Dulcie Leimbachhen Bill Cosby was growing up in the 1940's, he writes, he and his friends had what he calls "recreational imagination." It was a time, he says, "when Nintendo was just a town near Rome"....In "Childhood," his fourth book, the comedian journeys back to his rough-and-tumble (but never spoiled or weary) childhood in North Philadelphia, while casting a bemused eye on his own family of five children, as well as on children in the last few generations....In fact, the author is a man trapped inside a child's mind. "I am fifty-four now, but I am still the kid who put the snowball in my mother's freezer so that, one summer day, I could hit my brother with what he thought was a new ice age." Indeed, what else are brothers for? -- New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyCosby's fourth book contains the same mix of sweetness and belly laughs as Fatherhood , etc. The popular TV comic features the eternal conflict between parents and kids while comparing the dull, structured, affluent lives of today's children with his own richly adventurous, independent years growing up in the 1940s. Although home was a Philadelphia housing project, young Cosby and his pals lived mostly on the streets, away from suspicious parents, and relied on their ingenuity for fun. The boys' escapades are boffo entertainment, a high point being when they fall for a gift of ``Spanish flies,'' guaranteed to help them seduce girls. The donor shows the hopeful Lotharios a photo of a nude woman supposedly affected by the aphrodisiac, swearing that, ``with her clothes on, that woman's a librarian.'' Their plot fails, of course, but how it does adds more wonderfully ridiculous moments to the grand total. First serial to Parade; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates. (Nov.)
Kirkus ReviewsAnother predictable hour or two with the professionally genial Coz, concocted on the lite formula perfected in previous books (Fatherhood, Love and Marriage) anent The Ages of Man and A Few Women. Coolly calculated to be heartwarming, the present text recounts Cosby's North Philadelphia childhood under the aegis of Mom and Dad, with appearances by brother Russell and others, including, of course, Weird Harold and Fat Albert. Contrasted with the independent street antics of a generation ago is the Nintendo self-absorption of the current Cosby kids, from which nearly hilarious results ensue, as the sitcoms would have it. "As I have discovered by examining my past," begins the author, "I started out as a child." Dissolve from that auspicious opening to scenes of instruction in manners ("keep your face outa the soup"), animals ("It's a very special thing to have a gypsy moth for pet"), and the fine points of gentlemanly sports (like after- school fighting). If the one-liners begin to sound like George Burns, the result is benign. From musical beds with Russell to a pubescent hunt for fabled Spanish Fly, it's all contrived and easy enough reading for both those now caught in the undertow of childhood and their seniors who somehow survived it long ago. With a book that's transparent, easily digested, low calorie, and inoffensive, Cosby is still selling Jell-O. For fans of Mr. Nice Guy.
- Penguin Publishing Group
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.38(w) x 8.46(h) x 0.69(d)
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Childhood based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
This book is a wonderful insight into the Childhood of the past in comparison to the Childhood of today. Not only that, but the book is hillariour from the first page of chapter one to the back panel.