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.