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)
This is an exceedingly dull book. It was so disappointing after the witty and highly entertaining "Walk in the Woods" and other travel books by this author. If you've read "Walk in the Woods" and other Bryson travel books and are seeking additional Bryson style wit and originality - I think you will be disappointed.
I too grew up in Iowa, although a bit later and not in Des Moines (my parents still mourn the degeneration of the Des Moines Register), however I totally relate to this story of how life used to be in the 50's for kids in the Midwest. We should all be dead or seriously maimed. The story is very funny and a great listen - I've listened several times just to smile. His descriptions are so great - exaggerations worthy of any school aged boy!
As usual, Bill delivers! His wit and informative narrative remains highly entertaining. Bill grew up in the same era as my parents--giving me a incredible insight as to what life might have been like during their childhood. Bill also does a great job portraying life through a boy's eyes--delightfully insightful!
It was a delight to listen to - and remember when it was you or someone you know who was going through the same misadventures as Bill. It was a walk down your childhood memories in the best of ways. Highly recommended.
There are parts of this story that caused me to pull over to the side of the road for fear of peeing my pants as I drove with tears in my eyes from the laughter. While I admit to being a little crazy, you must catch the expression on the other drivers stuck in traffic with you as you laugh out loud, I know some thought I had lost my mind.
I am a big Bryson fan, I think this is the funniest book of the ones I have read. Strongly recommend this book!
When where you were was special because it wasn't like anyplace else... Bill Bryson remembers a Des Moines in the 50s that had character and a unique set of businesses and places...before the days of chain stores, chain restaurants, indoor malls. The reference to politics is negligible -- it's a great listen. Bryson doesn't take it seriously and neither should the listener.If you are a boomer, laugh away and just ENJOY!
Loved listening to this book - Bill Bryson is able to catch the essence of childhood. I laughed out loud. Everyone would love this book who can recall what it was like to be a kid growing up the 1950's.I could listen to it all over again.
I enjjoyed every minute of tis book. I gave a copy to an aunt and I could have given this book to the high school nephews, too. Great read.
Entertaining. Bill Bryson is one of my favorite authors, and I love books where the author is the narrator. Bill Bryson's enormous talent as a wordsmith is apparent here. However, this book is not as good as others he's written. It didn't have the level of childlike spirit I thought it would, and I thought the main character was a bit cynical for a kid.
So different from A Short History of Everything. This book was very funny! My stomach hurt from laughing at times. I loved the way he imitatates the adults. I have to go and listen to some of his other "memoir" type books.
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