The Life And Times Of The Thunderbolt Kid

Author: Bill Bryson

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1409095789

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 384

View: 2148


Bill Bryson’s first travel book opened with the immortal line, ‘I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to.’ In this deeply funny and personal memoir, he travels back in time to explore the ordinary kid he once was, in the curious world of 1950s Middle America. It was a happy time, when almost everything was good for you, including DDT, cigarettes and nuclear fallout. This is a book about one boy’s growing up. But in Bryson’s hands, it becomes everyone’s story, one that will speak volumes – especially to anyone who has ever been young.

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

Author: Bill Bryson

Publisher: Doubleday UK

ISBN: N.A

Category: Children In United States

Page: 309

View: 1424


From one of the most beloved and bestselling authors in the English language, a vivid, nostalgic, and utterly hilarious memoir of growing up in the 1950s. Bill Bryson was born in the middle of the American century - 1951 - in the middle of the United States - Des Moines, lowa - in the middle of the largest generation in American history - the baby boomers. Like millions of his generational peers, Bill Bryson grew up with a rich fantasy life as superhero.

Summary of Bill Bryson's The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

Author: Everest Media

Publisher: Everest Media LLC

ISBN: N.A

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 38

View: 1664


Please note: This is a companion version & not the original book. Sample Book Insights: #1 Isometrics is a form of exercise that involves using any unyielding object and pushing against it with all your might from different positions to tone and strengthen different groups of muscles. It was popular in the 1950s, but my father was a sportswriter for The Des Moines Register, and so he would do isometrics on airplanes to travel to Major League cities. #2 In the 1950s, America was the richest country in the world. The Czekalinski family of Cleveland, Ohio, was shown in a magazine two weeks before my birth, surrounded by the two and a half tons of food that a typical blue-collar family ate in a year. #3 People were happy because they could have things they had never dreamed of having. They looked forward to the future, and many were excited about the small enrichments available right now. #4 My father, who was a sports columnist for the Des Moines Register, would go to the World Series every year for nearly forty years, from 1945 until his retirement. It was the high point of his working year. He would witness many memorable moments of baseball history, and he always seemed to be there when something significant occurred.

Quicklet on Bill Bryson's The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid - A Memoir (CliffNotes-like Summary)

Author: Becki Chiasson

Publisher: Hyperink Inc

ISBN: 161464957X

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 25

View: 4323


ABOUT THE BOOK “Growing up was easy. It required no thought or effort on my part. It was going to happen anyway. So what follows isn’t terribly eventful, I’m afraid. And yet it was by a very large margin the most fearful, thrilling, interesting, instructive, eye-popping, lustful, eager, troubled, untroubled, confused, serene, and unnerving time of my life.” So begins “The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid,” which was published in 2006. It was a departure from Bill Bryson’s earlier books. His previous work, “A Short History of Nearly Everything,” a book about science written for the average Joe, had taken a lot out of him and he wanted to work on something easier. Bryson told the Guardian: “I promised my wife I would do a book I could stay at home to do ... and I promised my publisher that I would do something more amusing that would corral back the core of my readership, some of whom doubtless were slightly appalled and alienated by A Short History. And also, purely in a selfish way, I wanted to do a book that I wouldn't have to do a lot of hard thinking and research about. I did miss writing humorous things.” MEET THE AUTHOR Becki Chiasson is a Baltimore-based writer who received her BS in Mass Communications from Towson University. Although she spent some time in New York as a crossword puzzle editor, she returned to her hometown in Maryland in 2010 to focus on writing. Her favorite topics include video games and women's issues. When she's not busy writing up a storm, she crochets, plays video games, and bakes. EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK “The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid” centers on Bryson’s life as a young child in Des Moines, Iowa during the 1950s and follows Bryson through puberty. The plot is less of a structured narrative and more of a series of loosely related, humorous anecdotes about growing up during happier, simpler times. A central conceit to the book is the idea that Bryson was the Thunderbolt Kid, a superhero who could make his enemies (usually people Bryson deemed to be morons) disappear in a flash of light by casting a withering stare at them. This superpower is presented in all seriousness, although it is rather doubtful that it ever happened. The first time Bryson used his superpower, he was six years old. He was at a diner with his mother and discovered to his great chagrin that the ancient-looking man next to him had been drinking out of Bryson’s water glass. Worse still, the man had been eating poached eggs, which Bryson positively despised. Bryson freaked out, gagging, and the man only laughed, having no remorse at all. When he turned to leave, “as he reached out to open the door, bolts of electricity flew from my wildly dilated eyes and played over his body. He shimmered for an instant, contorted in a brief, silent rictus of agony, and was gone. It was the birth of ThunderVision. The world had just become a dangerous place for morons.” Buy a copy to keep reading!

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

Author: Bill Bryson

Publisher: National Geographic Books

ISBN: 076791936X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 0

View: 2808


From one of the most beloved and bestselling authors in the English language, a vivid, nostalgic, and utterly hilarious memoir of growing up in the 1950s Bill Bryson was born in the middle of the American 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 a totally all-American 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 neighborhood with an old football 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 (and morons)—in his head—as "The Thunderbolt Kid." Using this persona as a springboard, Bill Bryson re-creates the life of his family and his native city 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. It was, he reminds us, a happy time, when automobiles and televisions and appliances (not to mention nuclear weapons) grew larger and more numerous with each passing year, and DDT, cigarettes, and the fallout from atmospheric testing were considered harmless or even good for you. He brings us into the life of his loving but eccentric family, including affectionate portraits of his father, a gifted sportswriter for the local paper and dedicated practitioner of isometric exercises, and OF his mother, whose job as the home furnishing editor for the same paper left her little time for practicing the domestic arts at home. The many readers of Bill Bryson’s earlier classic, A Walk in the Woods, will greet the reappearance in these pages of the immortal Stephen Katz, seen hijacking literally boxcar loads of beer. He is joined in the Bryson gallery of immortal characters by the demonically clever Willoughby brothers, who apply their scientific skills and can-do attitude to gleefully destructive ends. Warm and laugh-out-loud funny, and full of his inimitable, pitch-perfect observations, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is as wondrous a book as Bill Bryson has ever written. It will enchant anyone who has ever been young.

Notes From A Big Country

Author: Bill Bryson

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 140909572X

Category: Travel

Page: 384

View: 3374


Bill Bryson has the rare knack of being out of his depth wherever he goes - even (perhaps especially) in the land of his birth. This became all too apparent when, after nearly two decades in England, the world's best-loved travel writer upped sticks with Mrs Bryson, little Jimmy et al. and returned to live in the country he had left as a youth. Of course there were things Bryson missed about Blighty but any sense of loss was countered by the joy of rediscovering some of the forgotten treasures of his childhood: the glories of a New England autumn; the pleasingly comical sight of oneself in shorts; and motel rooms where you can generally count on being awakened in the night by a piercing shriek and the sound of a female voice pleading, 'Put the gun down, Vinnie, I'll do anything you say.' Whether discussing the strange appeal of breakfast pizza or the jaw-slackening direness of American TV, Bill Bryson brings his inimitable brand of bemused wit to bear on that strangest of phenomena - the American way of life.

Finding a New Midwestern History

Author: Jon K. Lauck,Gleaves Whitney,Joseph Hogan

Publisher: U of Nebraska Press

ISBN: 149620879X

Category: History

Page: 494

View: 1083


In comparison to such regions as the South, the far West, and New England, the Midwest and its culture have been neglected both by scholars and by the popular press. Historians as well as literary and art critics tend not to examine the Midwest in depth in their academic work. And in the popular imagination, the Midwest has never really ascended to the level of the proud, literary South; the cultured, democratic Northeast; or the hip, innovative West Coast. Finding a New Midwestern History revives and identifies anew the Midwest as a field of study by promoting a diversity of viewpoints and lending legitimacy to a more in-depth, rigorous scholarly assessment of a large region of the United States that has largely been overlooked by scholars. The essays discuss facets of midwestern life worth examining more deeply, including history, religion, geography, art, race, culture, and politics, and are written by well-known scholars in the field such as Michael Allen, Jon Butler, and Nicole Etcheson.

Down Under

Author: Bill Bryson

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1409095630

Category: Travel

Page: 432

View: 5369


It is the driest, flattest, hottest, most desiccated, infertile and climatically aggressive of all the inhabited continents and still Australia teems with life – a large portion of it quite deadly. In fact, Australia has more things that can kill you in a very nasty way than anywhere else. Ignoring such dangers – and yet curiously obsessed by them – Bill Bryson journeyed to Australia and promptly fell in love with the country. And who can blame him? The people are cheerful, extrovert, quick-witted and unfailingly obliging: their cities are safe and clean and nearly always built on water; the food is excellent; the beer is cold and the sun nearly always shines. Life doesn’t get much better than this...

The Road to Little Dribbling

Author: Bill Bryson

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 147350807X

Category: Travel

Page: 480

View: 8020


WINNER: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLER READER AWARD FOR BEST TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR 2016 WINNER: BOOKS ARE MY BAG READER AWARD FOR BEST AUTOBIOGRAPHY OR BIOGRAPHY 2016 Twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to celebrate the green and kindly island that had become his adopted country. The hilarious book that resulted, Notes from a Small Island, was taken to the nation’s heart and became the bestselling travel book ever, and was also voted in a BBC poll the book that best represents Britain.Now, to mark the twentieth anniversary of that modern classic, Bryson makes a brand-new journey round Britain to see what has changed. Following (but not too closely) a route he dubs the Bryson Line, from Bognor Regis to Cape Wrath, by way of places that many people never get to at all, Bryson sets out to rediscover the wondrously beautiful, magnificently eccentric, endearingly unique country that he thought he knew but doesn’t altogether recognize any more. Yet, despite Britain’s occasional failings and more or less eternal bewilderments, Bill Bryson is still pleased to call our rainy island home. And not just because of the cream teas, a noble history, and an extra day off at Christmas. Once again, with his matchless homing instinct for the funniest and quirkiest, his unerring eye for the idiotic, the endearing, the ridiculous and the scandalous, Bryson gives us an acute and perceptive insight into all that is best and worst about Britain today.