The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir Audio CD
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Top Customer Reviews
Bryson takes a hilarious trip down memory lane. He mixes in his childhood memories of Iowa, historical facts, and adds his own character, The Thunderbolt Kid. It's a recipe for a fun filled ride with belly laughs and nostalgia.
This is a great book for baby boomers, but I think the younger generations will enjoy it as well. He writes of a less serious time in U. S. history. At time that was considered prosperous and care free. A time when giant box stores didn't take over entire towns like today.
I listened to the audio version of this book, which Bill Bryson narrates himself, on a plane trip. Passengers sitting near me asked what I was listening to, I was laughing out loud that much; it just couldn't be helped! If you don't like funny books, don't read or listen to this one. If you do like funny books you may want to read or listen to it in private so you don't draw attention to yourself like I did.
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE THUNDERBOLT KID is a memoir, and since Bryson and I grew up in the same decades, I found a lot to like in this book. His writing is always funniest when it's personal and self-deprecating, and his stories of himself as a child are vastly entertaining.
But this book is more than memoir or a string of funny stories about his childhood. Bryson captures the time and place -- 50's small-town America -- and serves those "simpler times" up with affection. In those pre-minivan days a bicycle was a kid's ticket to ride; the movies were a gateway to the world; and a costume, whether the Thunderbolt Kid or Annie Oakley (am I saying too much?), was the passport to bravery and adventure.
I thoroughly enjoyed THE THUNDERBOLT KID, and probably would have enjoyed it no matter which decades were mine. Maybe it's a book of particular interest to the first wave of Baby Boomers, but the humor and whimsy of its presentation are wonderful counterpoint to its well-researched social context.
You're bound to laugh out loud at this book. If you like laughing out loud, then by all means read THE THUNDERBOLT KID.
Bill Bryson has written some pretty good book and some less than stellar one ; this one goes straight into the first category.
His depiction of America 1950/1960 as good as it ever gets but on top of this , his description of what is life for a youngster to grow up into this ,what seem to be the most fantastic time to grow up, just exceptionnal.
At the same time that you will be smiling and laughing you way trough the book , it makes you feel so unlucky that you weren't born into Desmoines 60 years ago.
Finishing up with that book , I could not get on with life without reading another Bryson from my librairy ...unfortunatly I picked "the lost continent" next ...which is ,without a doubt< the worst book the man has written. A good antidote
Bryson is always prone to exaggeration for effect, and he succeeds in making the 1950's loom extremely large. In this case, his technique is quite effective, as he really does seem to capture the spirit of a time period. Although I was not born until the early 1970's, I feel that with Bryson's help I have managed to catch a taste of what must have been a wonderful, bizarre, adventurous and strangely optimistic age. Well worth the read.
Many of those childhood anecdotes are hysterically funny. I don't think I have ever - ever, mind you - laughed so hard with a book as I did with this one. And when not making you almost wet yourself chuckling, Bryson, of course, expertly and engagingly describes what has to have been America's most whacky and naively optimistic decade. His historical tangents are always engrossing and he does a wonderful job of balancing these with accounts of growing up. A jaunt through Bill Bryson's childhood should certainly encourage you to recall your own. What can you say? The guy is a fine writer.
Troy Parfitt, author of Why China Will Never Rule the World
Most recent customer reviews
Made me laugh out loud, and remember my childhood in the fifties!Published 3 months ago by Deborah Hansen
I absolutely loved this memoir! It brought back so many memories of the times of my childhood. I 'd recommend this read for anyone who was a kid in them fifties!Published on Feb. 7 2014 by Anne Stewart
My husband and I laughed out loud and enjoyed this book so much we purchased it for my father so he could reminisce about the good ole days. Read morePublished on May 30 2013 by TT
I just finished the Thunderbolt Kid while relaxing at the beach. Could not stop myself from laughing as I could so relate to this time period. Read morePublished on July 28 2011 by RMG
This is true Bill Bryson and too good to simply titter about. Laugh, snort, giggle, and wonder about this man and how he can tell you the feeling of a time with such a terrific... Read morePublished on Dec 11 2010 by C. Hutch
Unlike his travel essay books, I found this memoir of life in the Midwest actually far more entertaining. Read morePublished on June 26 2008 by Brian Maitland