, in my last two Spud blogs, I talked about some pretty heavy stuff, even if the blog on Spud – The Madness Continues was meant to be a bit lighter. I think this time we can talk about something a bit lighter and that is comedy.
I have to admit, and I dare you to honestly deny, that I laughed so much while reading. I’m generally not one to literally “LOL” but in this case sometimes I just couldn’t help it. But, why is Spud so incredibly funny? What makes it so hilarious? The answer, I think, is because it’s relatable. Ok, so I’ve never been to a boy’s boarding school. Obviously. I’m not a boy. I also only came into this world basically when Spud finished high school. But, I don’t think that’s the point. I think the point is, we all have parents who argue about stuff. We all have weird relatives who we’d rather not introduce to anyone. We all have weird questions about life that we really ought to know but are too terrified to ask and when we do ask, some times, the people we ask aren’t always as sympathetic as we would hope. This is why Spud’s story is so funny. Because his life, in some weird way, resembles each of our own. And the more we can relate, the funnier Spud’s life becomes. Of course, the story is tempered with some serious scenes which means that nothing is overdone to excess. After all, life is not all rosy for us and we wouldn’t be able to relate if it was that way for Spud.
It’s also cool that in this particular book John van de Ruit uses hilarity to the extreme. Spud, as a character in the school play (I won’t tell you which character in which play), is called on to be amusing and must somehow learn which actions get laughs and which do not. In a way, Spud’s acting becomes meta-comedy, or comedy within comedy, and this just adds to the hilarity as through trial and error Spud learns to laugh at himself and be laughed at by others. It just goes to show you that even though a reader may think Spud’s life is full of hilarity all the time, it’s not always so perceptible to Spud, who needs to essentially learn to be funny. Spud learns that it’s not always the most overt actions and jokes that are so amusing but those subtle actions that keep people entertained. Just like Spud’s story where the subtle antics leave one rolling around on the floor in fits of giggles.
This book, like its prequels is hilarious and I’d seriously suggest that if anything – school, work, family, relationships – anything is getting you down, grab Spud – Learning to Fly, settle in on a carpet or rug (remember, I want no one falling off chairs) and get ready to laugh until your sides hurt and you can’t read more for fear of wetting yourself. And remember, when you’ve finished this book, make sure you head over to my Challenge page and take up the challenge.