Starter for Ten: A Novel (Google eBook)
Now a major motion picture
“Utterly charming . . . a big-hearted, flawless coming-of-age tale, as scary and funny as your yearbook picture.”
–People (****/Critic’s Choice)
The year is 1985. Brian Jackson, a working-class kid on full scholarship, has started his first term at university. He has a dark secret–a long-held, burning ambition to appear on the wildly popular British TV quiz show University Challenge–and now, finally, it seems the dream is about to become reality. He’s made the school team, and they’ve completed the qualifying rounds and are limbering up for their first televised match. (And, what’s more, he’s fallen head over heels for one of his teammates, the beautiful, brainy, and intimidatingly posh Alice Harbinson.) Life seems perfect and triumph inevitable–but as his world opens up, Brian learns that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.
“Fresh, edgy and very funny . . . [Nicholls] has a talent for droll dialogue and a wonderful sense of the ridiculous.”
“Starter for Ten has that elusive Hornby-factor. . . . It’s wincingly funny . . . a prospect to savour.”
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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This is a very funny book. I think you might have to be "of a certain age", though, to catch all the references. Read this - it won't take long and you won't be disappointed.
A-level absolutely actually Alice Alice Harbinson Alice's ANswer anyway Bamber Gascoigne beautiful breath Brian Jackson course d'you think Dad's decide desk donkey jacket door drink drunk Dustin Hoffman eyes face feel finger front fucking futon Gil Scott-Heron hair hand head Hedda Gabler Hello Joni Mitchell Josh Kate Bush kind kiss kitchen lager Langley Street laugh leaning listen look Lucy Chang Marcus mate mean mouth Mum's nice night Okay onion bhaji Patrick Watts pissed play pretty pull question R. J. Mitchell realize Rebecca round says Alice says Patrick says Spencer seems shouting smell smile someone sorry sort Spence standing starts suppose sure talking tell telly thank there's thing thought toilet Tone tonight trying turn Uh-huh University Challenge walk watch wearing What's who's wonder Yeah