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The Snitch, Houdini and Me: Humorous Tales of Death-defying Childhood Misadventure Paperback – August 14, 2011
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Rob Kroese, Author of Mercury Falls
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
If you are a mother, especially of boys or a daughter who was a tomboy, read this book. If you're a boy (over the age of 21 so as not to get any "bright" ideas), read this book.
If you spent your childhood days growing up pre-2000, read this book. It will bring memories flooding back...and maybe provide some pointers or ideas you never dreamed of fulfilling to scare the beejezus out of that big kid bully.
If you ever feared being "in deep shit," read this book. Warning: the farther in you read, the more adult the language becomes.
This book is hilarious throughout, with never-ending shenanigans and covert missions, usually involving one of Johnny's two younger brothers, The Snitch or Houdini, their neighbor Markie or best friend The Slug. Virgil shares some stories that could have been disastrously dangerous for his little band of boys. He is very keen to point out he doesn't know how he survived childhood without killing himself, or someone else, at every opportunity. And he's right: after reading some of the boys' grand schemes, you will be surprised to know they usually escaped supreme and disastrous trouble usually unscathed, with only a few cuts.
Johnny and his gang didn't have the best of everything from back in the day. They didn't get what they wanted.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Funny memoir of growing up in the 60's and 70's! My brother recommended this to me, and it definitely hit home, even from a girl's perspective. Read morePublished 27 days ago by K. Bacon
Great book. I grew up in same era and can really relate to a lot of the stories.Published 4 months ago by michigan doug
I just finished this book, and let me tell you I LOVED it!! The author and I are the same age, so I could really relate to his memories and stories. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Linda E. Kinkade
Easy and a bit laugh out loud --- parts of it reminding me of my bygone childhood !Published 16 months ago by suncharm
Similar type of book to what Bill Bryson does, though this one is a bit more serious.Published 20 months ago by JS
This was a great book and a easy fun read. My husband is now reading it, I thought he would like it because some of the stories were similar to some of his childhood events... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Kindle Customer
Just okay - mildly amusing. No great talent. Nothing distinctive or unique. Typical "when we were growing up" stories as told at the bar, after a few too many drinks.Published 22 months ago by Amazon Customer