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 book was laugh out loud material. Most authors don't their book justice by narrating it themselves. Bryson's wonderfully cynical humor comes alive and almost makes me wish to have grown up in the 1950's Des Moine. Out of the several hundred audio books I own, this is in my all time favorite list.
Well read X
Only in that it was easier to "read" in the car. The author has lived in England for so long that he sounds a little less All-American than the story he's telling.
The author's witty take on his childhood and the familiarity of so many aspects of the story. His discussion of the toys & candy of that era, for example, was spot on.
Loved "At Home." A completely different kind of book, but still imbued with Bryson's combination of wit and insight. Both of these are my go-to choices when nothing else is appealing to me. Could read/listen to them over and over. And have.
Laughed, laughed, laughed. Experienced the best sort of nostalgia - non-sappy. And was somewhat saddened by remembering the pre-franchise days when every city looked a little different. We've lost something now that we live in Home Depot, McDonalds, 7-11, Wal-Mart land.
If you're a boomer, you should read this book to take a trip back in time. If you're younger, you should read it to get a glimpse into what life in middle America used to be like. Plus, some things never change for kids - parents are still embarrassing, school is still painful, budding relationships with the opposite sex are still awkward. You will laugh.
A book lover from way back
If you've read and enjoyed any other stories by Bill Bryson, this one will be right up your alley. It started out slow, but once it got going, it had me laughing out loud.
It's fun to hear the author read his own words, makes it more personal, and on a memoir it's almost essential.
I think the 1950's was my favorite character.
He is droll and that comes through in the reading by the author.
there were a few laugh-out-louds along the way, a surprising joy. It was my first Bill Bryson book.
Not better- just different!
None- this book is hilarious!
Yes- all are excellent- this one is the funniest.
Many moving moments- if by moving you mean over the top funny.
GET THIS BOOK- it will lift your spirits- especially if you are a
Just an outstanding book. I'm a little biased towards Bryson - I have several of his books - but I'm biased because he just writes some very funny stuff.
There was one part where he kind of goes on a political statement of sorts, but I just went forward to the next chapter and only missed a few minutes of the book. No problem, and I don't even recall what axe he was trying to grind, but it wasn't enough to detract from the book.
If your childhood was during the early 1950's, this is a book that will bring you hours of smiles, laughter and joyful remembrance of a time that really was during a kinder more gentle nation. Not simply a recitation of things long forgotten, but a wonderful story that revives our memories of all those things in a delightful way.
Few books have reminded me of the joys of youth as this one has, and I envy your re-discovery of those times as read by Bill Bryson and the wonder of those innocent and fun filled days.
I really enjoyed listening to the book. My daughter had gotten me the Hardback book, but I hadn't read it yet. I love and have loved audio books since the 1980's when they were a bit scarce, not like today. Anyway, I really enjoyed the 'shared experiences' of growing up with this story. Although Bill Bryson is six years older than I am, it was still interesting and often funny to remember how similar my youth was growing up in (then) small town California to his in Iowa. If you to are of that 'age', or just what an idea of what your parents or by now, grand parents life was like, check it out!
I loved this book. It brought back so many memories about growing up in the fifties. Bryson has a unique talent for capturing unique things about places and times and he really captures the strangeness of the 50's. His recollections are almost like "Twilight Zone" stories, but mostly fact, not fiction. I've read a lot of Bryson's books, but this was my first Bryson on Audible. I enjoyed his reading of the book, with his "touch of British" accent.
I wish Bill Bryson had a thousand books I could read. I've read every single one so far and always come away with new and interesting facts through his uniquely funny stories. I am also a big fan of him reading his own material. Only Bryson can convey the unique viewpoints the way they way intended to write them. Buying this book is a no brainer. Get it. You'll love it. If you don't, you've lost your sense of humour about life and need therapy.
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