erasing clouds

Book Review: Freshers by Kevin Sampson

by anna battista

Kit Hannah has just arrived at the University of Sheffield and he already hates it. No, rather than his English and American literature course, he just hates being a student, having to bond with similar individuals and having to stay in the halls of residence. This is how Freshers, the sixth novel by Kevin Sampson, starts.

Sampson seems to have left behind the gangsters of Outlaws and Clubland whose adventures he had so passionately followed throughout two novels. Apart from being different for its main theme from Samspon's previous novels, Freshers"is also written in a different style, a sort of diary, with "Week", "Day", "Weather" and "Soundtrack", as the main headlines for each chapter, headlines that mark Kit's days at university.

Though a bit of a loudmouth, Kit will soon make new friends, among them Adrian Dangerous, the fitness fanatic who will turn poet; Ben, a supposed drug dealer; Simon, with whom Kit will live a magic mushrooms spiced up adventure; Petra, a girl permanently in love with Kit; and Alex, an American exchange student. Kit will also hopelessly fall for Jinty, a psychology student who's six years older than him. At the end of the book, the readers will meet a different Kit: from pretentious student, he will become a grown-up, this thanks to the (sometimes tragic) events he will go through during his first year at uni.

Kevin Sampson, who seems to share with his main character a reverential respect for Coldplay and Sigur Rós, hasn't simply written a novel about being a student, he's penned a precise account on growing up.


Issue 17, November 2003

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