The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

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Doubleday, 2006 - Travel writers - 309 pages
242 Reviews
There are many theories as to how the Thunderbolt Kid came to attain his fantastic powers, and turned the world into a dangerous place for morons. 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. Praise for Bill Bryson: * 'Hugely funny (not snigger-snigger funny, but great-big-belly-laugh-till-you-cry funny).' - Daily Telegraph.

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It was easy to read, a quick and satisfying read. - LibraryThing
This is a great book by a gifted writer. - LibraryThing
As with any Bryson book, the writing is top notch. - LibraryThing
Bryson's writing is witty and laugh out loud funny. - LibraryThing
His writing is honest, direct and absolutely hilarious. - LibraryThing

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - NeedMoreShelves - LibraryThing

I thought this was a fun, slightly whimsical look at growing up in the 1950s in the midwest. I found it especially interesting because I have lived in Iowa all my life, and in Des Moines for the past ... Read full review

Review: The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir

User Review  - Keith Slade - Goodreads

Nostalgic look at Des Moines in the '50s. Mostly pretty funny but has adultish moments and situations. He uses the F-bomb a few times. I like his writing style though and will read more by him. Read full review


Welcome to Kid World
Birth of a Superhero
The Age of Excitement

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About the author (2006)

Bill Bryson is the bestselling author of The Lost Continent, Mother Tongue, Neither Here Nor There, Made in America, Notes From a Small Island, A Walk in the Woods, Notes from a Big Country, Down Under and, most recently, A Short History of Nearly Everything which was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, won the Aventis Prize for Science Books in 2004, and won the Descartes Science Communication Prize in 2005.

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