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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 (1412 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kara Arnold 05-05-16
    Kara Arnold 05-05-16
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    17
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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
  •  
    Toni Miles 04-26-16
    Toni Miles 04-26-16 Member Since 2011
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    5
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    "Enchanting and memorable."

    Even though Bill Bryson was a few years older than me, many of the experiences of his childhood brought back many of my own memories of the 50's and 60's. It reminded me of a simpler time yet one that wasn't quite as utopian as we all thought. I loved it!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mark 03-17-16
    mark 03-17-16
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    "Marks Thunderbolt kid review"

    I think Thunderbolt kid was a great story. it reminds me of growing up in Des Moines in the fifties and sixties.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra K. Rode 09-15-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Thunderbolt kid"

    The story takes me back to a time when kids were kids and we did really stupid things and survived. The story is bittersweet funny and made my heart ache.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    heidiandjohnny 07-08-15
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    "Perfect in every way"

    It was nice and light, entertaining, and joyful. Made me remember seeing the world from the eyes of a kid. Also very interesting look into history and learned some things that made me laugh, and some things that made me shutter
    . I absolutely loved getting a glimpse into the midwest in the 1950s and enjoyed fantasizing over being a child or house wife in that era.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cher m 05-18-15
    cher m 05-18-15
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    5
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    "Entertains!"

    My husband and I listened to this book on a road trip this spring. It brought back memories of our childhoods growing up in Wisconsin & Minnesota in the 50's. Fun to listen to!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert 04-21-15
    Robert 04-21-15 Member Since 2011
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    6
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    "A funny look into growing up in the fifties"

    Bill Bryson's childhood memoir gives the listener a brief glimpse of what it was like to grow up in the fifties and gives more than a few laughs along the way

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcia 04-11-15
    Marcia 04-11-15 Member Since 2015
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    "The true Iowa story!!! Loved Bill Bryson's voice."

    Perfect picture of The 1950s and the Midwest.
    If you've never been to The midwest you will live this story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jayne S 03-17-15
    Jayne S 03-17-15 Member Since 2013
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    "A fun listen."

    As a child in the sixties I remember southern California having much character and uniqueness from town to town and city to city.
    It was fun to hear about Iowa and Bill's childhood. This book chronicles the simplicity yet richness of the fifties and sixties in the USA!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Goran 12-10-14
    Goran 12-10-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Typical Bill"

    Bill Bryson could be the best thing that has happened to literature in my lifetime. Whatever he writes, you are guaranteed to have a laugh while also learning something new. This book is no different. It is funny, informative, and of course nostalgic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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