Kitty Flanagan narrates her own audiobook, which is a good thing because she doesn’t hold back when telling comical anecdotes from her surprising life. This isn’t so much an autobiography nor a memoir. It’s a collection of short stories; true incidents told in the way that only Flanagan can.
She’s is a popular Aussie comedian on stage and television but this is her first book. Here she provides relatable tales of childhood sleepovers, family, hitchhiking, internet dating, relationship break ups, travelling nightmares and even murder. There’s a hilarious recount of attending an ashram yoga camp at age eight and the oddball time she was dating a grave digger.
Like all good comedy, there’s some cautionary messages to be found in her stories, most of them boiling down to not letting yourself wind up in the same predicaments. Despite them all however, Flanagan is a sensible person with some good advice and a healthy dose of common sense and compassion slipping through the laughter.
Her conversational tone doesn’t belie her tell-it-like-it-is delivery, which is what separates her from the rest. Bridge Burning and Other Hobbies provides several hours of raucous entertainment.
The narration is well-paced and, of course, Flanagan’s timing is impeccable but she leaves you wanting more after five-and-a-half short hours of comedy brilliance. When you’re not laughing, you’re grinning like the Cheshire Cat in her year five school production of Alice in Wonderland, where she first discovered the thrill of hamming it up as the White Rabbit.
Flanagan’s appeal is universal because she is so relatable and down-to-Earth. The audiobook of Bridge Burning and Other Hobbies was released by Bolinda in July this year and is available on regular or MP3 CD directly from Bolinda Audio.
Prepare to laugh but listen to it in private if you don’t want to embarrass yourself on public transport!
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 10: 9