The Gifted, the Talented and Me
by William Sutcliffe
Pub Date 02 May 2019
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‘This school is an amazing opportunity!’ said Mum.
‘You’re going to find new depths you never realised you had’.
‘I don’t want new depths,’ I said. ‘I like the ones I’ve got already.’
‘Those aren’t depths,’ said Ethan. ‘They’re shallows.’
You think Adrian Mole had problems? Just wait until you meet Sam.
Fifteen-year-old Sam isn’t special. He’s not a famous vlogger, he’s never gone viral, and he doesn’t want to be the Next Big Thing. What he likes most is chatting to his friends and having a bit of a kickabout.
None of which was a problem until his Dad got rich and his Mum made the whole family move to London. Now Sam is being made to go to the North London Academy for the Gifted and Talented, where every student is too busy planning Hollywood domination or starting alt-metal psychedelica crossover bands or making clothes out of bathmats to give someone as normal as him the time of day. Can Sam navigate his way through the weirdness and find a way to be himself?
The Gifted, the Talented and Me is William’s first comic novel for a teenage audience – though thanks to its brilliantly warm and satirical eye on modern family life it will resonate strongly with adults as much as it will with young people. Think Adrian Mole for a whole new generation. In voice it’s a return to the smart and effortlessly funny style that made Will’s adult novel Are You Experienced? so beloved here and internationally.
It has a great message at its heart: it celebrates staying true to yourself, owning your talents (such as they are) and enjoying experiences for experience’s sake – instead of for the likes, accolades and popularity they could bring with them. Mainly, though, it’s just properly, joyfully, laugh-out-loud funny – fifteen-year-old Sam’s misadventures at the North London Academy for the Gifted and Talented will have you chuckling from the first page to the last.
William Sutcliffe was born in London in 1971. He is the international bestselling author of five novels for adults, including Are You Experienced?, and three YA novels: The Wall, Concentr8 and We See Everything. He lives in Edinburgh.