The life and times of the thunderbolt kid book review
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson - | BookPageFrom that innie or outie; oddly for such a revealing chronicle, he never specifies , Bryson has produced a book so outlandishly and improbably entertaining, you begin to doubt its veracity. When he writes, for example, that the worst customer to collect money from on his paper route when he was 11, Mrs. His reminiscences of his parsimonious sportswriter father and appealingly loopy mother provided some of the most convulsive sections of that first book. In fact, I remember reading it on the couch and disturbing my wife at her kitchen-table academic studies with my howls. When she asked me what was so funny, I would, in reading the passage aloud to her, inevitably be reduced to body-racking, tear-inducing, de-couching laughter. What keeps the memoir from becoming a sentimental trip down Pleasant Street, a real Des Moines lane, is that, unlike in his schoolboy years, here Bryson has done his homework.
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
The living was easy
Don't ever read a Bill Bryson book while drinking a carbonated soft drink, or as in my case draft root beer. A snort of laughter inevitable in a Bryson book will send frothing bubbles up your nose or as in my case out your nose, which can be momentarily very painful, albeit exceptionally amusing to anyone in your immediate vicinity. Bryson's latest, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, chronicles the writer's early years in Iowa, as well as the rich history of his alter-ego, the valiant Thunderbolt Kid, scourge of villains worldwide well, perhaps just Iowa-wide. The Thunderbolt Kid arrived in Des Moines in electron year 21,,, , dropped off in a silver spaceship by his father, Volton, who hypnotized the Bryson family into thinking that Bill was a normal boy. In the manner of a latter-day Mark Twain, Bryson spins tales of everyday events that somehow transcend normality to a plane of wonderment and humor. When his father was once invited out for Chinese food, he reported back incredulously to the family: They eat it with sticks, you know.
The book delves into Bryson's past, telling of his youth growing up in Des Moines, Iowa , during the s and early s.
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Though billed as memoir, Bryson's follow-up to A Short History of Nearly Everything can only be considered one in the broadest sense. Sure, it's filled with Bryson's recollections of his Des Moines, Iowa, childhood.
He relates an all-American experience in Des Moines, Iowa, full of family oddities, friendships, and his own rich imagination. The work intertwines the events, people, and inventions that transformed America during the decade, along with Bryson's own experiences and thoughts in fourteen themed chapters. Throughout, Bryson uses his alter ego, the Thunderbolt Kid, and his humorous reminisces to illuminate the concerns, preoccupations, and joys of a nation and a young boy in Iowa. At some point in his childhood, Bryson decided that his biological parents could not possibly be his biological parents and he could not possibly be from earth. Finding an old football jersey with a golden thunderbolt on it that no one knew anything about confirmed for Bryson that he had been placed on this earth by King Volton of Planet Electro. Bryson spent his formative years vaporizing morons and perfecting ThunderVision, which allowed Bryson to see under women's clothing, if only in his imagination. Aside from his superhero powers, Bryson experienced many of the trials and travails of childhood in the s.
There is simply no avoiding Bill Bryson. He doesn't so much write new books as scatter his whim to the four corners of the world, like a spectacled Santa or a pullover-wearing Jolly Green Giant. This memoir is an apologia for America, but also a memorial. Clearly, this isn't history, or anything like it; it's chrome-plated nostalgia. Bryson's sense of having been born at the best of all possible times in the best of all possible places may not bear much serious scrutiny, but he certainly makes the facts fit his feelings.