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Little Billy's Letters: An Incorrigible Inner Child's Correspondence with the Famous, Infamous, and Just Plain Bewildered
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Little Billy's Letters: An Incorrigible Inner Child's Correspondence with the Famous, Infamous, and Just Plain Bewildered

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  231 ratings  ·  61 reviews
What do Tori Spelling, the Church of Scientology, and Donald Rumsfeld all have in common?: They -- and many others -- have answered letters from "Little Billy", a grown man with a cache of stamps and far too much time on his hands. Funny, touching, and delightfully quirky, Billy's letters cover a broad range of subject matter:

Operation Drop-Out: Considering dropping out of
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 9th 2010 by William Morrow (first published 2010)
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3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  231 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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Apr 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Rarely does a book enter my house and then disappears from my desk so quickly that I don't get to read it first. That is what happened when I got Little Billy's Letters. First my husband grabbed it and then my son got to it. I finally had to steal it back. So here it is: a book that is suitable for the whole family. Well, only if you live in the Manson family or one like mine. You need to buy a copy for each member of family though so there is no fighting over it.

This book is pure creative geniu
"Billy" is the disguise Geerhart uses to ask favors and seemingly childlike and naive (but often insensitive and mean-spirited) questions of unsuspecting famous people ranging from political leaders to convicted serial killers. The author relies on the honesty and vulnerability of the people he targets for his "humor." He's lying, and then laughing at people and publishing their responses when they believe his lies. This is similar to "Borat" except Billy is out-and-out deceiving his victims and ...more
Apr 17, 2010 rated it liked it
I think I maybe missed the point--most of these letters were actually really well-reasoned and thoughtful, and if it had been a real child eliciting these responses it would have been funny and adorable. Instead, I don't know--since it was this old dude, I feel like now that it's been exposed, a lot of these public figures won't put the same time and effort into answering real letters. Some of them were really amazing though--George Bush completely ignoring his request, Tom Ridge not signing the ...more
Wade WDM
Jul 04, 2010 rated it liked it
This is a very, very silly book. The author pretended to be a kid writing to various people, including Charles Manson and a couple of his followers who were also in jail...actually the first chapter were all letters to people who were in jail. The part that was really weird (other than an adult guy pretending to be a little boy writing to very notorious people in jail) was that all the jail people wrote back and asked him to send them pictures of himself and give them more information about him. ...more
Carlyn Brody
Feb 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Little Billy’s Letters is a collection of prank letters written by Bill Geerhart to celebrities and infamous people. Bill Geerhart wrote the letters pretending to be a ten year old boy to learn what advice people would have for a child. He had help from a young relative who would scrawl the letters for him to make them look more authentic.

Little Billy wrote to many people regarding whether he should stay in school, what type of religion he should choose, what career he should have and many more
Sep 12, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: humor, don-t-bother
First of all, please don't spend money on this book. Look for it in your local library or borrow it from a friend. It's just not worth the $20 that this book purports to be worth. This book is a collection of letters written by and to a little boy named Billy, who is a figment of the author's imagination. The concept of this book is that Little Billy writes letters to famous people asking for their advice and then records their answers. I suppose it was meant to be funny, but I couldn't muster u ...more
Jul 25, 2011 rated it liked it
In the (mostly) pre-Internet age, Bill Geerhart had the idea to write letters to public figures as his childhood self - or perhaps as the little shit he never quite was. In any case, many of his targets wrote back, in what turns out to be an odd test of character for these celebrities, politicians, and company representatives.

Waffling corporatese makes up much of these letters, which is only amusing to the extent the letter-writers must feel ridiculous, but occasionally you get a real howler, l
Bert Edens
Apr 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Won this in a First Reads giveaway.

Imagine a young boy sending letters to famous people asking for advice. Now imagine an adult pretending to be that young man and actually sending those letters, and you have the premise for "Little Billy's Letters". I really enjoyed the letters in this book, from the letter to Charles Manson asking if Billy should drop out of school to the letters to US Supreme Court justices asking what their favorite food from McDonald's is. Some of the letters garnered repl
Apr 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Less funny than I expected (not nearly as amusing as Letters From a Nut), but also much more thought provoking!

And example: Former Manson follower and prison inmate Susan Atkins' response to "Little Billy" asking if he should quit school was so heartfelt, honest and sincere I was unsure how to process it. I did think that had the parole board read it they might have given her compassionate release in her final days. It made me question the possibilities of rehabilitation vs. punishment, etc. It
Bonnie Rock Jewell
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Bonnie by: book giveaway contest from goodreads
I liked this book alot. The title alone garanteed a very interesting read. It was neat reading the responses to little Billy's letters. I knew every single name that was mentioned in the book and even learned something new about these people/organizations. I was surprised that some of these very public figures answered Billy's letters directly and the more sincere the reply, the more I pitied them for being duped. I would love to see a follow up chapter of how the recievers of Billy's letters fe ...more
Apr 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
I never got an email saying I was a first reads winner so I was shocked when I got home tonight to find this on my doorstep. I just laughed for an hour and a half reading this book. This guy is funny and has a twisted sense of humor. The irony of some of these responses are hysterical. Other responses were, well, less amusing but I skmmed through some of the form letters. Incredibly quick read.

I will say, this unemployed 30 yr old guy obviously had a lot of time on his hands to spend so much ti
Mar 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
A very unique book! Bill Geerhart, while unemployed, decided to write to many famous faces to get their opinions on the thoughts of "little Billy". Some were interesting (The Night Stalker told him to stay in school) some were funny (Sarah Palin's dad said they couldn't go hunting in a helicopter, and LDS missionaries came to teach Little Billy the restored gospel) and some were just creeper (Charles Manson just sent him a photo of a wooden shack). Definitely something to pick up, and each lette ...more
Sep 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor, non-fiction
Fun road trip read aloud.

The author under his 3rd grade pseudonym "Billy" wrote letters to politicians, companies, celebrities, and other famous (and scary) individuals under the guise of a class project asking for advice and autographs. The author's sarcastic quips on the responses as well as his obviously liberal biographies of the letter's recipients made me have to read several aloud. Most letters were written in the 90s-early 2000s, but he does include a letter to former Governor Palin.
Apr 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: others who enjoy humor and need a good laugh
I entered goodreads giveaway and won this book. I really enjoyed this read. It was funny, entertaining and some of the responses were disturbing. This book is written by Bill Geerhart, who pulled his collection of letters together that he has written to a wide range of personalities. He represented himself as a young "Billy" and asked their personal view from staying in school, opinion of being a class president, vices, to career advise. My favorite is when his "parents" are sent a letter inform ...more
Apr 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
The book caught my eye, as I've often had a fascination with letters (once having been quite the avid letter-writer myself), and was often amused by some of the responses given by the various celebs/public figures/businesses. Some were chuckle-worthy, but mostly, the responses were solemn, sedate, and seemingly sincere. The few playful ones were the best, and, I should think, would be the most effective in both informing and delighting a young person, should they actually write any of these peop ...more
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
this book wasnt as funny as I thought it would be, but it was the perfect book to take along to the laundry-mat. Some of the letters to Billy were touching, but I was shocked that people like Charles Manson were allowed letters from a third grader! And wow, the Young Communist League allows children of 14 to join without a parent's permission; my grandson can't get an email account so he can get stuff from Yoomi-Zoomi. And at age 8 "Billy" was allowed an honorary membership and invited to take p ...more
Logophile (Heather)
Apr 04, 2010 rated it liked it
I read this expecting it to be very sardonic and funny. There are some clear moments of humor but one unexpected thing for me was that most of the letters to Billy were warm, encouraging, and sincerely kind-hearted. Some were odd, creepy, or felt like standard form letters but many felt to me as testiments to the fact that we as a race may indeed be a mess but we haven't gone completely to the dogs.
Mar 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
When I picked up this book at a museum book shop, I thought that it was a book of letters actually written by a child. Had this been the case, I think that the book might have had infinite amounts more charm and appeal. Some of the responses were hilarious, some were downright disturbing - i.e., Charles Manson's response. I did feel bad, however, for some responses that were well thought out and sweet. I enjoyed the book, but didn't consider it worth the $20 fee.
Jul 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
The premise of this book is that the author pretends to be a kid who writes to famous people asking for advice. More than just practical jokes (although Mormon missionaries did show up at the author’s bachelor apartment looking for “Little Billy”), this book reveals some interesting facets of – if you can stop laughing – well known celebrities, notorious criminals, politicians, corporate heads, religious figures, and others.
Apr 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Tracy by: Good Reads Giveaways
What a great book, and a great idea for a book. Thank you GoodReads for choosing me as a giveaway reader! I loved this book. Very cute and interesting letters from Little Billy to famous people across america. The resonses were great! A good read for sure, something to keep in the living room on the coffee table. A great conversation starter, and a good book to just sit around and talk about! Thanks again!
May 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Received this book through a goodreads giveaway. My husband picked this book up and started reading through it. I caught him laughing out loud many times. I paged through it and found some funny letters too. However, knowing that it was an adult writing the letters takes some of the funny away.
William Fuentes
Nov 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Genius. Adult writing as a child sending letters to Manson, the Nightstalker, President Bush, the Church of Scientology, and many more. "Dear Mr. Heston, My Dad likes to keep his gun next to the remote control on the cofee table. Is this safe? Please send me a coloring book, Thanks ! Billy."
Arjen Schwarz
Jan 23, 2011 rated it liked it
A funny book where the author had some pretty inventive letters he wrote while posing as a little boy. Some of the responses are really good, and at times you can only think how the recipients must have reacted when they received the innocent questions from little Billy. It's not the kind of book you'll read in one go, but reading a chapter is a good way to liven up the day.
Apr 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Quick, humorous read. Very different from anything else I've ever read. I especially liked the letters from Charles Manson...definitly something off with that man still. It was interesting to see who actually took the time to write back and who made their assistant send out a form letter response. Cute, quirky, likeable book. I would recommend it to anyone in need of a light-hearted summer read.
May 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
I find this book fun and hilarious. It's a good read and one that would get my through the day. I share some of it with my friends and they were quite delighted with it. The questions are interesting and really pokes fun at everything and the answers were unexpected but utterly delightful to see. And it's all true.
Sep 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-nf
Good for teens and adults alike. A grownup writes letters to famous people, (the pope, Charles Manson, Dr. Laura etc.) pretending to be a precocious little kid. Collects his letters and thier responses. Funny!
May 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: eye-roller
The first few letters were kind of funny. But after a while, it was kind of like a four year old telling the same joke over and over because you laughed the first time. There wasn't enough different content in the letters to keep the humor going after the first few.
S. Renee
Jun 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
Filled with a few fun facts and a few funny responses mostly I was left with a pang for all the wasted time of the businesses, government officials, and organizations that took the time to respond to the phony letters..... Time is precious and nobody likes getting duped.
Jul 15, 2010 added it
I had an issue with the deception of the letters; I didn't think it was that cute to lie to folks like he did. The letters from Charles Manson were freaky. Hands down the best response was from Robert Shapiro!
May 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
I got this one for free through the Goodreads First Reads program. It's not one that I would have purchased, probably, but it was a fun read and there were more than a few actual laugh out loud sections.
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