The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir

My enjoyment of this book was hampered by the fact that I mistakenly ordered the Large Print version from the library reservation system. The whole time I felt like it was shouting at me. Overlooking my own mistake, this was an enjoyable read. I like Bryson’s way of exaggerating to the nth degree– leaving no room for doubt that it is an exaggeration, but also conveying the original intent.
This is a peek back into the idyllic 1950s, where fun was something you saved up for, where television shows were crap, and movies contained zero nudity or suggestion of sex. Due to his chronic absenteeism, Bryson missed out on numerous days of atomic bomb drills at school, and thus during the first one he experienced where his non-participation went unnoticed, he determined that he could simply read comic books whilst everyone else quivered uncomfortably with butts up, heads down under their desks.
Bryson interweaves other facts into the story, bemoaning the loss of family farms, wishing for a return to halcyon days where quality mattered, not cost (the gorgeously built elementary school a testament to craftmanship), a look into conspicuous consumption and the need to buy beyond our means.