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Bridge Burning and Other Hobbies

In this laugh out loud look at life thought the eyes on one of Australia’s much love comediennes, Kitty Flanagan, we are introduced to a slice of life that has come about by simply being the person she was born to be, someone who loves to see the funny, idiotic and outrageous aspects that do go to make up everyone’s life; though perhaps not in such a colourful a manner as Flanagan’s.

A self-confessed lover of attention from a young age, actually a very young age, she was born to be someone who would perform on the a stage, but as she says, she was late coming into the comedy scene, because she was still trying to discover where she really did fit in the world and what she wanted to do with her life.

Abortive attempts at university, teaching, copywriting and crayfish processing, where she finally found herself in the cold room until she agreed to stop talking, saw her reviewing her ambitions. Several failed love affairs also called for a bit of revision.

Having travelled widely as a result of her latest reincarnation she finally found a small niche in the world of stand-up comedy, as comedian in training, which saw her performing in Singapore at the entry point to a very popular karaoke bar upstairs. As with many of the events in her life, this also came to a colourful finale as she was deleted!

Flanagan tells many tales about her life experiences leaving many of the sacred cows of the world out in the open for further exploration. Internet dating for older women, doing drugs, and what happens when you get it totally wrong, trying to find the right man in your life, and getting egged to name just a few.

Hitchhiking was something that was common way back when the world was a safer place, but as she discovered it was more by good luck and the intervention of a very sensible older woman, that she did not take the first lift offered by a car load of dubious young men heading north, but the one organised by her good Samaritan with a well-respected truck driver! She lived to tell the tale.

Part Three is a revelation as there is a miscellany of fascinating facts mixed up in The Grave Diggers Wife and other bits and bobs considered as the flotsam of a life well lived and enjoyed. Particular attention should be paid to the tale titled I love a bidet, for all of us who have often times marvelled at this wonderful appliance and then used the standard model!

As all good comediennes do, she uses the art of everyday living to build a solid platform from which to entertain, often wonders why someone who lacks self-confidence, by her own admission, but is confident on stage has been so successful and has finally after years of analysis decided that it is no big deal really. Perhaps that is the secret to her success!

Rounding out her series of very enjoyable tales is the one about her father and the possums, something we can all relate to either doing or being involved in something similar and if we can’t, perhaps it should be added to the ‘to do’ list of life.

Billed as a collection of cautionary tales, Bridges Burning and other hobbies is certainly that, but it is also a slightly wry look at life, people, herself and the world that surrounds us; all the many things that go into the making of a very talented and much loved comedienne.

AuthorKitty Flanagan
PublisherAllen and Unwin
DistributorAllen and Unwin
ReleasedMarch 2018