The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

  • by Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by Bill Bryson
  • 6 hrs and 13 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.


What the Critics Say

"Hugely funny (not snigger-snigger funny, but great-big-belly-laugh-till-you-cry funny)." (Daily Telegraph)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Delightful to drop into

Bill Bryson has provided us the perfect audio book. His funny, gentle and delightful collection of stories, facts and anecdotes of growing up provide great entertainment. Loosely collected around themes and roughly chronological, Mr. Bryson explores many different aspects of mid-west USA in the 1950s and early 60s. You can listen to any point at any time to have some fun.
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- Michael Stringer

Need to try unabridged version

There was some interesting stuff here that reminded me of my own childhood, but I think I might need to hear the WHOLE story to appreciate it.
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- Beth

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-13-2006
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks