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.
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.
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.
From his point of view of a boy in the mid century last, this one hits home(some folks homes more often than others). It was a wonderful trip down nostalgia lane on a bike (one speed) and this one went quickly--poof, it was over. But a nice mind vacation.
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.
Bill Bryson has such a way with words. He can take a place I never lived in and a time I never lived through and make me feel right at home there. He's absolutely hilarious and I love taking these "trips" with him in this book and his travel writing too!
I haven't read this book for a number of years now, but I can still remember specific passages that make me laugh out loud :)
This is a laugh out loud book that depicts the inner workings of a child's mind as he grows up in Iowa in the 1950s. Guaranteed to take you way back and remember what it was like to be a kid. Bill Bryson is a NY Times Bestseller...and for good reason. The guy is FUNNY!
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.
Bill Bryson at his best. A hilarious look at growing up in the Midwest in the 1950s. Pee-your-pants funny. If you do read this in a public place, people are likely to think you're deranged. They're just jealous. I want Bil Bryson to be my friend.
Jerry B. reviewed The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid on
For me the book was a pleasurable read but not a compelling read. Most of the younger men (about Bryson's age) in my book group would have rated it a four. Perhaps living through the period of the book but also being ten years older contributed to my attitude. Bryson's insights and general commentary on the times are insightful and expanded my memory and understanding of 1950-1970.
I did not know waht to think when I started reading, but soon found myself enjoying this book tremendously. It is a hilarious story of life in the 1950's in Des Moines Iowa. While Bill Bryson story telling will make you laugh until you cry, what makes the book so darn funny is that I was able to relate his childhood to mine, and realized that growing up 50's and growing up in the 70's (as I did) was not all that different, especially the parenting. You will fall in love with this book.
Bill Bryson grew up in Des Moines and moved to England as a young man, where he has spent the majority of his adult life. His time in England doesn't feature in this book, which focuses solely on his childhood, but it does have a heavy influence on his speaking voice. Bryson reads this audiobook himself, and his native midwestern dialect ("newscaster English," as we linguists like to call it) combined with twenty plus years of British influence has created a spectacularly lovely idiolect. Even if the book itself were not wonderful, which it is, simply listening to Bryson read aloud is an absolute delight. Happily, the book is also excellent. Fans of Bryson's trademark dry wit and outlandish tales told in deadpan fashion will find this book similarly hilarious. I literally laughed out loud many times while listening, sometimes eliciting strange looks from passersby as I listened on my ipod while walking down the street.
This is one of my all-time favorite books. Bill Bryson is so funny. I laughed out loud constantly at the stories of his family life and childhood. Then, I went out and bought several copies to give to friends and family.
How do you recall your childhood? I am sure there are lots of stories you can tell. Are they cute? funny? nostalgic?
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is a memoir from writer Bill Bryson where he recounts his childhood through his memories. It is a look at Des Moines, IA through the 1950's; a place where even the bad memories turn out right.
There are laughs and nostalgic sighs to share throughout this book. The Audio CD is read by the author, and while it covers topics typical to teens in the later part, even my middle schoolers insisted I play it while they were in the car. Many of the stories contain swear words, but none that most kids will not have already heard at school.
This book is great and as a child of the fifties, I can so relate. It had me in stiches and I will keep it and re read over and over.State fair fun, mimeograph aromas, Bumper cars and atomic toilets among the many funny episodes with he and his merry band of kids in KIDS WORLD.I cant praise it enough, but if you would like a step back and to chuckle aloud while your reading it, I recommend it.READ IT AND LAUGH!
Jackson B. reviewed The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid on
i really enjoyed the book which arrived in perfect condition ..............i got so caught up in the book and Bill Brysons way of writing that i forgot to respond when i received it ....thanks for the reminder..........