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Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

Ok whilst on holiday I finished Bill Bryson's "The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid" which has the subtitle "Travels Through My Childhood". The childhood is one that started in Des Moines, Iowa in 1951

I suspect it will change no ones opinion of Bryson. You'll either love it or hate it. The book is full of stories of America in the 50's and is a wonderful piece of nostalgia and a an interesting contrast to 50's Britain. Whereas Britain was Grey America comes across as Golden. No doubt there is a hint of rose coloured spectacles but America was not ravaged by war as Europe was.

There are some fascinating anecdotes. It is interesting to note the power of the advertiser.
for a broadcast of "Judgement at Nuremburg" on a series called Playhouse 90, the sponsor, the American Gas Association, managed to have all references to gas ovens and the gassing of Jews removed from the script


There is of course the Bryson hyperbole but for all that his love for his parents and his undoubted pride in his father's sports writing shine through.

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