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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 twenty-four-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 wearing 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 re-creates 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 Bryson's inimitable, pitch-perfect observations, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is as wondrous a book as Bill Bryson has ever written.