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Freshers - Kevin Sampson

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Kevin Sampson
Paperback / softback
Jonathan Cape
UK Publication Date

Kit Hannah is about to start University. He's funny, clever and popular - anybody would think he'd be relishing the prospect. But Kit is harbouring a dark foreboding he dare not share with anyone else. It's with a heavy heart that he leaves home to begin a new life in Sheffield.

At the vast and alienating Ranmoor Halls of Residence he meets Jinty, a psychology student who's six years older than Kit and much more worldly wise. She's posh, confident and independent - and she becomes more and more fascinated by Kit. When he wants to be he's the life and soul of the party - and there are lots of parties, lots of sex, lots of very bad behaviour. He's naughty, witty and compassionate and everyone wants to be his friend. But more often than not Kit withholds that friendship and retreats from the gang.

The gang includes Benny Bull, a pathological liar from Dudley who associates with drug dealers, car-jackers, Al-Quaida and the I.R.A. (if only in his head). There's Adrian Dangerous, an achievement-driven fitness fanatic from Kent who has to get a First. Alex is a ballsy exchange student from Memphis who's utterly at ease with her unorthodox looks - and keen to stress that carrots have feelings, too. Laid-back Simon from the Peak District wants nothing more than to get by, start a band and find that mythic mushroom field at Whitehood Hall. Petra from Stirling wants nothing more than Kit - although Kit, tragically, seems to see her more as a mate. The object of his affections is Colette - yet whenever Kit gets close to her, something seems to hold him back. Jinty, and the experience of surviving away from home for the first time in his life, help him confront himself and beat his demons.

Freshersis a rich, insightful and exuberant novel about getting wise and growing up.

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Kevin Sampson is the author of eight novels, as well asExtra Time,his account of a season in the life of a Liverpool FC fanatic, and the moving account of the Hillsborough tragedy,Hillsborough Voices. He has contributed to football anthologies, includingHere We Go Gathering Cups in MayandRedmen,which he also edited.

Kevin is a regular contributor to theGuardian, Observerand Liverpool FC TV, the club's dedicated TV channel. He lives on Merseyside where he is a member of the Liverpool Producers Association, and a long-term supporter of the Writing on the Wall festival and CALM, the mental health charity.

You can find him at @ksampsonwriter on Twitter.

"His ear for the language of the street is astounding."
Linda Grant

"Kevin Sampson uses his pen like a pathologist uses a scalpel. He's the literary equivalent of filmmaker David Lynch. You may not like the world he takes you into, but his immense talent makes sure you can't look away. Brilliant."
Mike Hodges

"What makes this novel a cut above the usual cliched tale of studenty awakening is the fine-tuned empathy Sampson has with his characters; well-drawn and human creatures who quiver under their bravado."

"In the wake of the excellentPowderandClubland, Sampson takes on the heady world of higher education. Grips from the start."
Sleaze Nation

Keyword Index
Students - Social life and customs - Fiction.|Bildungsroman.
Country of Publication
Number of Pages

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