Every summer when the exam results come out, besides the obligatory photos of bouncing schoolgirls, there's a story about a five-year-old who's become the youngest person ever to pass a GCSE.
Little Liam, his parents boast, has been doing sums since before he could talk and is now raking in the dosh from his million-selling iPhone app. His dream is to go to Oxford or, failing that,
Cambridge. To stave off the nausea, you imagine Liam's future — the bullying, the drugs, the gender confusion — until you get to the part where it says what grade he got. Hang on a
minute, you think, he only got a D! A foetus could get a D in GCSE Maths. What were his numskull parents trying to prove by making him do it early and get a rubbish grade?
At 25, Ben Masters is not the youngest person to have written a novel, but his first book, Noughties, is a cautionary tale for those who aspire to