3/7/2007 8:41 AM
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt KidAuthor: Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson was born in the middle of the American century in the middle of the United States in the middle of the largest generation in American history. Like millions of his generational peers, Bryson grew up with a rich fantasy life as a superhero. In his case, circa 1951, 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 (in his head, of course) as "The Thunderbolt Kid." Using this persona as a springboard, Bill Bryson re-creates the life of his family and his native city of Des Moines, Iowa in the 1950s in all its transcendent normality - at once completely familiar to us all and as far away and unreachable as another galaxy.
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