Using this persona as a springboard, Bryson recreates the life of his family and his native city in the 1950s in all its transcendent normality, at once completely familiar to us all and as far away and unreachable as another galaxy. 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 an audiobook as Bill Bryson has ever recorded. It will enchant anyone who has ever been young.
©2006 Bill Bryson; (P)2006 Random House, inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
"This affectionate portrait wistfully recalls the bygone days of Burns and Allen and downtown department stores, but with a good-natured elbow poke to the ribs." (Booklist)
Despite a lot of hyperbole, Bryson again delivers a great read! His description of his life in the 50's and 60's in middle America is a delight.
This audio book has a few moments of good laughs and funny anecdotes but simple stated this book is not as good as his other works. If you are looking for something like “A walk in the Woods” or “In a Sunburned Country” this is not it.
Persnickety, curmudgeonly, locked into a long daily commute which is mitigated somewhat by listening to great books.
Around the middle
Brings back things from my childhood - some by direct reference and others just remind me of similar things in my past.
Bryson also uses language effectively. He balances literary style with the humor of more common speech. I really like that mix.
In Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid Bryson (reader and author) tells the story of his childhood in Des Moines, Iowa. Being from the midwest myself, and having spent a good deal of time in Iowa with Iowans I find myself really put off by Bryson's accent. That is not any kind of Iowa or even midwest-US accent. I wouldn't remark on it, except that A) it is an audiobook, B) the book has everything to do with the author/reader being from Iowa, C) Bryson is in his 60's, so one would think that he would have been exposed to more Iowa accent than a younger person.
In a small, peaceful town on the Equator, the sun always sets at 6, and a good audiobook is always the perfect evening companion.
I too grew up in Iowa in the 1950s, but without the photographic memory of Bill Bryson. Yet when he says it, I recognize it. And although I was not aware that Bishops Cafeteria in Des Moines had atomic toilets, I'm grateful to know it now. This is an amazing, sensitive, delightfully exhaustive recollection of an incomparable decade of American social history, and it's done with the author's trademark hilarity. Listening to Bryson recount the essence of that era, you feel like he's grabbed it all back, just in the nick of time, before it faded forever.
Bill's travels have always been a favorite of mine. This one takes us on a journey back in time to a happier, more innocent, yet just a bit more twisted - childhood in a time where our own kids would be lost without the beep-beep of electronic toys. Thank you, Bill for some wonderful memories, and some of your exceptional belly-laughs! Keep 'em coming!
Nobody can write like Bill Bryson, and nobody can read Bryson like Bryson. Anyone born in the late 40's through the mid-50's must get this title. I laughed, I cried, and I loved every minute of it. I am getting the print book for my siblings and siblings-in-law who grew up in the 50's. I only regret that all of Bryson's books are not available in unabridged format, read by the author.
I have been a big fan of Bill Bryson but this book is his best! He had me Laughing the entire book. I grew up in the sixties but alot of the things he talked about related to me too. It brought back many of my child hood memories. Hes right too. Things were so inicent then.They will never be the same. I agree with him that the food wasn't too great either! No matter whose mother was cooking it! I can't beleive I loved TV dinners then! Bryson is my super hero auther!
Bryson is a master storyteller with endless whit. This is one of his best books I have yet to read. Although this book is set and revolves around growing up in the fifties I still found it relatable and humrous even though I grew up in the nineties. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a laugh, or just wanting that nostalgic feeling you get when you think back to the favorable memories of your childhood.
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