For those who have travelled the English boarding-school route, similar prep-school memories are sure to be jogged by reading Simon Sebag Montefiore’s My Affair with Stalin, a wonderfully entertaining and evocative novel, set in a rural prep school during the 1970s. A daring midnight raid on the tuck cupboard is masterminded by the book’s precocious hero, William Conroy. Once he has established control of the cupboard, Conroy is virtually guaranteed his position as leader of the dominant school gang, for crisps, soft drinks and instant snacks play a disproportionately large part in the life of boarding-school pupils.
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