The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

[a Memoir]

Downloadable Audiobook - 2007
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Random House, Inc.
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 of Planet Earth came from his discovery, at the age of six, of a woollen jersey of rare fineness. Across the moth-holed chest was a golden thunderbolt. It may have looked like an old college football sweater, but young Bryson knew better. It was obviously the Sacred Jersey of Zap, and proved that he had been placed with this innocuous family in the middle of America to fly, become invisible, shoot guns out of people’s hands from a distance, and wear his underpants over his jeans in the manner of Superman.

Bill Bryson’s first travel book opened with the immortal line, “I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to.” In this hilarious new memoir, he travels back to explore the kid he once was and the weird and wonderful world of 1950s America. He modestly claims that this is a book about not very much: about being small and getting much larger slowly. But for the rest of us, it is a laugh-out-loud book that will speak volumes – especially to anyone who has ever been young.


From the Hardcover edition.

Publisher: [Santa Ana, Calif.] : Books on Tape, 2007
ISBN: 9781415932957
1415932956
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 sound file)
Additional Contributors: Books on Tape, Inc

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Mayflower94 Feb 11, 2017

"Good old days" of the 1950s are not always so good, so rosy. I just like Bill Bryon's writing style.

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LibraryUser53
May 12, 2014

Perfect summer audio listening for those library patrons sporting these qualities*: (1) male; (2) born in the 50's; and (3) grew up in small town, America. Bryson's thesis is that the 1950's presented a particularly strange time for a kid to grow up in America. For example, being told nearly every day by trusted adults that nuclear annihilation, getting blown to smithereens by the Russians, was really quite likely. It wasn't of course. But 1950's kids were constantly told that anyway. Maybe adults thought it would toughen the kids up. The kids had no problem to see through the magic-trick charade. All it did was make the kids appreciate sarcastic humor even the more. Mad magazine for example. Pop-culture was changing fast: TV, music, sports, the cold war, comic books, newspapers, movies, downtown vs. mall shopping, outdoor vs. indoor activities, cigarettes, alcohol, race relations, art, literature, neighborliness, what it means to come of age, all changing, and very fast. In this short, and most excellent memoir of his childhood, growing up in the 1950's near Des Moines, Iowa, Bryson describes how it all affected him. Him, personally. Simultaneously poignant and humorous. Just like life. * Others without the above traits will probably find this fun reading too, but may have some difficulty understanding what he's talking about in places. Recommended.

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Mndavids
Feb 12, 2013

Very funny - as a midwestern baby boomer I could relate to much of what he "lived"

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humphreb
Jan 13, 2011

Bryson is always good, and this memoir of his early years in white picket fence america is no exception.

d
DalysJ
Jan 08, 2011

Hilarious! I bought this book for my dad for Christmas and he liked it too!

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