This book is incredible. It explains so many of the things you look at but don't really understand when you drive around the world, presented in clear, immensely enjoyable text written for the literate layman.
Everything is written from the viewpoint of the observer, so that explanations of the purpose of an object are accompanied by descriptions of how to recognize it and spot it "in the field". The chapter on the power grid, for example, covers so much of "Things on telephone poles", that I now have trouble driving a straight line down a road that runs near a power line because my eyes are drawn upward trying to spot pieces of equipment. He even includes a box explaining the telephone pole itself.
The author has basic, easy to read explanations of any science or technical information that may be helpful in understanding the function of objects. The explanations of items and places are clear and easy to read, never bogging down for even the most technical of items. His photography provides clear examples of what is mentioned in the text. International examples abound, and make interesting comparisons to U.S. standards. Also, a fascinating introduction and many points in the text raise and discuss interesting questions about the impact of the often large-scale infrastructure on our environment and society.
This book is like a huge jar of peanuts: so much that you would never be able to complete it in a few sittings, but once you start it is hard to put it down. And whenever I pass by it on the table, I always want to read a section or two. It is a fantastic reference, inspiring moments of "aha, that's what that is" at every turn.
The author's bio mentions that he has been working on it for 15 years, and this dedication shows. It is hard to imagine how one man can accomplish such an encyclopedic work as this, even in 15 years. Clearly, a labor of love that has produced a terrific volume that I'm sure I will enjoy for years.