My rating: 4 of 5 stars
For the number of times I laughed out loud, I desperately want to give this book 5 stars. However, if it's going to be a laugh-out-loud memoir, it needs to be a laugh-out-loud memoir through and through. One hundred percent. And unfortunately, because he wanted to badly to "capture the 1950s," Bryson writes a few less-than-enthralling chapters in a book that is otherwise incredibly captivating. These chapters were so boring that I essentially skipped them.
"Welcome to Kid World"? An amazing chapter. "The Pursuit of Pleasure"? Spot-on (and therefore hysterical, as "Out and About"). "Boom!" on the other hand (or at least what I read of it), reads as a moderately entertaining history book chapter, as does a good portion of "What, Me Worry?"
Still, as a whole, this memoir is extremely amusing. Add to that one of the strongest narrative voices in modern comedic literature (a la David Sedaris), and The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is worth the time, money, and praise it's earned itself and its author.