Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson

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.

I enjoyed this book far more than I expected. It had laugh out loud moments. But I'm not a boy and I didn't grow up in the 50's ... in America or anywhere else. So I'm sure plenty was lost on me. The whole way thru I thought Daddio should read it (being both a boy and born in the 50's) ... so I took it down to JBay for him and he finished it off in 3 days! And he also had some laugh out loud moments. So yeah, I'd recommend it as something light that you probably wouldn't ordinarily read.


Flying Lessons said...

This is the funniest books I've ever read, I couldn't stop laughing.

Wendren said...

You have been given a Kreativ Blog Award by me - see my link for details.

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