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The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid Author:Bill Bryson From one of the most beloved and bestselling authors in the English language, a vivid, nostalgic and utterly hilarious memoir of growing up in the middle of the United States in the middle of the last century. A book that delivers on the promise that it is "laugh-out-loud funny." — Some say that the first hints that Bill Bryson was not ... more »of Planet Earth came from his discovery, at the age of six, of a woollen jersey of rare fineness. Across the moth-holed chest was a golden thunderbolt. It may have looked like an old college football sweater, but young Bryson knew better. It was obviously the Sacred Jersey of Zap, and proved that he had been placed with this innocuous family in the middle of America to fly, become invisible, shoot guns out of people's hands from a distance, and wear his underpants over his jeans in the manner of Superman.
Bill Bryson's first travel book opened with the immortal line, "I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to." In this hilarious new memoir, he travels back to explore the kid he once was and the weird and wonderful world of 1950s America. He modestly claims that this is a book about not very much: about being small and getting much larger slowly. But for the rest of us, it is a laugh-out-loud book that will speak volumes -- especially to anyone who has ever been young.« less
Great book. He has such a wonderful sense of humor and "everyday guy" persona. Bryson's writing is always engaging and easy to read. I liked it so much it may be one of those rare books I actually read again.
I am a child of the fifties. In fact, the author and I were born in the same year, in the same WEEK (I'm 4 days older). So I lived through many of the same events as Bill Bryson did. But boy, can he find humor in the most mundane things. Cottage cheese for instance. My contacts were floating away in my eyes as I laughed to the point of tears as he discussed cottage cheese of all things.
These little slices of life, growing up in the fifties as par of ...wonder of wonders... a FUNCTIONAL (as opposed to dysfunctional) family brought back so many wonderful memories. Most of his stories would be relevant to anyone growing up in the US no matter what era, but those of us born in or near the 50's will find ourselves nodding and laughing as we read this wonderful book. I loved it.
This is a low-key but delightful look back at Bryson's growing up years in Des Moines, Iowa in the 1950s. It's not as ambitious as some of his earlier books, like A Walk in the Woods or In a Sunburnt Country, but there are some laugh-out-loud bits, and lots of little details and trivia that paint a picture of life in a simpler time. If you enjoyed his other books, you'll probably get a chuckle out of this one, too.
This was an enjoyable read of life growing up in the 50s and the way people thought. Sometimes it was laugh out loud funny. Having grown up in the 60s and that simpler time of sheltered childhood, I found it very entertaining.
Very clever book. You will have lots of laugh out loud moments and everyone you live with will get tired of you reading several paragraphs at a time. My 25 year old son wants to read it because he can't believe my stories about 50's television etc...
Kathy W. reviewed The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid on
I loved this book! It was an incredibly funny and affectionate look at all things 50's, and very nostalgic for a time in our history that we will never see again. Overall very entertaining and enjoyable. I have since ordered several more of Bill Bryson's books because I love his writing style.