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The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A…

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Bill Bryson

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5,016201903 (3.88)173
Title:The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir
Authors:Bill Bryson
Info:Broadway (2007), Paperback, 270 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir by Bill Bryson (2006)


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Showing 1-5 of 198 (next | show all)
Listened to the Playaway, as read by the author. When will I learn that I am not amused by Bryson? I found the humor to be either stale or forced, or both. Also, he tried to give us a history lesson of the fifties and early sixties, but there was a lot he overlooked. And even when he did speak of the atrocities re' atom bombs and Emmet Till, he made them seem almost as trivial as the (exaggerated) fact that his mom (a full-time journalist) burnt supper every night. So, mildly diverting to keep me company while doing housework, but nothing to recommend. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
As usual with Bryson be prepared for a laugh out loud funny book. Only he could capture with irreverent beauty growing up in the Midwest. This book provides a great walk down memory lane for those who grew up in the 50's and early 60's. ( )
  yvonne.sevignykaiser | Apr 2, 2016 |
Delightful memoir of growing up in the 1950-60s. Reminiscent of [A Girl Named Zippy], but told by a boy in the relatively "large" city of Des Moines IA. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 17, 2016 |
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir written by and narrated by Bill Bryson


This book is Bill Bryson’s memoir on his childhood and also switches to the history of the time (the 1950s). I haven’t read any of his travel books (although I plan to) and this is my first attempt at a Bryson book. Written in a humorous and sarcastic manner, I really enjoyed this book. I may not have grown up in the 1950s but this didn’t make the book any less amusing or fun. A kid will be a kid, regardless of an era and the child logic in this book made me giggle. I loved the history added in, to give a feeling of what was going on in the baby boomer age and how it affected him and his family and the nation as a whole. I couldn’t help but wish I had been part of the era and the uniqueness of it that is now, sadly gone. I especially enjoyed the audio version of this book which was narrated by the author. His matter-of-fact reading style made this book even better for me plus there was a great interview at the end with him. A fun read for me, just what I needed to pick me up. I would definitely recommend the audio version.
( )
  UberButter | Feb 9, 2016 |
9/07 Currently on my mp3
  thukpa | Feb 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 198 (next | show all)
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson is a memoir of growing up in Iowa, during the 1950's. The memoir was classic fun and an exploration into memories of growing up in the middle of America in the middle of the twentieth century. The book begins with a panoramic point of view on what the 1950's were about, and then Bryson gets closer and closer into his personal life. He masterfully pens his memories of pranks, jobs, candy, sex, politics, main-street, with a well crafted efficacy. So many memories of growing up in Longmont Colorado in the 1970's bubbled up. A fun listen.
Bill Bryson is erudite, irreverent, funny and exuberant, making the temptation to quote endlessly from The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir (Broadway, $25) hard to resist. Bryson interweaves childhood reminiscences seamlessly with observations about 1950s America, evoking a zeitgeist that will be familiar to almost everyone past middle age.
Had he written a purely personal view of his youth and left out the bits explaining how 1950s America was the best country in the world, my chuckles might not so often have given way to groans of annoyance.
added by MikeBriggs | editThe Spectator, Zenga Longmore (Sep 30, 2006)

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bryson, Billprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Diderich, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sibony, JulieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
In the late 1950s, the Royal Canadian Air Force produced a booklet on isometrics, a form of exercise that enjoyed a short but devoted vogue with my father.
You really should never fuck with the Thunderbolt Kid....He had, as he would boast in later years, a pornographic memory.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Abridged versions should not be combined with the full work.   "Parts of this book first appeared in somewhat different form in The New Yorker." T.p. verso
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0767919378, Paperback)

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 1950s

Bill Bryson was born in the middle of the American century—1951—in the middle of the United States—Des Moines, Iowa—in the middle of the largest generation in American history—the baby boomers. As one of the best and funniest writers alive, he is perfectly positioned to mine his memories of a totally all-American childhood for 24-carat memoir gold. Like millions of his generational peers, Bill Bryson grew up with a rich fantasy life as a superhero. In his case, he ran around his house and neighborhood with an old football jersey with a thunderbolt on it and a towel about his neck that served as his cape, leaping tall buildings in a single bound and vanquishing awful evildoers (and morons)—in his head—as "The Thunderbolt Kid."

Using this persona as a springboard, Bill Bryson re-creates the life of his family and his native city in the 1950s in all its transcendent normality—a life at once completely familiar to us all and as far away and unreachable as another galaxy. It was, he reminds us, a happy time, when automobiles and televisions and appliances (not to mention nuclear weapons) grew larger and more numerous with each passing year, and DDT, cigarettes, and the fallout from atmospheric testing were considered harmless or even good for you. He brings us into the life of his loving but eccentric family, including affectionate portraits of his father, a gifted sportswriter for the local paper and dedicated practitioner of isometric exercises, and OF his mother, whose job as the home furnishing editor for the same paper left her little time for practicing the domestic arts at home. The many readers of Bill Bryson’s earlier classic, A Walk in the Woods, will greet the reappearance in these pages of the immortal Stephen Katz, seen hijacking literally boxcar loads of beer. He is joined in the Bryson gallery of immortal characters by the demonically clever Willoughby brothers, who apply their scientific skills and can-do attitude to gleefully destructive ends.

Warm and laugh-out-loud funny, and full of his inimitable, pitch-perfect observations, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is as wondrous a book as Bill Bryson has ever written. It will enchant anyone who has ever been young.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:21 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Like millions of his generational peers, Bill Bryson grew up with a rich fantasy life as a superhero. Using his fantasy-life persona as a springboard, Bryson re-creates the life of his family in the 1950s in all its transcendent normality--a life at once familiar to us all and as far away and unreachable as another galaxy.--From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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