Quite a few years ago a secondary school teacher-colleague in New Zealand was teaching Roald Dahl’s autobiographical venture “Boy” to a class of boys. If you haven’t read it, it’s a wonderful book!
The teacher lamented that there was no New Zealand equivalent that she could afford to buy a class set of to teach her class. So I wrote this for her, and told her she could photocopy copies as much as she liked. The students enjoyed it, although I make no claim to being Dahl’s peer!
Those who have read “Bits of a Boyhood” sometimes wondered if they liked the book because they know me personally, or is it the writing itself that has appeal. I leave it for the reader to decide.
The autobiography is available online for free.
Below are several reviews.
The late Cynthia:
Bruce Goodman’s Bits of a Boyhood is not the usual format of an e-book. With his own creative formatting, it was a pleasure to read on my laptop.
The book is just plain wonderful. I laughed and I cried. The point of view is very endearing – that of a young boy with the soul of a poet and a quizzical, quirky outlook on life. I would recommend it to everyone.
I have never liked reading electronically, though many have told me the kindle is eye friendly – I just like books! I like the weight of them and the smell of them and the feel of them. I like reading covers and back covers and author profiles. I like rifling the pages and fiddling with my book mark which is tactile and friendly in my hands when the story is winding down or I am winding down …
Despite that, late last year I spent some time reading an on-line biography written by Bruce Goodman. Covering the fifties and sixties and set in rural New Zealand the story is told compassionately and humorously of growing up in a large, rambunctious, catholic family. I know much of the era and the areas, and the descriptions resounded strongly for me. The pathos and humour of a boy sometimes struggling to understand the complex world of older siblings and grown-ups was a delightfully innocent read. Do wander over and have a read. It’s free and it’s delightful.
This morning I sat in the dentist’s waiting room whilst Jackie kept an appointment. During this time I finished reading Bruce Goodman’s ‘Bits of a Boyhood’. Given the amazing number of spurious dental appointments young Bruce wangled, this was probably quite appropriate. This autobiographical work must have been hidden away for at least half a century. No-one could possibly take us right into the mind of a boy at various stages of life unless he was that boy – then. Read it. On line. Or downloaded. It is a must for entertainment, for history, and for atmosphere. Oh, the memories it stirred in me.
I’ve just finished reading ‘Bits of a Boyhood’, by the way: an interesting insight into your youth and an enjoyable read. Did you ever write a follow up to this?