I don’t know if you ever finish a book and feel like something different has happened? Something different to how you feel after finishing other books? Today I finished “The life and times of the Thunderbolt Kid” by Bill Bryson. I felt something different. It’s difficult to explain what, but I felt it at a deeper level than usual. Felt it in a different place and felt a different kind of thing. And while I can’t really pin-point where or what, I do know it felt good. I finished, put the book down, and just sat, stared, tried to think, feel, ….. and when nothing really special happened, I just got up and moved onto the next thing.

It’s a clever book, and being my first Bryson book, I assume it’s clever in the way that he’s known and talked about to be clever. It’s about him growing up in the 1950’s. But it’s really about America, Des Moines, to be specific in the 1950’s. And while I’m not American in any way, shape or form, I knew enough to appreciate and connect with much of what he reflected on.

It’s also about the changes that happened in America and the world toward the end of the 1950’s and the beginning of the 1960’s.

If I had to sum the book up, it would be in a sentence Bryson ‘pens’ on page 267 of the copy I was reading. Toward the end of the book. It was a sentence that grabbed hold of me and I haven’t been able to shake it off. It possibly, probably in fact, says more about me than about the book and what Bryson was trying to say. But perhaps not? Perhaps I’m right on the button?

“We were entering a world where things were done because they offered a better return, not a better world.”

Definitely worth a read : )

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