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Bread Bags & Bullies: Surviving the '80s

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  49 reviews
It’s the winter of 1984. Twelve-year old Herbie and his two brothers—Wally and Cockroach—are enjoying the mayhem of winter break when a late Nor’easter blows through New England, trapping their quirky family in the house. The power goes out and playing Space Invaders to AC DC’s Back in Black album is suddenly silenced—forcing them to use their twisted imaginations in beati ...more
1st, 288 pages
Published November 19th 2019 by Luna Bella Press
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Average rating 4.43  · 
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A walk down memory lane, reliving the simpler times, recalling the signs of times, smiling, cringing and understanding! That’s the magic of Steven Manchester’s BREAD BAGS & BULLIES, the latest in his heartwarming tales of family, love, loyalties and life situations told with real attention to details. Embrace the unbridled fantasies and realities of middleclass youth, siblings who will fight each other, but never allow the outside world to come between them.

Relive the memories of childhood throu
Kathleen Kelly
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"So many channels and nothing to watch" I chuckled at this because I remember those days clicking the remote, I also remember the days when there were no remotes, us kids were the remotes.

Steven Manchester has done it again with a very readable and relatable book. The main character Herbie is a grown man and starts thinking of his past. So the story of the three boys depicted in the book begins. Herbie 12 years old, his older brother Wally and younger brother Cockroach, appear to be very close
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Bread Bags and Bullies is a coming-of-age story about three brothers, Herbie, Wally, and Cockroach and takes place during a February vacation in 1984. It made me laugh throughout, and conveyed the importance of family and the people in our childhood. Life is full of memories, but perhaps it’s the childhood memories that are the best, and help to shape who we are today.

In Steven Manchester’s signature style, the writing is simple, flowing, and easy to read, but most importantly, a feel good read
Nov 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Having grown up in the 80’s, Bread Bags and Bullies by Steven Manchester had me constantly smiling at nodding at the similarities. Although it was me and my sister, and I don’t have any brothers, we still fought as hard as they did. One time I broke my glasses and another time I ended up losing a toenail after one of our fights… and I don’t recall Manchester talking about knives being thrown at a sibling. Those were the days! If my sister and I were growing up now there’s a good chance our paren ...more
Cheryl (Collier)
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it

Lucky enough to receive a pre-release e-copy of this book, I immediately began reading and laughing my way through it. This was not my time of growing up but that of my children. With a cross-country truck driving daddy and an office working mom, my girls had it much easier than the boys in the story. Huge back-combed hair; staying up until 4:00 a.m. watching music videos on weekends (yes, we had cable tv most of the time); happily eating boxed macaroni and powdered cheese; being forced to clean
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of three young brothers trying to survive the 1980’s. It’s 1984 and the kids are off for a week of winter recess, much to their mother’s dismay. Each brother is different and each one is going through their own difficult times.

The narrator of this story is the middle son, a day dreamer thinking about a girl he’s a little more than interested in at school. However, this week off from school is about being with his brothers and going through all the fears they experience in life.
Nov 15, 2019 rated it liked it
This novel certainly took me down memory lane to the mid 1980s. The family story of three boys bickering, farting, playing Atari, and conniving was a bit of a shock for this reader having had all sisters. I wasn't quite ready for the foul language either. At times I felt like I was wandering down the aisles of a store with all the brand names. Pop didn't just watch TV, he watched the Zenith, for example. Ma didn't just smoke a cigarette but a Carlton 100. And the humor? Well, the boys laughed lo ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
“Bread Bags & Bullies” by Steven Manchester is a well written story about three brothers surviving the Winter of 1984.
I love this authors books due to the local flavor he incorporates into his writing. He brings you back in time with nostalgic events and places. You will definitely be turning the pages at high speed.
Mr. Manchester, knows how to warm the cockles of your heart while simultaneously making you laugh out loud with his humorous storytelling.
This family will remain with you long
Angie Mangino
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Bread Bags and Bullies
By Steven Manchester
Reviewed by Angie Mangino
Rating: 5 stars

Chapter one begins in the present day.

“So many channels and not a thing to watch, I thought, my thumb clicking away on the sleek remote control. Back in my day, we only had three TV stations and those were always … I chuckled. ‘Wow, when did I actually become my father?’”

As his mind “flashed back to a simpler time … the 1980s” he is torn from his daydream with the scream “Stop it, you’re hurting me!”

“…My two bo
Mar 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you were a boy in the 80's and had brothers, you would probably relate to this story.  I am a reader of Steven Manchester and I do enjoy his books.  He has a way of making his characters feel real  ( like someone you know).  

I enjoyed being taken back in time. It gave me an inside perspective of my brothers lives as they were growing up.  This was an easy read, as Steven's writing flows.

I still think Goodnight, Brian is my favorite Manchester book.  If you enjoy this one and haven't read his
Mar 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book after hearing rave reviews. I was underwhelmed. Too many times the author just throws random pop-culture references. I realize it’s supposed to be about being a kid in 84 but it felt like he thought ‘oh I need to add a little something to remind the reader. Let’s see what’s in the bag.’ Overall not a bad story or overall point about how us X-ers rule :). Just hard to slog through.
Angie ~aka Reading Machine~
What a trip down memory lane was this book. Hearing phrases like "doy" and "gag with a spoon" let me remember all the fun to be had during the '80s. Steven Manchester knows his stuff. I'd like to thank him for opportunity read another of his books. He has a great sense of time and balance that not too many authors have when writing books. I highly recommend this wonderful book.
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulously written!

Exceptionally precise imagery of my generation’s childhood. I’d recommend to all boomers; read this, it will make you nostalgic for simpler times. Maybe even thankful for growing up when we did.
Debbie Callahan
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It brought me right back to my teenage years in the 1980s, and reminded me of some everyday things that I had honestly forgotten. Manchester's humor made reading this book a fun trip down memory lane.
Regina Shea
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick read

Great 80’s references. Reminded me of my children, who grew up in that time. Keeps you engaged. Give it a try
Caroline victory
Totally rad- and heartwarming! A must read if u too survived the 80s- hilarious!🤘♥️👍
Victoria Brinius
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love the 80's and this book was a blast from the past! I loved all the games that were mentioned from a Magic 8 Ball to Nintendo! I loved the songs that were on the radio! I loved that there were connections to my childhood. I never did the bread bag thing, but I did have a garbage bag around my foot cast. I also had a store down the street from us that we got milk and eggs from for the weekend. There were 4 of us growing up and we definitely had a lot of banter like Wally and his brothers.Mos ...more
Ann Grealish Rust
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great read. Laughed outloud occasionally.
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every once in a while an author comes along who writes novels that are so powerfully compelling, poignant, thought provoking, and nostalgic, that they pull at the heartstrings and stir the soul. For me, that author is Steven Manchester and his latest novel, Bread Bags & Bullies: Surviving The '80s.

Bread Bags And Bullies: Surviving The '80s is a delightful coming-of-age tale that follows the crazy antics of brothers: Herbie, Wally and Alphonse "Cockroach" during their week long winter break in Fe
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Book Review:

Bread Bags & Bullies~ Surviving the '80s by author, Steven Manchester, is a terrific story of three brothers who will guide you on a nostalgic, coming-of-age journey with its bumps, bruises and boyhood mayhem. A memoir with fictional embellishment that will bring you smack dab into a time we can all relate to...the '80s.

This family of characters, with their fears, their courage and their hopes, will have you laughing and shedding a few tears along the way as they draw you into their
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
‘Some things never change’ – journey back to the 80s

This reviewer became acquainted with the very special novels of Steven Manchester with his novel `The Unexpected Storm: The Gulf War Legacy' and many short stories that deal with one man's view of the universe in a lighter tone. That followed with his TWELVE MONTHS, GOODNIGHT, BRIAN, ROCKIN' CHAIR, GOODNIGHT, GOOSEBERRY ISLAND, PRESSED PENNIES, THE CHANGING SEASON - each of which allowed entry into his ability to address end of life situations,
Viviane Crystal
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Those who grew up in the 1980’s are going to love this novel which describes the family of Herbie, Wally and Cockroach, three brothers who loved and tormented each other while growing up. They grow up in a strict family where the rules are definite although somewhat out of the box of today’s norms. Steven Manchester is uniquely talented to capture the essences of a person (or family’s) strengths and weaknesses that is real and without artifice. It’s funny as well!

They’re definitely addicted to t
Brian Michaud
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Manchester tells a tale that both adult and young adult readers can enjoy. Having grown up in the 1980s, this book hits home. The story brought me back to my childhood--even right down to the smell of my lunch box. Outside of the technology that we enjoy today, many things haven’t changed: the threat of bullies, the enjoyment of video game binging, the ups and downs of winter weather, and the simplicity of our first loves and the way we agonized over what they might think of us. I also loved all ...more
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-read
If you follow my blog, you know I am a huge fan of Steven Manchester's work and have read many of his books. One thing that I wonder when I start turning the pages of his latest book, in this case, BREAD BAGS & BULLIES, will it be another exceptional read as all his past books. I'll let you know!!!

I assume, with most parents, there comes a day when we all realize that we sound just like our parents when speaking to our own children. That's exactly what happens with Herbie, as he gets out of his
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Bread Bags & Bullies: Surviving the ’80s was a fantastic, heart felt, laugh out loud read. Steven has a personal way of writing that is honest, fresh and down to earth. You feel as though you are right there experiencing every moment with the family. It reminded me of all the good laughs you have with friends over the good old days.

The ’80s were definitely a simpler time (I was a very young child growing up but I still remember the endless days of being outside until it was dark and those bread
Shannon L. Gonzalez
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A storied time-warp transporting you back to 1984.

Bread Bags & Bullies: Surviving the 80’s
By Steven Manchester

Author Steven Manchester takes the reader back to 1984, New England. The story is told through twelve-year old Herbie’s perspective as mayhem ensues during the winter break. Herbie’s older brother Wally and his younger brother, Alphonse “Cockroach”, and parents endure a record breaking Nor’easter, trapping the area’s residents inside.

The story begins as adult Herbie deals with his old
Patty Seitz
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was expecting a good book, as Mr. Manchester is a great author. What I wasn't expecting is how much I enjoyed this read. I grew up a few decades behind the 80s and under different circumstances, but what this book did for me was bring back memories from my growing up days--some good, some bad, but they were all there. So if you can't relate to the 80s as part of your childhood, don't let that stop you from reading this book. It may very well entice you to think back to your kid days and maybe ...more
Martin Maenza
Oct 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary, fiction
Everyone who knows me and knows this blog understands how big of an influence the 1980's were in my life. For a bulk of this decade, I was in high school and college. The music, the TV shows, the comics, and everything are touchstones for me. So, when I heard about my Twitter author-friend Steven Manchester's upcoming book, I was very excited to check it out.

Bread Bags and Bullies: Surviving the '80's is all about the memories from a decade gone by. After breaking up an altercation between his t
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much that I did not want to finish it because there would be no more of it! I am not a child of the 1980s but my son was. He was eight years old in 1980 and well acquainted with bullies at school who demanded his lunch money, the Duke of Hazzard and the Magic Eight Ball.

Those years were difficult ones for me. I had to work long hours at the telephone company. Good memories were brought back to me by this book and there were stories in this book that do not stay in one time
Dec 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Okay, so here's the thing...
...the story itself was GOOD and filled with all the beautiful memories and wonderful messages that readers have come to expect from this author's work...but I need to insert a BUT.

While I enjoyed the nostalgia (hello...child of the 80's here...well, newborn at least), the characters, and the trips down memory lane, I felt like there was something missing. You see, in his previous works, there was always a prominent HERE AND NOW storyline tethered to all the mental wa
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Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers, Twelve Months and The Rockin' Chair. He is also the author of the award-winning novel, Goodnight, Brian, as well as the critically-acclaimed novel, Pressed Pennies, A Christmas Wish (Kindle exclusive), Wilbur Avenue (novella), Just in Time (novella), The Thursday Night Club (novella, released November 2014) and Gooseberry Island (novel, releas ...more

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