We gave it a B+
Compared with his thick yet breezy Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson’s The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, his account of childhood in 1950s Iowa, might be called A Short History of Not All That Much. As he admits early on, ”My kid days were pretty good ones, on the whole” — don’t expect dark remembrances of tumultuous times. Instead, Bryson wryly revisits the small pleasures (TV shows, comic books), miseries (school, TV dinners), and occasional bouts of atomic dread that characterized life in a far more innocent era. The book is pitched at boomers, but readers of all ages will find evocative, Proustian nuggets.