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The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid Audiobook

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

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Publisher's Summary

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 best and funniest writers alive, his is perfectly positioned to mine his memories of a totally all-American childhood for 24-carat 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 in an old football jersey with a thunderbolt on it and a towel about his neck that served as his cape, leaping tall buildings in a single bound and vanquishing awful evildoers (and morons) in his head as "The Thunderbolt Kid".

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1512 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Joyce Miamisburg, OH, United States 03-24-17
    Joyce Miamisburg, OH, United States 03-24-17 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Baby Boomers Unite"

    To relive your childhood, unless you grew up in the city, you only have to open the cover of this book. ENJOY!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca 11-27-16
    Rebecca 11-27-16
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    "Those Were The Days (were they?)"

    A narrative of life in midwestern America in the 1950's. Bill Bryson's dry sense of humor and a child's sense of exaggeration make me laugh. I guess the 50's weren't all that different from the 60's!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tish 10-28-16
    Tish 10-28-16
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    "Laugh out loud funny"

    I originally read this book about 5 years ago on my Kindle, and I loved it then. So when someone in my book club chose this, I was thrilled, but I knew I wouldn't have time to reread it, so I got the audible version. It was just as funny the second time around. I would be driving down the road howling. Bryson's writing is superb and as a child of the 50's myself, he evoked many poignant memories. I did, however, have a little difficulty reconciling Bryson's voice with the midwestern accent I expected. I understand now that he has spent most of his adulthood in Britain, which explains why I didn't hear what I expected.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-19-16 Member Since 2014
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    3
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    "Heartfelt childhood memoir of growing up in America"

    Read by author- low, soft, understated- moves it from humour to comedy.Reading his own work is key to the success of his books in audio form.
    Stories of wonder and good natured fun, vignettes used as a springboard for further discussion about that time in history. Beautiful language, offering the listener robust images of the 50s and 60s in the US.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claire Warren STONINGTON, CT, US 09-14-16
    Claire Warren STONINGTON, CT, US 09-14-16 Member Since 2012
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    "1960s kid fun"

    loved it, he captured the childhood of the 60s, his own voice added a good dimension.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alankelleher 09-06-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Wonderful, simply wonderful."

    Bill Bryson takes us back to a much simpler time and much happier place in a joyful, hilarious and somewhat emotional memoir.

    I can't recommend this chapter of Billy's life highly enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra K 09-02-16
    Sandra K 09-02-16

    Sandra

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    "Great Memories"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is such a charming book that brought back wonderful memories and made me smile at how we all grew up in the 50's.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    beverlie 05-22-16
    beverlie 05-22-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Fantastic!!"

    Very entertaining, laugh out loud funny! Once again Bill Bryson delivers a fantastic book! Highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cecily Monet 05-10-16
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    6
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    "Timeless tale of childhood and adolescence"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kara Arnold 05-05-16
    Kara Arnold 05-05-16
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    "Hilarious,witty,and well written"

    Bryson almost never fails to impress me with his skill in writing and his books often make me laugh.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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