Funniest book I’ve read in ages

Bill Bryson: Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid — I’ve finally read it now it’s out in paperback. I know I was never going to be disappointed, but it was a great book. Hilarious in parts, poignant in others. Mostly hilarious though. The description of the Dick and Jane books and the characters’ robotic dialogue had me laughing out loud. Likewise the high school gym classes, where all the white kids found themselves thoroughly outclassed — even by “a three-hundred-pound spheroid named Tubby Brown” — not only had me guffawing, but re-reading it to Marita one night while waiting for a train had us in gales of uncontrollable laughter.

While Bryson grew up around 20 years before and a hemisphere away from me, I can almost see more similarities between 50’s America and 70’s Australia than 70’s Australia and 2000’s Australia. I could probably write a similar book about my childhood… if only I had the research, the writing skills, the keen eye for humour and the time.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

4 replies on “Funniest book I’ve read in ages”

I read that a couple of weeks ago, great book, although I felt a strange feeling of deja vu in some bits of the book, has he used some of it before in other books?

Maybe I read an excerpt on-line somewhere?

I bought this book about 6 weeks ago (in hardback) when I was waiting for a flight in Perth – I love Bill Bryson’s sense of humour – and the bit about the nuclear testing in the Islands had me laughing out loud on the plane!

My brother in law (from Iowa!) brought this for me and I loved it. It was even crazier as I’ve been to Des Moines and have heard stories from his family about half the things int he book.

I loved it, even though I grew up in the 80’s I found so much relevant and found myself saying ‘Oh I did that’ or ‘I remember that’ so many times, Bryson never fails to entertain me.

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