The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

Stop what you are doing, go to the bookstore or library, and get this book (the title of the blog) right now! I’m being serious, because this is a must read book for anyone living in Des Moines and going to DMU. Did you know there was a world-famous author who grew up just two blocks away from where DMU now stands?

Not only is Bill Bryson world famous, but he’s also hilarious. I saw him live when he came to town last year and I have read several of his books, and each time I walk away loving him all over again. This book in particular is a great read, because it talks about the Des Moines of 60 years ago, and all about this neighborhood that we now live in. When you are done, pass it along to your parents or grandparents, those of the boomer generation, and allow them to take a stroll down memory lane.

Here’s a synopsis of his book, “The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid” from 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.”

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