The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson - | BookPageYou'd have to have a heart of stone to not like Bill Bryson. It's like not liking puppies. Or strawberries. Or Christmas. Particularly Christmas, since what The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid makes clear is that, actually, he's really not much of a memoirist. And the critics who wonder whether he really had enough material left from his already heavily plundered childhood to fill a whole book might still wonder that after having read it.
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.