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James May's Magnificent Machines: How men in sheds have changed our lives [Kindle Edition]

James May , Phil Dolling
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

Our world has been transformed beyond recognition, particularly in the twentieth century, and so were our lives and our aspirations. Throughout JAMES MAY'S MAGNIFICENT MACHINES James May explores the iconic themes of the past hundred years: flight, space travel, television, mechanised war, medicine, computers, electronic music, skyscrapers, electronic espionage and much more. But he also reveals the hidden story behind why some inventions like the Zeppelin, the hovercraft or the Theremin struggled to make their mark. He examines the tipping points - when technologies such as the car or the internet became unstoppable - and gets up closeO�to theO�nuts and bolt of remarkable inventions. Packed with surprising statistics and intriguing facts, this is the ideal book for anyone who wants to know how stuff works and why some stuff didn't make it.

Product Description


'James May is the best thing ever to come out of Top Gear' (Radio Times)

'Smart, sharply written' (Guardian)

'The most loveable of the Top Gear presenting trio . . . there's a sharp and interesting mind under the corduroy. Fascinating.' (Nottingham Evening Post)

Book Description

Published to tie in with the major BBC TV series, James May takes an in-depth look at the great inventions of our time

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 838 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (1 Mar. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00713DMFY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #171,896 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

James May is a writer, broadcaster and co-host of Top Gear on BBC2. He writes a weekly column in the Daily Telegraph and has presented series for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read and Lots of Interesting Facts 11 May 2009
The thing I like about this book, as well as May On Motors, is the style of James's writing. It is though he is talking to you directly and explaining interesting stuff through speech rather than the written word.

James puts a few wrongs right in the book, giving due recognition to the true inventors of famous and interesting things. Many "so called facts" are laid to rest. For example, Ferdinand Porsche did not invent the VW beetle! If you enjoy James May on the TV, then you will enjoy this (and May On Motors) book. My hope is that he will soon write some more.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A generally good book version of the `James May's 20th Century' TV series, which chronicles the technological developments of the twentieth century with a thematic rather than chronological narrative. This is, on the whole, a decent and at times highly readable account of the technology behind (say) the Moon landings, the development of the radio and how technological development impacted on popular culture. Being a book, more detail is allowed than in the TV series. But it's not perfect by any means. Most jarring are several basic factual errors, the blame for which must lie jointly with May himself, co-author Phil Dolling and their editors - chief of which are persistently referring to the Moon as a planet, and naming Anthony Burgess - as opposed to either Guy Burgess or Anthony Blunt - as one of the Cambridge spies. Could do better.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and Fun 4 Oct. 2007
By Lymaze
What a wonderful book. Full of interesting facts and glorious photographs. Anyone who watched the programmes will be surprised to learn the book is even better, for it is more in depth and covers subjects which weren't really touched upon in the programme. James May has a beautiful way with words and makes the science and invention of the 20th Century both exciting and fascinating.

A great Christmas book - put it on your lists now.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another great book from May 23 May 2012
By c1h8e0l
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a fan of James May and have purchased most of his published works. I like his chatty, conversational style. There are lots of fun little stories and facts about great things that were invented at home in the garden shed by normal people rather than in a lab with a team of experts. Well worth reading if you like May's other books.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Machines 3 Aug. 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good book on the whole. Could have been a little more detailed but then I suspect that it's just a quick facts book.

Was a little annoyed at the references in the back, for me they should have been in the main body of the text as they were only one or two lines each.

Having said that I recommend this book to anyone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent machines 22 May 2013
By Steve P
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
All the things you want to know and a little bit more including childhood nostalgia, Clarke's commando shoes ,the ones with a compass in the heel.
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