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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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4,848183954 (3.88)166
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 180 (next | show all)
Hilarious and well-written, in typical Bryson style. My only issue was that he focused more on the 50s, mentioned the 60s a bit, but then glossed over his high school years in just a few pages. Though it IS called "the Thunderbolt KID," I would have liked to read more about his entire youth. However, that is me being nitpicky because I really enjoyed the entire book, especially the last chapter where he shares what has come of his childhood friends and landmarks. ( )
  howifeelaboutbooks | Nov 4, 2015 |
I liked this one much better than "Walk in the woods". Pretty funny, with interesting take on life in the fifties and sixties. ( )
  rrbritt53 | Oct 27, 2015 |
Audio book review. Obviously this type of book benefits greatly by having the author read it and this was very enjoyable. Wow the 50's were dangerous, its a wonder anyone survived. A great romp through Bill Bryson's early life, growing up in the 50's. If you like his other books you will like this one. It has some wonderful over and understatements throughout. He captures a kid's perspective with great skill. ( )
  Neale | Oct 24, 2015 |
This is Bryson's nostalgic memoir of growing up in the 1950s in Iowa. He uses factual information enhanced with his own memories. I laughed out loud many times, was helpless with laughter a number of times. I sympathized, empathized, agreed, cheered, or took a shocked intake of breath as young Billy's story progressed. Although anyone who grew up in the same era might get a special enjoyment in revisiting their youth, it is not limited to a specific generation or gender; anyone can enjoy this story. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.

This was an audiobook with an excellent narration by the author and included a short interview at the conclusion. Count me in as a fan. ( )
  VivienneR | Sep 17, 2015 |
The changing times that Bill Bryson lived trough in Des Moines, Iowa. His family, his mates, school, town. Touched with his wit. ( )
  GeoffSC | May 31, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 180 (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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In memory of Jed Mattes
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)

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