Facebook
Skip to main content
PBS logo
 
 
Want fewer ads?

Search - The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

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 »
Info icon
ISBN-13: 9780767919371
ISBN-10: 0767919378
Publication Date: 9/25/2007
Pages: 224
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 156

3.9 stars, based on 156 ratings
Publisher: Broadway
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

bighairtexan avatar reviewed The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid on + 31 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
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.
jscrappy avatar reviewed The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid on + 59 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
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.
reviewed The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid on
Helpful Score: 3
Everyone I know "of a certain age" absolutely loves this book. You'll find yourself nodding your head in recognition or shaking your head in disbelief. No doubt about it. Bryson captures the era.
susieqmillsacoustics avatar reviewed The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid on + 878 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
Read All 19 Book Reviews of "The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid"

Please Log in to Rate these Book Reviews

reviewed The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid on + 2 more book reviews
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...
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.
reviewed The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid on + 9 more book reviews
Not my cup of tea, but my husband really enjoyed this one. Great for a grown up man to relive his childhood imagination.
rthanne avatar reviewed The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid on + 4 more book reviews
I, too, grew up in the 50s, and laughed my way through this book with so many shared memories.

From School Library Journal:
Adult/High SchoolThe Thunderbolt Kid was born in the 1950s when six-year-old Bryson found a mysterious, scratchy green sweater with a satiny thunderbolt across the chest. The jersey bestowed magic powers on the wearerX-ray vision and the power to zap teachers and babysitters and deflect unwanted kisses from old people. These are the memoirs of that Kid, whose earthly parents were not really half bada loving mother who didn't cook and was pathologically forgetful, but shared her love of movies with her youngest child, and a dad who was the greatest baseball writer that ever lived and took his son to dugouts and into clubhouses where he met such famous players as Stan Musial and Willie Mays. Simpler times are conveyed with exaggerated humor; the author recalls the middle of the last century in the middle of the country (Des Moines, IA), when cigarettes were good for you, waxy candies were considered delicious, and kids were taught to read with Dick and Jane. Students of the decade's popular culture will marvel at the insular innocence described, even as the world moved toward nuclear weapons and civil unrest. Bryson describes country fairs and fantastic ploys to maneuver into the tent to see the lady stripper, playing hookey, paper routes, church suppers, and more. His reminiscences will entertain a wide audience.Jackie Gropman, Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA

Book Wiki

People/Characters
Bill Bryson (Primary Character)
Real Places

Genres:

Want fewer ads?