Book Review: Starter for Ten

Starter For Ten by David Nicholls.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

Starter for Ten has been in my library for several years. The novel is set in 1985, and is the story of Brian Jackson, a first-year student who is preparing for an appearance on University Challenge while simultaneously falling in love and discovering the “University Experience” is not quite living up to his expectations.

As soon as I started reading, I was hooked. The novel is written in a contemporary commercial style, is very easy to read, and I found myself laughing out loud at least once per page for most of the book. There are a few sad moments too, but this is largely a light-hearted story full of entertaining British-isms and self-deprecation.

Nicholls is a master of characterisation, as demonstrated in the last chapter of the novel in which a relatively minor character reappears. While the person is not explicitly named in the chapter, it’s clear to the reader who the person is simply from their behaviour.

Each chapter begins with a University Challenge style question and associated answer that hints what the chapter is about. I thought this was a nice touch and used the questions to test my wife’s general knowledge. (She scored far better than me.)

I would recommend Starter for Ten to anyone looking for quick and entertaining read.

View all my reviews.

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