The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

Bill Bryson’s memoir of growing up in 1950s Iowa. I have liked Bryson’s writing for many years and have devoured most of his travel writing. He is always funny, candid, and incredibly observant and insightful. He seems to do a good deal to research his books as well. While this is a memoir, there is commentary on the 1950s as a whole particularly in the US. Bryson admits that he his childhood was not particularly unique or traumatic and yet, as I usually do, he takes simple subjects and revels in the day to day life of being a child in a relatively prosperous and peaceful time. I enjoyed this quick memoir even if I did not live in the 1950s, but there are many moments that remind me of childhood in general. He captures the idiosyncratic nature of the whole time of our lives with his usual writing of his memories. A nice, light read.

3 thoughts on “The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

  • Ruth

    I read Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods a few months ago and really enjoyed it. I’ll have to check this one out for sure. If you like memoirs, I just finished one called My Seven Years in Captivity by Bill Seaton. It’s about his years as PR Director at the San Diego Zoo and is a light-hearted look at some of the antics of the people and animals he dealt with there during the 1960s.

  • Stella

    A Walk in the Woods was recommended to me a few years ago, and I absolutely love that book. I laughed all the way through reading it. I’ve read Thunderbolt Kid as well, but you’re right–it’s a light read. I still enjoyed it, though.


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