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TheLife and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by…
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TheLife and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bryson, Bill ( Author ) ON… (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Bill Bryson (Author)

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5,7932241,251 (3.88)200
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 funniest writers alive, he is perfectly positioned to mine his all-American childhood for 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 wearing a jersey with a thunderbolt on it and a towel about his neck, vanquishing evildoers--in his head--as "The Thunderbolt Kid." 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)
Member:Ruddman_and_Ratey
Title:TheLife and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bryson, Bill ( Author ) ON Jun-02-2007, Paperback
Authors:Bill Bryson (Author)
Info:Transworld Publishers Ltd (2007)
Collections:Your library
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Work details

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

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Showing 1-5 of 221 (next | show all)
Laugh out loud funny! Always a delight reading bill Bryson
( )
  bsmashers | Aug 1, 2020 |
2015 (review can be found at the link - which is a LibraryThing page)
https://www.librarything.com/topic/185746#5160085 ( )
  dchaikin | Jun 21, 2020 |
Very nostalgic for a male over 60. Not sure it would appeal to many other people. ( )
  grandpahobo | Apr 2, 2020 |
Bryson's memoir of his childhood in Des Moines, Iowa. Born in 1951, he recalls the era of comic books, baseball, his school friends and his family. That sounds really sweet, but it's Bryson, so his father was so cheap that the family dentist cut costs by not using Novocaine, his mother sent Bryson to school wearing his sister's capris, and his paper route took him to the city's wealthy homes, with one particularly vicious dog. He describes hoping for the excitement of being present when the man who works the buzzsaw at the lumber yard cuts off another finger, the decline of farmers and the rise of corporate businesses that make every town look the same. He discusses the popular tv shows of his childhood and mentions forgotten figures who were in the news when he was a kid, especially the scandals. ( )
  mstrust | Jan 21, 2020 |
I bought this book a couple years ago while on vacation. I read through Chapter 9, put it down and never got around to picking it back up. Not sure why I never got back to it, because I was enjoying it and was entertained by it. Recently I got the audio version at the library and finished "reading" it.

Bryson, born and raised in the middle of America, Des Moines, Iowa, in the middle of the 20th century, takes us down memory lane before every town and city looked the same with strip malls, Wal-Marts and TGIF's. His observations about farm life, his family, his friends, and American culture are both amusing and nostalgic.

As with all memoirs, the author has license to exaggerate his memories and Bryson does this with full comic effect. He also has a keen eye for detail making the reader feel as if he were there drinking that Nehi grape soda, or sneaking into the strippers’ tent at the State Fair.

This is the second book I have listened to by Bryson and read by Bryson, the first being A Walk in the Woods, and I find his tone rather flat. Luckily the story overcomes his rather toneless reading.

This is a good light read for the beach or a long car trip.
( )
  tshrope | Jan 13, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 221 (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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Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
You really should never fuck with the Thunderbolt Kid....He had, as he would boast in later years, a pornographic memory.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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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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 funniest writers alive, he is perfectly positioned to mine his all-American childhood for 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 wearing a jersey with a thunderbolt on it and a towel about his neck, vanquishing evildoers--in his head--as "The Thunderbolt Kid." 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.

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