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Little Billy's Letters: An Incorrigible Inner Child's Correspondence with the Famous, Infamous, and Just Plain Bewildered Hardcover – March 9, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“I generally resent humorous authors more clever than I am, but “Little Billy’s Letters” take the cake and he generously shares them. A masterpiece of mischief!” (Alan Abel, elder statesman of hoaxers and the man Esquire magazine called ‘the Best Prankster of All Time”)

“This book will both amuse and disturb you. Oh, wait, and also amurb you as well. It demonstrates an obsessive dedication to the prank art form that moves me to tears!!” (David Cross, Comedian and author of I Drink for a Reason)

“Truly funny, fascinating book. Little Billy’s Letters is a delightful, literary Ali G. I couldn’t put it down. Seriously, there’s something with the glue in the binding. Other than that, I loved it!” (Josh Weinstein, Former Showrunner, “The Simpsons”)

“Little Billy’s Letters by Bill Geerhart is, in a word, amazing.” (Larry Gelbart, legendary comedy writer)

“Little Billy’s Letters brought sublime smiles and some howls. Bill Geerhart’s book reminds me of Don Novello’s Lazlo Toth pranks (Novello is the comic genius who created SNL’s Father Guido Sarducci) and Jeffrey Vallance’s 1981 prank book on exchanging neck ties with world leaders to promote peace. (David Cay Johnston, New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist)

“I’m mildly insulted that Little Billy didn’t write to me, but otherwise I love this clever book and so will you.” (Clifford Irving, author of The Hoax)

From the Back Cover

What do Tori Spelling, the Church of Scientology, and Donald Rumsfeld all have in common?: They -- and many others -- have answered letters from "Little Billy", a grown man with a cache of stamps and far too much time on his hands. Funny, touching, and delightfully quirky, Billy's letters cover a broad range of subject matter:

  • Operation Drop-Out: Considering dropping out of elementary school, Billy writes to serial killers and celebrities seeking their wise counsel.
  • Billy's Law: Which Supreme Court Justice prefers the Big Mac to the Whopper? Who is Janet Reno's favorite crime fighter? What does Robert Shapiro say is the best defense for being framed for murder? Billy finds out.
  • The Making of the Class President: Billy runs for class president and collects "endorsements" from Nancy Reagan, Dick Cheney, George HW Bush, Gerald Ford, Bob Dole, Ken Starr, and Colin Powell.
  • Choosing My Religion: Billy asks representatives from the Catholic, Presbyterian, Mormon, Raelian, Satanic, Scientologist, Hare Krishna and Unification Church (Moonies) what is "cool" or "easy" about their religion.

Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, Celebrities, Heads of Corporations, Serial Killers, Robot Makers, and the NesQuick Bunny have all replied to "Little Billy's" scrawled questions.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition, 1st Printing edition (March 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061807281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061807282
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,287,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bill Geerhart grew up in Bethesda, MD, in the seventies and eighties and was obsessed with MAD magazine, television, movies, true crime, and crank calling talk radio stations. To the amazement of his high school guidance counselor, he was admitted to several reputable institutions of higher learning, and earned a Creative Writing degree from Emerson College. Geerhart is an expert in Cold War history; his groundbreaking work via his website www.conelrad.com and Bear Family Records have been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly, and on National Public Radio's Morning Edition, the BBC, and many other media outlets.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Yes, you heard it right. A book about a faux prankster can indeed be touching. From the heartfelt advise of one of the Manson Family, to the hilarious letter about defending a treehouse written to Robert McNamara, this book has no dull moments. Sometimes the personalities in question ignored the letter altogether, which is even funnier. For example, cereal companies could care less that Billy's mom said that he can no longer enjoy Lucky Charms because they could give him cancer. The section of letters written to prominent televangelists about Tippy the dog being possessed by Satan made me laugh so hard I woke the baby up. Recommended for anybody who still has a devious little child in them!
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Format: Hardcover
I purchased this gift for my father, not knowing what to get him for his birthday. He was reading it so seriously. I asked: isn't it funny? He said the letters that the serial killers wrote back were interesting and insightful. Then he kept laughing so I had to read it. Very clever and funny. We ended up talking the rest of the day about it as the celebrities in the book would jar a discussion. This book would make a great gift for any occasion, any generation. Just read it first before you wrap it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I heard author Bill Geerhart on a radio show after the book's release in early 2010. After hearing Bill explain why & how he picked his subjects for "L'le Billy" to write to, I had to get the book. The letters were written by Bill from the mind of 10 year old "L'le Billy." Moreover, Bill wrote on old-school, lined-for-penmanship paper using his lefthand to fake poor handwriting skills of "L'le Billy." A letter to Larry Flynt includes, Is there a Hustler for Kids since my parents won't let me subscribe to Hustler until I'm 18? It was every bit as bright, witty, and surprising as described by Bill. The range of people he wrote to is incredible. The responses are equally enthralling and giving rise to a side of a personality you didn't know about or as in some cases wish you didn't know. Author Bill also adds his 2 cents about the selected subject-person. A GREAT BOOK for the infirmed, mid-teens, CEOs, grandparents, teachers, etc. - anyone who loves the innocence of youth plus the creativity of an author.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I saw this books author on a news channel blurb for 3 minutes. I though that the concept would be a fun read. WOW was that an understatment! I own a barber shop and I have some really intresting books to page through. My clients always look forward to paging through for a couple minutes. With Billy's letters the chuckles and "did you read this"'s are often. Reading a responce from Charlie Manson, Arnold Schwarkoft, and Jack Kavorkian to a little ten year old are priceless at best and leave you wondering what they mean at the worst. Shiparo and the CEO of Ceaser's Palace have some of the best words of advice I think I have ever heard. I have limited myself to 2 letters a week just so I can milk this book out. I know it will end too soon.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book contains a series of letters and replies sent and received by the author, who pretended to be a little boy named Billy who wants advice from both the famous and infamous.
I could have done without his writing to people like Richard Ramirez and Charles Manson, although their replies are fascinating. However, most of the book is devoted to letters sent to heads of state, military leaders, celebs, and others. Most of them did not get the joke, which makes their serious answers even funnier.

Fun!
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Format: Hardcover
I came across LETTERS FROM BILLY at the Springfield Public Library in Springfield, MO. When I read Manson Family member Susan Atkin's touching letters to this author after he asked her if he should drop out of school, it nearly brought tears to my eyes. Yes, you will laugh at this book, but when Atkins writes about what happened to her after she became a school dropout, you will think and you may cry. Bravo, Billy, for a very special book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great book to teach with--I use it in my ENG 101 class all the time to teach the concepts of voice, audience and ethos. Book is in good shape and it got here on time. I would order from this buyer again if I needed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a hilarious book. At first glance it seems real-until you read further. I could really appreciate the irony of some of the answers, and some were actually sensible. What a treat to read.
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