Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

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9780552153652: Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

From one of the most beloved and bestselling authors in the English language, a vivid, nostalgic, and utterly hilarious memoir of growing up in the 1950s

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, he 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 with 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, Bill Bryson re-creates the life of his family and his native city in the 1950s in all its transcendent normality—a life at once completely familiar to us all and as far away and unreachable as another galaxy. It was, he reminds us, a happy time, when automobiles and televisions and appliances (not to mention nuclear weapons) grew larger and more numerous with each passing year, and DDT, cigarettes, and the fallout from atmospheric testing were considered harmless or even good for you. He brings us into the life of his loving but eccentric family, including affectionate portraits of his father, a gifted sportswriter for the local paper and dedicated practitioner of isometric exercises, and OF his mother, whose job as the home furnishing editor for the same paper left her little time for practicing the domestic arts at home. The many readers of Bill Bryson’s earlier classic, A Walk in the Woods, will greet the reappearance in these pages of the immortal Stephen Katz, seen hijacking literally boxcar loads of beer. He is joined in the Bryson gallery of immortal characters by the demonically clever Willoughby brothers, who apply their scientific skills and can-do attitude to gleefully destructive ends.

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 a book as Bill Bryson has ever written. It will enchant anyone who has ever been young.

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About the Author:

Bill Bryson's bestselling books include A Walk in the Woods, I'm a Stranger Here Myself, In a Sunburned Country, Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words, and A Short of History of Nearly Everything, which earned him the 2004 Aventis Prize. Bryson lives in England with his wife and children.

From AudioFile:

If you've had the pleasure of hearing Bryson speak, you know he's a master of understated humor. If you haven't had that pleasure, an enjoyable new experience awaits you in this memoir of growing up in Des Moines, Iowa, in the 1950s.Why, you may ask, does a man raised in Iowa speak with a mostly English accent? It's because he's spent much of his adult life in England. That choice does not diminish his fond appreciation of growing up happily with his journalist parents in a kid-friendly community. Bryson punctuates his account by acknowledging such less happy aspects of the era as the Civil Rights Movement, as well as fear of Communism, the A-bomb, and polio. But, on balance, his story is good-natured and often laugh-out-loud funny. S.K. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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Book Description Random House Children s Publishers UK, United Kingdom, 2006. CD-Audio. Book Condition: New. Abridged edition. 140 x 124 mm. Language: English . Brand New. Some say that the first hint that Bill Bryson was not of Planet Earth came when his mother sent him to school in lime-green Capri pants. Others think it all started with his discovery, at the age of six, of a woollen jersey of rare fineness. Across the moth-holed chest was a golden thunderbolt. It may have looked like an old college football sweater, but young Bryson knew better. It was obviously the Sacred Jersey of Zap, and proved that he had been placed with this innocuous family in the middle of America to fly, become invisible, shoot guns out of people s hands from a distance, and wear his underpants over his jeans in the manner of Superman. Bill Bryson s first travel book opened with the immortal line, I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to. In his deeply funny new memoir, he travels back in time to explore the ordinary kid he once was, and the curious world of 1950s America. It was a happy time, when almost everything was good for you, including DDT, cigarettes and nuclear fallout. This is a book about growing up in a specific time and place. But in Bryson s hands, it becomes everyone s story, one that will speak volumes - especially to anyone who has ever been young. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780552153652

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Book Description Random House Children s Publishers UK, United Kingdom, 2006. CD-Audio. Book Condition: New. Abridged edition. 140 x 124 mm. Language: English . Brand New. Some say that the first hint that Bill Bryson was not of Planet Earth came when his mother sent him to school in lime-green Capri pants. Others think it all started with his discovery, at the age of six, of a woollen jersey of rare fineness. Across the moth-holed chest was a golden thunderbolt. It may have looked like an old college football sweater, but young Bryson knew better. It was obviously the Sacred Jersey of Zap, and proved that he had been placed with this innocuous family in the middle of America to fly, become invisible, shoot guns out of people s hands from a distance, and wear his underpants over his jeans in the manner of Superman. Bill Bryson s first travel book opened with the immortal line, I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to. In his deeply funny new memoir, he travels back in time to explore the ordinary kid he once was, and the curious world of 1950s America. It was a happy time, when almost everything was good for you, including DDT, cigarettes and nuclear fallout. This is a book about growing up in a specific time and place. But in Bryson s hands, it becomes everyone s story, one that will speak volumes - especially to anyone who has ever been young. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780552153652

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