The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

A Memoir

Downloadable Audiobook - 2006
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Bill Bryson's hilarious memoir of growing up in middle America in the Fifties - complete, unabridged and read by the author. Using his old fantasy life as a springboard, Bill Bryson recreates the life of his familyin the 1950s in all its transcendent normality. In a period that saw the inexorable rise of television, the opening of Disneyland, the testing of the atomic bomb and the explosion of choice in everything from food to cars, Bill Bryson's days followed in reassuringly cosy succession, enlivened by modest triumphs and disasters. Warm and laugh-out-loud funny, "The Thunderbolt Kid" is full of Bill Bryson's inimitable, pitch-perfect observations, and this unabridged recording contains every single amusing anecdote and amazing fact. Nothing is left out, so you can enjoy the whole book in its entirety, read by Bill Bryson himself.
Publisher: [Bath, England] : BBC Audiobooks, 2006.
ISBN: 9781405626101


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Mayflower94 Feb 11, 2017

"Good old days" of the 1950s are not always so good, so rosy. I just like Bill Bryon's writing style.

May 12, 2014

Perfect summer audio listening for those library patrons sporting these qualities*: (1) male; (2) born in the 50's; and (3) grew up in small town, America. Bryson's thesis is that the 1950's presented a particularly strange time for a kid to grow up in America. For example, being told nearly every day by trusted adults that nuclear annihilation, getting blown to smithereens by the Russians, was really quite likely. It wasn't of course. But 1950's kids were constantly told that anyway. Maybe adults thought it would toughen the kids up. The kids had no problem to see through the magic-trick charade. All it did was make the kids appreciate sarcastic humor even the more. Mad magazine for example. Pop-culture was changing fast: TV, music, sports, the cold war, comic books, newspapers, movies, downtown vs. mall shopping, outdoor vs. indoor activities, cigarettes, alcohol, race relations, art, literature, neighborliness, what it means to come of age, all changing, and very fast. In this short, and most excellent memoir of his childhood, growing up in the 1950's near Des Moines, Iowa, Bryson describes how it all affected him. Him, personally. Simultaneously poignant and humorous. Just like life. * Others without the above traits will probably find this fun reading too, but may have some difficulty understanding what he's talking about in places. Recommended.

Feb 12, 2013

Very funny - as a midwestern baby boomer I could relate to much of what he "lived"

Jan 13, 2011

Bryson is always good, and this memoir of his early years in white picket fence america is no exception.

Jan 08, 2011

Hilarious! I bought this book for my dad for Christmas and he liked it too!

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings

No similar edition of this title was found at YPRL.

Try searching for The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid to see if YPRL owns related versions of the work.

To Top