Warm, funny and intensely nostalgic, Bill Bryson’s ‘Thunderbolt Kid’ is one of the best pieces of literature I’ve read in a while. He opens with the line, ‘I was born in Des Moines, Iowa. Somebody had to.’; setting the tone for a book that is a wild, wild ride into the inner workings of a kid who grew up in one of the best times that America has ever seen.
The ‘Thunderbolt Kid’ charmed me. The writing style, the stories, practically everything about the book screamed out to me. As a girl who grew up in India in the 2000’s, there is practically nothing for me to relate to. And it was perhaps, exactly this novelty, that drew me in. The 1950s was a heady time in America-the Great Depression was finally over and prosperity was just around the corner. Everywhere you looked, you saw signs of a big, big world waiting to emerge. Bill describes each day bringing something new- color television; the atomic toilets at Bishop’s; the Kiddie Corral at Dahl’s, the local supermarket, filled with the most comic books you could ever see in a single place; and the most wondrous of all- Disneyland. It was a heady time in America and everyone knew it.
In the midst of all these goings-on was Bill, with a keen mind of his own. This, coupled with his zest for adventure and propensity to get into trouble, combine to produce a series of endearing real-life stories from his childhood. A book that perfectly chronicles a kid’s experience of growing up in a country that was poised at the very edge of becoming an undisputed superpower, the ‘Thunderbolt Kid’ is sure to leave you in love with the times that were.
Inimitable and perfect to a fault.
Links to buy this awesome book-