The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
Bill Bryson was born in the middle of the century - 1951 - in the middle of the United States - Des Moines, Iowa - in the middle of the largest generation in American history - the baby boomers. As one of the best and funniest writers alive, he is perfectly positioned to mine his memories of his childhood for 24-carat memoir gold. Like millions of his generational peers, Bill Bryson grew up with a rich fantasy life as a superhero. In his case, he ran around his house and neighbourhood with a jersey with a thunderbolt on it and a towel about his neck that served as his cape, leaping tall buildings in a single bound and vanquishing awful evildoers - in his head - as "The Thunderbolt Kid."
Using his old fantasy-life persona as a springboard, Bill Bryson recreates the life of his family in the 1950s in all its transcendent normality - a life at once completely familiar to us all and as far away and unreachable as another galaxy. Warm and laugh-out-loud funny, and full of Bill's inimitable, pitch-perfect observations, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE THUNDERBOLT KID promises to be as wondrous a book as Bill Bryson has ever written.
'Bryson's evocation of an era is near perfect: hilarious, tender and true' -- The Times
'A memoir just bulging with droll narrative swerves, shimmies and double-takes... much smarter, and stranger, than its billing as a gentle glut of nostalgia. This is a witty book about innocence and its limits, but in no sense an innocent book... Like Alan Bennett, another ironist posing as a sentimentalist, Bryson can play the teddy-bear and then deliver a sudden, grizzly-style swipe. Which doesn't make his book any less engaging a slice of baby-boomer heaven.' -- Boyd Tonkin, The Independent