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About the book
  • Published: 4 January 2016
  • ISBN: 9781784161811
  • Imprint: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $30.00
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The Life And Times Of The Thunderbolt Kid

Travels Through my Childhood




Bill Bryson on his most personal journey yet: into his own childhood in America's Mid-West.

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.

  • Pub date: 4 January 2016
  • ISBN: 9781784161811
  • Imprint: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $30.00

About the Author

Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951. His bestselling books include The Road to Little Dribbling, Notes from a Small Island, A Walk in the Woods, One Summer and The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. In a national poll, Notes from a Small Island was voted the book that best represents Britain. His acclaimed work of popular science, A Short History of Nearly Everything, won the Aventis Prize and the Descartes Prize, and was the biggest selling non-fiction book of its decade in the UK. His new book The Body: A Guide for Occupants is an extraordinary exploration of the human body which will have you marvelling at the form you occupy.
Bill Bryson was Chancellor of Durham University 2005–2011. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society. He lives in England.

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Praise for The Life And Times Of The Thunderbolt Kid

“A wittily incisive 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... might tell us as much about the oddities of the American way as a dozen think-tanks”

Boyd Tonkin, Independent

“A funny, effortlessly readable, quietly enchanted memoir... Bryson also provides a quirky social history of America... he always manages to slam on the brakes with a good joke just when things might get sentimental”

Daily Mail

“Characteristic mixture of bemused wit, acerbic astonishment and sweet benevolence... Evocation of an era is near perfect: tender, hilarious and true”

The Times

“Outlandishly and improbably entertaining... inevitably [I] would be reduced to body-racking, tear-inducing, de-couching laughter”

The New York Times

“Seriously funny”

The Sunday Times

“Hilarious... not your typical travel writer”

Sunday Telegraph

“Funny, wise, learned and compulsive”

GQ

“Not only hilarious but also insightful and informative”

Independent on Sunday

“Always witty and sometimes hilarious... wonderfully funny and touching”

Literary Review


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