October Book Review

This month’s review is by Catherine Adde

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson

In the 1990s, my father-in-law would faithfully clip out and post to us a column from the Daily Mail (UK) written by Bill Bryson. An American living in England, Mr. Bryson gently poked fun at all things British—his musings were hilarious. These articles appear in his bestselling book, Notes from a Small Island, and we eagerly read every book he wrote after that. His comedic talent, evident during an appearance at Vromanís Bookstore, sparked my curiosity: What was he like as a boy? The answer is here in this book, which our gentlemen readers will particularly enjoy.

Bill Bryson’s humorous childhood memoir transports us to Iowa during the mid 1950s. His imagination and alter ego ëthe Thunderbolt Kidí is revealed when he becomes like one of the superheroes in his beloved action comic books. Taking us down memory lane, he reminds us of our American inventions, innovations, and large everything—cars, appliances, back yards, meal portions. Describing his eccentric family, school days, teachers and chums, he revels in the ridiculous: toys such as silly putty, slinkys and hula hoops. Neighborhood mom and pop markets, grand movie houses, luxurious department stores, now extinct, come vividly back to life for those of us raised in Middle America during the 1950s and ë60s. Written in true Bryson style—tongue in cheek, witty, vivid, and guaranteed to tickle your funny bone!

CALL # STATUS: 810.92 (Also on CD read by the Author)