• The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: Bill Bryson
  • Length: 6 hrs and 13 mins
  • Abridged
  • Release date: 09-13-06
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks
  • 4.5 (13 ratings)

Regular price: $25.82

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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.
©Bill Bryson; (P)Corgi Audio
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Critic Reviews

"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

By Michael Stringer on 12-15-07

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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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Beth on 03-22-08

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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By Susan on 10-19-06

Another 'Bill' Classic

Anyone who loves Bryson's other works will love this. No ordinary biography - rather a nostalgic snapshot of life as a child in Iowa in the 1950s, complete with observations on society, the threat of a third world war and a sense of innocence long since forgotten.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Amazon Customer on 01-04-07

Should have a warning label!

The warning don't 'drive and listen' should appear on this title. I have listened to it while travelling back and forwards from work and let me tell you, it's hard to drive with laughter tears in your eyes! I had to pull over when at the part about his fathers night time snacks I was laughing so hard. This is without a doubt the funniest book on childhood memories I have ever come across. It is perfectly written and read. Do not miss this book.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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By linda goodall on 06-21-15

Loved it.

Re-lived my childhood through this book, and lament the by gone era that was so safe for children growing up then. Bill's humour and accuracies of explaining the innocent working of children's thoughts is a must read.

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