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211 Things a Bright Boy Can Do [Hardcover]

Tom Cutler
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 Sep 2006

211 Things a Bright Boy Can Do is the essential life-skills handbook for bright boys of every age, featuring all the subjects they don’t teach you at school or Scouts.

If you reached adulthood without learning the exact rules of conkers, or how to take off your pants without removing your trousers, or how to put a ship into a bottle, this is the book for you. Divided into handy sections, this fascinating volume contains easy-to-follow tutorials and priceless tips on:

• How to Be A Real Man – including how to mow the perfect lawn and how to fight a bull – with elegance;
• Weird Science and Sideshow Physics – spoon-bending, teach yourself mindreading, and how to lie on a bed of nails;
• Bracing Outdoor Activities – cowboy ropecraft, how to punt without looking a fool, how to head a ball, and how to make a boomerang come back;
• Militant Cookery – how to make your own pickled eggs, how to spit-roast and dress a suckling pig, how to make a proper pork pie;
• Parlour diversions – shadow puppets, easy tunes for the glass harmonica, and how to make a pinhole camera;
• The Human Body – how to make your hair stand on end, how to dissect a man, sumo wrestling for the beginner;
• Those Useful Subjects Not Taught at School – how to interrogate an uncooperative suspect, how to win money in a casino, and how to blag your way in philosophy, science, art, and psychology;
• Gags, cons and practical jokes – classic old and boggling new tricks, juggling, and unusual party pieces for the classroom, pub and restaurant table.

Plus much, much more.

This volume won’t improve your morals or make you smell nice, but it will entertain and inform. So if you’ve always wanted to know how to tear a phone book in half, how to identify airline insignia, or the essential moves of Morris Dancing, this is the book you’ve been waiting for.

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211 Things a Bright Boy Can Do + A Gentleman's Bedside Book: Entertainment for the Last Fifteen Minutes of the Day
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Entertainment (18 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007228511
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007778430
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 20.5 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 274,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tom Cutler is the son of a sex therapist and a sometime Dominican friar. He began his career with numerous false starts, as a teacher, set designer, speechwriter, printer, toyshop manager, advertising copywriter, lyricist, wine waiter, City drone, puppet-maker, magazine editor, radio reporter, cartoonist, and ghost writer for Cardinal Hume. Tom is the author of several international humour bestsellers, including A Gentleman's Bedside Book and the Amazon Number-1 blockbuster, 211 Things a Bright Boy Can Do. He is also the author of Slap and Tickle: the Unusual History of Sex and the People who Have it. His work has been translated into more languages than you can shake a stick at.

Tom's writing has appeared on BBC radio and in online and print newspapers including the Guardian, the Mail, the Huffington Post, and the Telegraph. He writes a regular column for the Chap magazine and is an experienced broadcaster.

Tom is a member of the Magic Circle and a committee member of the Handlebar Club. He lives at the seaside and eats a diet rich in mince.

Product Description


‘Silly – but very funny.’
The Sunday Times

‘A witty, tongue-in-cheek manual.’
Mail on Sunday

'Those who enjoyed Conn and Hal Iggulden's hugely successful Dangerous Books For Boys would be well advised to invest in this beauty too because it's every bit
as delightful.'
Hampstead & Highgate Express

'…quirky and humorous…' Cork Evening Echo

About the Author

The son of a sex therapist and a sometime Dominican friar, Tom spent his early manhood in a desultory study of Fine Art and Philosophy at a cloistered university. He began his professional career with a number of false starts as a teacher, set designer, doublebass player, speechwriter, printer, toyshop manager, lyricist, wine waiter, City consultant, puppet maker, typographer, magazine editor, bandleader, portrait painter, radio reporter, cartoonist, and ghost writer for Cardinal Hume, before leaving the rat-race to spend more time with his slippers.
Tom has written two acclaimed song books for children and his original ditty ‘Pigs on Holiday’ has been performed live, with actions, by Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein. He is a practising magician and member of the Magic Circle and in his spare time enjoys murdering Bach on the guitar.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
77 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reminder of less complicated times. 10 Nov 2006
Originally purchased because I had enjoyed the Dangerous Book for Boys and I thought this would be a good follow up. I wanted to get some knowledge and activities, along the lines of the things my father passed on to me when I was a (usually) bored child, to do with my kids.

Unless an activity involves electricity and an enormous initial outlay it seems children don't get exposed to it any more so some simpler things were required.

This book contains educational stuff, how to build a good campfire, adult stuff, lift a man above your head with one arm and kids stuff like conker rules. Better than the Dangerous Book for Boys (I might need grammatical tuition, but I don't want it) and sneaks up on you with things that make you laugh out loud.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fab facts for big boys! 28 Dec 2006
By Jezza
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this for my son for Christmas and wondered how many grandparents purchased it for a younger child - the cover would indicate a likely age range from around 10ish? The content however is more 15+! My son was delighted - how to estimate a bra size and make a balloon model of a scrotum were his immediate delights! A great book and one of his favourite presents but if you are buying this, be aware of the adult content and don't give to anyone likely to be offended!
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86 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spiffing Fun for Boys and Girls of All Ages! 10 Oct 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What, I wonder, was the original motivation for all those boys' self help books of yore? To inculcate skills useful to King and Empire whilst providing a wholesome diversions from idle self-fiddling during the ennui of the long hols, perhaps. ('The devil finds work...' and all that!)

Whatever... In '211 Things a Bright Boy Can Do', Tom Cutler certainly fulfils his aims to amuse, amaze and inform. The activities he covers range from the downright daft, such as How to Light a Fart, to the really useful, like how to tell if someone really fancies you and How to Make a Pantograph. (Myself, I've always wanted to know how to make a Woolton pie - now I can get baking.) And he does all this, not in a pale pastiche of the Boy's Own Paper but in an up-to-the-minute style which is both extremely funny and good humoured. It's good fun. The instructions are clear, too.

If you're a bright boy of any age - or a girl, as bright as they get, even - make it 212 things and buy this book. You'll enjoy it. I did.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be a Man Again! 23 May 2007
This book is awesome!

It has 160 chapters with more than 200 tricks that can be done with anything available at your disposal.

It talks about creating a Compass by just using your Digital Watch. Unbelievable isn't it?

It talks about how to find size of a women bra.

It talks about how to find the best queue to stand in. It need not be the shortest queue. It depends on Age, Number of People, Items in bag, etc.

It talks about weird stuffs, like how to walk on coal, how to fire your fart, etc.

I give it 5 stars because it is yet another survivor series book.

Its a must have copy if you dont have one in the same series.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My new favourite book 26 Dec 2006
I just received this book for Christmas and I have been unable to put it down for several hours. It reminds me in parts of the "Worst Case Scenario" books but it's so much more practical.

This book beats what I have seen of "The Dangerous Book for Boys" hands down as it's content reaches so much further, it is more useful and it goes into more detail.

I highly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentlemans Bedside Companion 23 Dec 2011
Just could not resist previewing this before wrapping it up as a present for someone - and did I laugh!!! Brilliant!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure trove of tricks, tips and tutorials. 29 Dec 2009
In some ways a book is one of the worst Christmas gifts. Unless it is something you specifically ask for, the likelihood is that it will be put on a shelf and forgotten about. Such was the fate of '211 Things a Bright Boy Can Do' in my household.

Currently between books, I recently pulled this book off the shelf almost at random during a moment of boredom. I'm so glad I did as '211 Things a Bright Boy Can Do' is a veritable treasure trove of tricks, tips and tutorials - many of which I've since put into practice (the matchstick tricks are my particular favourite). Well-written and very funny, this book will amuse and amaze in equal measure. I recommend this book to any potential practical jokers and bar room performers as well as aspiring shysters and showmen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great idea for busy boys, both young and old 9 July 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My grandson and his dad loved this
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