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School for Scumbags by Danny King
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School for Scumbags (2008)

by Danny King

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103880,191 (3.25)5
21st century (1) crime (2) England (1) fiction (1) humor (1) lol (1) owned (1) read (1) schools (1) teen reads (1) TIOLI (1) to-read (1) young adults (1) youth (1)

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This book was a pleasant surprise. Having never read any of Danny King’s other works, I picked this solely on its quirky description – a reform school which teaches juvenile delinquent how to be BETTER criminals. Although I was initially concerned that tidbit would be a spoiler, it is included in the description on the copy I had, and pretty much right at the beginning it becomes clear what kind of school it is. One of my favorite parts – which I still chuckle over – is on the first day of the school, one of the students is told to empty his pockets in front of the class. He spills out drugs, cigarettes, a switchblade and pornographic playing cards. The teacher’s response is that he’s “clean”. The narrator’s response is something along the lines of “Clean?!?!? What the *#&%** are they looking for? Alien Embryos?” The dialog – although more off-color than my usual taste – is witty, intelligent and always original. King does an exceptional job developing the characters, and you quickly become invested in their welfare.

I listened to this title as an audiobook, and the British narration provided a unique component to the writing. It is based in London, and the students come from all walks and districts, and their accents as relayed by the audiobook proved a great bonus. Where dialect can sometimes be troublesome (or annoying) in print, the audiobook waded through all of it and created believable and surprisingly sympathetic characters. Highly Recommended. ( )
1 vote pbadeer | Sep 12, 2010 |
Hillarious! This cocky concoction of hormones & crime read a bit like a Fear & Loathing crossed with Tom Brown's School Days. Slightly surreal (in the way Enid Blyton mystery novels are, possible, but not very probable) - but very engaging & representatives of many staple stereotypical characters are presented in larger-than-life porportions.

I couldn't stop grinning after reading the bit about the football match, but I felt slightly cheated about the resolution of the ending - it felt a bit like a deus ex machina. ( )
1 vote shiunji | May 30, 2008 |
While the small print warns School for Scumbags “is definitely not for kids”, the mixture of profanity, lively prose, amorality and unabashed egotism – leavened with just a little sentimentality – is bound to appeal to youngsters, as will the unredeemable anti-hero, ‘habitual teenage delinquent Wayne Banstead’.

Unfortunately the smutty, sacrilegious, laugh-out-loud humour of the initial chapters is not sustained, and what started as an obscene and frivolous criminal romp seems, ultimately, to be about to turn into a morality tale, resplendent with chastened underage criminals.

Regular readers of Danny Hill will not be fooled: Wayne Banstead and his fellows from the Gafin School for Misdirected Boys triumph over adversity and this gloriously irreverent story ends on an unrepentantly high note. ( )
  adpaton | Nov 30, 2007 |
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After being expelled from yet another school, Wayne Banstead is sent to Gafin School for Misdirected Boys. However, far from rehabilitating the boys, the teachers seem intent on instructing them in how to get away with things. With careful tutoring, Wayne Banstead and classmates are about to take a step up into the big leagues.… (more)

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