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The Snitch, Houdini and Me: Humorous Tales of Death-defying Childhood Misadventure Paperback – August 14, 2011


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The Snitch, Houdini and Me: Humorous Tales of Death-defying Childhood Misadventure + Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: JV Enterprises (August 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615386938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615386935
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,001,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"TSHAM, as I shall call it, is a damned funny book. I laughed out loud many times, and at one point was actually in tears... you won't be disappointed."
Rob Kroese, Author of Mercury Falls
--Good Reads

More About the Author

Hello. I'm Johnny, and I hate talking about myself. I currently live in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in the beautiful, tax-free state of New York with my wife and her two cats. I say "her cats" instead of "my cats" because she's the one who feeds them, and their loyalty seems to lie with the person who opens the can. It seems that the guy who cleans the litter box gets no respect. I split my free time between driving to work, driving back from work, and sleeping. It's really amazing I had time to write a book, when I think about it.

Likes: Backpacking, Canoeing, Writing, Playing drums, Music, Sci-fi, Horror, Photography, Comic books, Woodworking and restoring antique radios.

Dislikes: Talking about myself.

Come visit me at http://15minutelunch.blogspot.com

Customer Reviews

Waiting anxiously for the next book.
Amazon Customer
The stories are funny, the characters are funny, and the writing style is very funny.
Hittman
If you were ever a kid you will love these stories of growing up in the 70's.
Toni D. Miller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Toni D. Miller on December 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I downloaded and read this on my kindle in one day. If you were ever a kid you will love these stories of growing up in the 70's. It is amazing that Johnny survived his childhood. His book is a collection of stories that are so well written you can smell the hot asphalt and burning rubber. I am going to read it again soon because I love to laugh and this book brought back so many happy times from my own childhood.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Marie on January 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've been a happy blog follower of Johnny Virgil's for years - in fact his blog is the only blog I follow since I'm generally not that interested in people I don't know. But someone sent me his JC Penney post, and I've been hooked ever since. This book is so funny, that like his blog entries, it's worth reading again and again. There are some things that make me laugh until I cry every single time, such as "Stench, Flies, and Animal Crackers." I do wonder how JV and his brothers made it to adulthood, but the world is a better place for it. And I hope my son (just 18 months right now) never tries any of the things in the book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Virginia L Nash on December 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
Remember when kids used to play outside?
I'm a baby-boomer so Johnny Virgil's childhood memories reminds me of things my brother and I used to do. This book will bring back great memories of what it was like as a kid when it was (fairly) safe to be outside.
Everyone will enjoy this book but it is a great choice for someone hard to buy for or someone who doesn't normally read much of anything. Not a great choice for a boy between 7 and 14 - it will give them too many dangerous ideas.
You see how a kid's mind works in the adventures that Johnny and his brothers and friends plot. In some of these adventures, you'll be amazed that everyone survived and weren't horribly mutilated. Johnny was either really, really lucky or some kind of kid superbeing. (Not a super-Hero because some of his ideas were pretty evil).
Johnny's stories are hysterically funny and well-written. You feel you are part of his gang of neighborhood punks ranging around suburbs looking for things to mess around with.
If Johnny and his wife plan to have any kids, the kid will get away with nothing. Johnny did it all as a kid and lived to remember it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Paige L. Barger on December 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While reading this book at my local Starbucks, I was asked by no less than 5 people, "What are you reading? And where can I get it?" I was laughing so hard and so often, I thought sure I'd be shushed...Instead, everyone wanted in on my good time...Buy this book...It's funny...It's well written...It's a must have for sure...I just purchased four more to share this Christmas...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Coleman Potter on July 9, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Growing up in rural Indiana in the 70's, I could definitely relate to the stories in this title - even though I am female. Some reviews remarked that escapades were dull in comparison to their own experiences, but I thought the stories perfectly captured that childlike feeling/terror of, "Oh, crap. What have we done? We're going to be in so much trouble." It was the 1970s - a time when kids played outside, sometimes not coming home for lunch, and finding entertainment wherever one could. The writing captured the era, as well. Remember when moms didn't work outside the home, and this was normal? One of the worst punishments you could imagine was just waiting for your dad to get home? You knew your neighbors and actually spoke to them? Only a paddling would be delivered by the principal and not a lawsuit filed if you happened to put a severed, dead deer leg on your classmates seat?

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and found myself, Kindle in hand, until the wee hours of the morning because I couldn't put it down. An extra special bonus to the stories were the photos from his youth and scans of art projects. Virgil's commentary on the latter didn't let me down, and I did find myself laughing out loud. I was transported back to my own youth, hanging out with neighbor kids, blowing things up with M-80s, playing in a woods, and learning some of life's most important lessons through trial and error (and sometimes injury).

I'd highly recommend this read to anyone and everyone. For a self-published work (and as a writer myself), I was impressed and pleasantly surprised. I don't believe you need the shared experience of growing up in the suburbs in the 70s to relate to his stories. They are entertaining, well-written, and encompass what it was like to grow up in simpler times. It honestly left me wanting more.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By PCS on February 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These stories are amazing...Markie/Snitch/Slug/Houdini/Paul stories with the Mom stories here and there. There's genuine love in these stories with frank humor that just keep you cracking up. You will wish you grew up down the street. It's also the perfect book for a busy mom...you can take each story in a small bite and not lose the plot.

Johnny is a gifted writer and humorist.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Treehouse on January 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is pure fun. It includes things I remember doing, things I wish I'd done, and things that make me say, "Holy crap, how are you still alive?"

The real genius of all of these little stories is the perspective. Johnny Virgil remembers what it was like to be a kid, and how kids think. Reading these stories is like being 12 again, and caught up in sudden impulses that seem like such very, very good ideas at the time. What could go wrong with ideas beginning with bottle rockets, bike ramps, skateboards with no steering, or (later on)six-packs of beer in your parents' basement?

From the beautiful, snort-inducing descriptions of childhood artwork to stoic and death-defying little brothers to horror stories of dumb drunken boys covered in sawdust and worse, each story makes childhood come alive. I'm not sure I wish I'd been Johnny's neighbor as a kid, but I'm so glad I got to hear him tell about it.
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