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Bright Side

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I got my copy of this at a book-signing in my hometown. It was a big event by local standards, billed as a conversation between Idle and Naperville’s own Bob Odenkirk (of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul fame). It was quite an enjoyable evening. Idle, who is now 75 years old, is still razor sharp and can still deliver the laughs. I’ll remember that next time I’m chewing on life’s gristle. From international bestselling author KIM HOLDEN comes an inspiring, life-changing story about the power of love in all its forms, having the courage to live life to the fullest, and always looking on the bright side.

Bright Side — Inspiration. Creativity. Wonder. Bright Side — Inspiration. Creativity. Wonder.

The book is also a little more nuanced in character than the first one. More is hinted at about the director, so she becomes something more than just a “no” party pooper. Hendrik himself finds a new friend that reveals new facets about his person as he shows the reader that it is possible to never stop growing as a person. a Canadian journalist recounts in humorous and heartfelt ways one of her toughest years. In 2015 she got divorced, dealt with major house repairs, lost both parents and reconciled with a childhood friend after twenty years. Lots of relatable emotional stuff for anyone who has had to deal with caring for older parents and learning what life is like without them. Very similar vibes to Jane Christmas's Open House.Plenty of names dropped - “"Germaine (Greer) had come through the Footlights door with Clive James, and we became friends. He introduced me to his poetry and Brett Whiteley drawings, and I observed his unceasing pursuit of the female. His father, too, had not returned from the war. I found I unconsciously bonded with several people like that, including Germaine and Harry Nilsson." As you can tell from the title, the main achievement of his was the song, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life that he wrote for Monty Pythons’ Life of Brian. It has become a part of life around the world. It is the number one piece played at funerals in the UK, for example. Sports fans sing it loud when their team is losing. What would Spamalot have been without it? It’s the Greensleeves of the 21st century.

Bright Side by Kim Holden - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Review: Bright Side by Kim Holden - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle

When chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble, give a whistle. And always look on the bright side of death.The chapter titled, “KEDS”, a combination of musings and memories on shopping, is practically worth buying the book!


Like many Americans in the eighties, I became aware of Monty Python in college. Having grown up in a rather humorless, economically depressed small town, we weren’t cultured enough for British humor. Eric Idle’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life is a fun, but at times poignant book. C. S. Lewis once wrote somewhere that biographies are most interesting at the beginning, and I think he was correct. Idle had a somewhat tragic childhood, growing up during World War Two, in which he lost his father. His writing sweeps you in and makes you wonder what lies behind fame. Tragedy often lies behind great comedians. To be funny you often have to be sad.

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Hendrik Groen, pseudonym of Peter de Smet, is a Dutch writer. He is the author of the book Pogingen iets van het leven te maken: Het geheime dagboek van Hendrik Groen, 83¼ jaar ( The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83¼ Years Old) published in 2014. That book was awarded in 2016 with the Audience Award for the Dutch Book. The sequel Zolang er leven is: het tweede geheime dagboek van Hendrik Groen, 85 jaar ( On the Bright Side: The New Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen) appeared in 2016. Reading this wonderful book made me laugh and cry at the same time, and strangely enough gave me somewhat more hope for the (near) future... After all, I'm not much younger than Hendrik. For years it was unknown who was hiding behind the pseudonym. This led to speculation about who it could be. Names from Sylvia Witteman to Arnon Grunberg were mentioned. Both De Volkskrant and NRC Handelsblad revealed almost simultaneously in 2016 that Peter de Smet was 62-year-old. De Smet responded with the words that 'he is not waiting for publicity' and 'has no sense in the fuss about fame'.

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