The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
Author: Bill Bryson
Publsiher: Crown
Total Pages: 288
Release: 2006-10-17
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 9780767926317

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From one of the world's most beloved writers and New York Times bestselling author of A Walk in the Woods and The Body, 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.

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
Author: Bill Bryson
Publsiher: Random House
Total Pages: 403
Release: 2007
Genre: Travel writers
ISBN: 9780552772549

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Bill Brysonâe(tm)s first travel book opened with the immortal line, âe~I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to.âe(tm) 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 boyâe(tm)s growing up. But in Brysonâe(tm)s hands, it becomes everyoneâe(tm)s story, one that will speak volumes âe" especially to anyone who has ever been young.

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
Author: Bill Bryson
Publsiher: Anchor Canada
Total Pages: 288
Release: 2010-04-30
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 9780307373625

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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 middle of the United States in the middle of the last century. A book that delivers on the promise that it is “laugh-out-loud funny.” Some say that the first hints that Bill Bryson was not of Planet Earth came from his discovery, at the age of six, of a woollen jersey of rare fineness. Across the moth-holed chest was a golden thunderbolt. It may have looked like an old college football sweater, but young Bryson knew better. It was obviously the Sacred Jersey of Zap, and proved that he had been placed with this innocuous family in the middle of America to fly, become invisible, shoot guns out of people’s hands from a distance, and wear his underpants over his jeans in the manner of Superman. Bill Bryson’s first travel book opened with the immortal line, “I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to.” In this hilarious new memoir, he travels back to explore the kid he once was and the weird and wonderful world of 1950s America. He modestly claims that this is a book about not very much: about being small and getting much larger slowly. But for the rest of us, it is a laugh-out-loud book that will speak volumes – especially to anyone who has ever been young.

A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods
Author: Bill Bryson
Publsiher: Anchor Canada
Total Pages: 416
Release: 2012-05-15
Genre: Travel
ISBN: 9780385674546

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God only knows what possessed Bill Bryson, a reluctant adventurer if ever there was one, to undertake a gruelling hike along the world's longest continuous footpath—The Appalachian Trail. The 2,000-plus-mile trail winds through 14 states, stretching along the east coast of the United States, from Georgia to Maine. It snakes through some of the wildest and most spectacular landscapes in North America, as well as through some of its most poverty-stricken and primitive backwoods areas. With his offbeat sensibility, his eye for the absurd, and his laugh-out-loud sense of humour, Bryson recounts his confrontations with nature at its most uncompromising over his five-month journey. An instant classic, riotously funny, A Walk in the Woods will add a whole new audience to the legions of Bill Bryson fans.

made in america

made in america
Author: Bill Bryson
Publsiher: HarperCollins
Total Pages: 480
Release: 2015-06-02
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
ISBN: 9780062417411

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“A literate exploration of why we use—or mangle—our native tongue.”—USA Today Bill Bryson celebrates America’s magnificent offspring in the book that reveals once and for all how a dusty western hamlet with neither woods nor holly came to be known as Hollywood…and exactly why Mr. Yankee Doodle call his befeathered cap “Macaroni.”

Neither Here Nor There

Neither Here Nor There
Author: Bill Bryson
Publsiher: Anchor Canada
Total Pages: 304
Release: 2012-09-25
Genre: Travel
ISBN: 9780385674553

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Bryson brings his unique brand of humour to travel writing as he shoulders his backpack, keeps a tight hold on his wallet and heads for Europe. Travelling with Stephen Katz--also his wonderful sidekick in A Walk in the Woods--he wanders from Hammerfest in the far north, to Istanbul on the cusp of Asia. As he makes his way round this incredibly varied continent, he retraces his travels as a student twenty years before with caustic hilarity.

At Home

At Home
Author: Bill Bryson
Publsiher: Anchor Canada
Total Pages: 592
Release: 2011-10-04
Genre: Dwellings
ISBN: 9780385661645

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From the author of that classic of modern science writing, A Short History of Nearly Everything, comes a work of what you might call domestic science: our homes, how they work, and the fascinating history of how they got that way. Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as found in that comfortable home. To remedy this, he formed the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to "write a history of the world without leaving home." The bathroom provides the occasion for a history of hygiene; the bedroom, sex, death, and sleep; the kitchen, nutrition and the spice trade; and so on, as Bryson shows how each has figured in the evolution of private life. Whatever happens in the world, he demostrates, ends up in our house, in the paint and the pipes and the pillows and every item of furniture. From the Hardcover edition.

The Lost Continent

The Lost Continent
Author: Bill Bryson
Publsiher: Anchor Canada
Total Pages: 352
Release: 2012-09-25
Genre: Travel
ISBN: 9780385674560

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"I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to." And, as soon as Bill Bryson was old enough, he left. Des Moines couldn't hold him, but it did lure him back. After ten years in England he returned to the land of his youth, and drove almost 14,000 miles in search of a mythical small town called Amalgam, the kind of smiling village where the movies from his youth were set. Instead he drove through a series of horrific burgs, which he renamed Smellville, Fartville, Coleslaw, Coma, and Doldrum. At best his search led him to Anywhere, USA, a lookalike strip of gas stations, motels and hamburger outlets populated by obese and slow-witted hicks with a partiality for synthetic fibres. He discovered a continent that was doubly lost: lost to itself because he found it blighted by greed, pollution, mobile homes and television; lost to him because he had become a foreigner in his own country.