First Years - Piranhas in the Bedroom
Paperback, 351 Pages
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It’s 1986, and 19-year-old Jonathan gets quite a culture shock when he leaves home to start his First year teacher training at Derbyshire College of Higher Education. Living in a large white (unmissable) student house full of lads, ranging from a posh boy from Kent to a northerner with anger issues, he must negotiate the perils of student life, which include seven-legged pub crawls in the dead of winter, fishnapping raids and cereals in the bedsheets, all at the same time as trying to woo a pretty blonde from Rochdale. Set in a time when cassette players were cool, contact with home was a red phonebox, but alcohol, lingerie and high jinx were still the order of the day, First Years: Piranhas in the Bedroom is written with a great British dry wit. Its nostalgia for all things 80s as well as its “will-they-won’t-they” romantic comedy gives it a really broad appeal: The Young Ones meets High Fidelity.
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4 People Reviewed This Product
Sep 19, 2013This was a heart-warming coming of age story that made me laugh, smile and find meaning in the ‘student life’. Set in the anfractuous 80s, “First Years” was a cheerful read infused with a convivial, conventional vibe. I thought that Jonathon was an utterly adorable protagonist. As a timid, somewhat pedantic teenager, he commented on the mishaps of life with an amused to the point of cynical air. His funny observations and blunt statements of the truth (which he rarely repeated out loud) certainly made me smile. The romance in this book was really intriguing to read about. I loved the mystery of who Jonathon was going to end up with, and how he would get with the girl of his dreams. Despite being a typical ‘boy meets girl’ story, “First Years” was unique in its cultural background. The 80s setting formed a vivid backdrop to the events on the page. In today’s modern society, everybody has different memories of the 80s – as a teenager myself, I have no memories at all. “First Years” was... More > therefore a refreshingly funny, educational experience for me and I think that learning the meaning of the word “Showaddywaddy” only added to my overall sense of enjoyment. (Showaddywaddy was a pop group from Leicester formed in the 1970s, if anybody’s wondering!) I especially loved the quaint atmosphere that this book seemed to exude. It was a genuinely pleasing read that made me laugh out loud on occasion. The pacing of the prose was slow but utterly methodical and I thought that this was very successful. Explaining a humorous event like a ‘war’ between two student houses in meticulous detail was necessary, I think, to achieve maximum comical impact. Jonathon’s personality was also explored to an admiral degree, and I found myself falling in love with all his strange little idiosyncrasies. A personal favourite was the way Jonathon compared every romantic event to football. When he kissed a girl, he felt as though Villa had won 6-0. A more endearing character I have yet to meet! I thought that “First Years, Piranhas in the Bedroom” was everything a romantic comedy should be: funny, heart-warming, sweet enough to be smile inducing. It certainly made me laugh, and despite the bittersweet ending I was left with that warm, fuzzy feeling one gets after finishing a first rate book. I would definitely recommend this story.< Less
Feb 2, 2013Gently comedic, and reads like real life - Jonathan's journey as a student is realistic and reminds me of my own early college days. The beginning with his daughter (later in his life) was a nice touch - I can relate to having a child who is plugged into an ipod! But student life hasn't really changed that much, and students are still the same. The journey from child to student, and then to adult is fraught with pitfalls and Jonathan falls into many, often with amusing results. This book is a gentle read, not fast paced but flows well and is easy to slip into.
Feb 1, 2013Loved it. I really could have been Jonathan. I always fall for wrong women and end up looking after handbags at nightclubs. Really takes you right back to the 80's. I had my own play-list going on in my head. Women might have Bridget Jones but 'First Years - Piranhas in the Bedroom' is one for us men.
Jan 4, 2013Writing in first person is always difficult, but Andy has tapped into the mind-set of a young man released into the big wide world of university perfectly. Our protagonist, Jonathon, is honest about all his experiences, fears and thoughts and it almost feels as if you've picked up his diary and are secretly reading his experiences first hand. Aside from being an honest account of life at uni in the 1980's `First Years' is also a heart-warming romance that shows love as it is in reality. For many people the attraction to this gangly blonde Helen, who eats like a baby dinosaur and always seems to have food around her mouth, might be bizarre, but that is the reality of love. No-one else can understand why you love someone despite all the obvious faults, when really you love them because of the faults. Andy includes everything from first impressions of new friends to each move in a cricket match, and while you might find yourself skimming through some parts, it all works together to... More > create a truly believable character. Romance novels can be inclined to present an idealised version of real life and sometimes you need a real story to make you believe in love again. Well this is that story. Opening with the present day, as Jonathon takes his daughter to university, the reader is transported back in time to relive his experiences and meet the woman who changed his life. `First Years' would be ideal for anyone considering university, wanting to reminisce on past years or simply looking for a real love story. The university experience hasn't changed much in all these years and neither has love.< Less
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- Andy Dale (Standard Copyright License)
- First Edition
- Andy Dale
- December 16, 2012
- Perfect-bound Paperback
- Interior Ink
- Black & white
- 1.3 lbs.
- Dimensions (inches)
- 5.83 wide x 8.26 tall
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- 80's ,
- Derby ,
- Romance ,
- comedy ,
- students ,
- retro ,
- aston villa ,
- college ,
- teacher training ,
- books for men