The longer (but still amazing) review
Joe is rich, well not just rich, he’s stinking rich. How stinking rich? Well, if being rich was smelly then Joe would be stinkier than a gold plated, diamond encrusted, one-hundred-and-one-year-oldCamembert cheese, hidden in a used football sock at the bottom of dog poo bin, in the town of Smellyafartchester.
He live’s in a mansion so big even his en suite bathroom has an en suite. He has everything money can buy, but the only thing he doesn’t have is a friend. So Joe asks his dad, who made his fortune by inventing the world’s most popular type of toilet roll, if he could go to an ordinary school. At Joe’s posh school everyone knows him as the Bumfresh boy, and he thinks if he can go undercover at his new school he might be able to make friends. Well, let’s just say that things don’t quite go to plan, and it’s pretty hard to keep the fact you are the world’s riches boy a secret.
The problem is that Joe and his dad think that money can solve everything. Need a new car, buy ten. Want a break, buy a new private jet. Fancy a game of football, buy the entire Manchester United team. Don’t have a friend, buy one. Ah, it doesn’t quite work like that.
Billionaire Boy is a book about how money and fame can change people, as well as how it makes people act differently towards you if you’re the rich one. This might not sound like the most interesting topic for a kids’ book, but it is in the hands of David Walliams it is both touching and very, very funny. Funnier than a fart in a spacesuit. In fact, there are more bum-jokes than you could shake a loo-roll at.
You’ll fall in love with the characters and not just Joe and his misguided dad, Mr Spud. The supporting characters are great too, with a pair of bullying twins, a dinner lady who has quite an extraordinary talent for making vomit inducing school dinners, and a shop owner Raj who is (how should I put this?… ) industrious and wise.
This is a great book, probably aimed mostly at 8-10 year olds, but as a wrinkly, old, ancient, basically nearly dead thirty-nine-year-old I loved it too.
Billionaire Boy is published by HarperCollinsChildren’sBooks and is available here.
Since beginning his publishing career in 2008, David Walliams has taken the children’s literary world by storm. His sixth book DEMON DENTIST was published in September 2013 and went straight to number one in the bestseller charts.
Previous bestsellers RATBURGER and GANGSTA GRANNY were also immediate number one hits, and the paperback of GANGSTA GRANNY dominated the UK charts in 2013, remaining at number one for a colossal 22 weeks.
David is currently the fastest growing children’s author in the UK. Following the Christmas 2012 success and BAFTA nomination of the BBC adaptation of his second book, MR STINK, starring Hugh Bonneville, GANGSTA GRANNY was aired in 2013 over Christmas. Walliams’ books have achieved unprecedented critical acclaim and it comes as no surprise that countless broadsheet reviewers have compared him to his all-time hero, Roald Dahl.
Reviewed by Daniel Soule
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