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The Shape of Shit to Come Hardcover – 11 Oct 2012

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The Shape of Shit to Come + Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Shit? - Volume Two: Vol. 2.
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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: The Friday Project (11 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000746746X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007467464
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 1.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 483,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steve Lowe and Alan McArthur are the authors of IS IT JUST ME OR IS EVERYTHING SHIT? Volumes 1 and 2 and BLIGHTY. Steve Lowe lives in Brighton and Alan McArthur lives in London.

Product Description


‘A stupendously wide-ranging compendium of what is happening in the world of tech . . . an encyclopedia for the can’t-be-arsed.’ NEW SCIENTIST

Praise for Is it Just Me or is Everything Shit?

‘Bilious old-codgering taken to the highest possible level as authors vent anger over the crassness and mediocrity of modern life cf. "juice drinks", Otis Ferry, Kabbalah, foot spas, Sam Taylor-Wood and pubs playing "mellow dance grooves".’ TIME OUT

‘A life-affirming guide to the modern world.’ ESQUIRE

About the Author

Steve and Alan are the authors of the book Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Shit and several other bestselling comedy books, many of them with the word ‘shit’ in the title.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By LJBentley on 5 Dec. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition

A satirical (if not frighteningly accurate) look at the scientific developments that have the potential to shape our future.


I will never claim to be one of life’s great thinkers. I hold a fair level of intelligence and I can hold my own in topical debate. However, the dirge of my academic life has always been science (closely followed by maths). I just never took to it as a subject. In actual fact I failed my GCSE exam in it but shrugged it off in a “That’s life” sort of way.

As I have gotten older I admit my curiosity has peaked (not enough to re-sit my science GCSE – this was recently offered to me by my former science teacher who is now my colleague in my place of employment) and I take a more active interest in how science shapes our lives.

This inquisitiveness led me to The Shape of Shit to Come. I must say that this is a brilliant book – not just because of the fascinating topics that it covers (robotics, space travel and jellyfish to name but a few) but also because it is damn hilarious. The chapters are peppered with funny little intrusions from the authors and quite frankly their ludicrous interludes provide comic relief to, what comes across as, some seriously scary science.

I still wouldn’t say that I am totally clued up about all the recent advances in science but I know I won’t be put off by books about these contentious issues either. If science is your passion then this is definitely a book for you. If, like me, you have a growing scientific curiosity then give this a try. What you may lack in smarts when it comes to understanding the technical stuff you can more than find amusement in the writing style.

The Shape of Shit to Come by Alan McArthur and Steve Lowe is available now.
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By MartinRG TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover
Imagine a book which is able to explain, in quite simple prose, how the world is evolving and how it will evolve in the future. Starting with genetics, through technology and then ending on space (with detours around just about all of current science) the authors take us on a lesson which I found incredibly informative, well written and simple to read (I read it cover to cover over 3 days, but that isn't to say it is a brief book, just enjoyable).

Now imagine that same book with added cynicism, utter disrespect for billionaires blowing their wads on madcap schemes and a great sense of humour and you basically have The Shape of Shit To Come. Note this is not "humor", it is total British sarcasm, well formed and hitting its targets with precision, with nothing escaping the mocking tone. I say this in a good way, I thoroughly enjoyed the style and, as a result, will hunt out the other books by Lowe and McArthur.

For those of a sensitive disposition, you won't be surprised (given "Shit" is in the title) that there is a tiny bit of swearing. Including a very bad word, whose use towards the end of the book made me snort out loud on the train.

I seldom highlight phrases when reading books on my Kindle, but I found I did this about 20 times when I found phrases I wanted to share (the last one being the fact Vernor Vinge rhymes his name with dingy - ok, not knockout funny, but it made me smile). It is the sort of book you can quote to friends or actually use in an educational way, to discuss how science and technology is evolving and how the next 10-20 years are going to see major changes to the way we live.

So, it's safe to say I loved everything about this book. If you have both a passing interest in science plus a British sense of humour you will love it to.

Highly recommended.

(nb: this book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)
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By David Wineberg TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 18 Sept. 2014
Format: Hardcover
TSOSTC is remarkable for two reasons (Okay, three). First, it is a near comprehensive summary of all the new and up and coming nonsense perpetrated by Man. As opposed to all the old nonsense, like wars, wiping out wildlife and poisoning the ecosphere. The second is that it is done with humour. This book is funny. Its paragraphs are structured with knockout punches. There is sarcasm, irony, reversals and tangents. All in a book on future technologies. And third, something I usually never comment on, a cover that is irresistible. It's an image of a robot covering its ears, having either heard enough, or holding its aching head in misery. Lovely.

The basic problem can be summed up as Man has made a mess, and is turning to science to correct it with a far bigger mess. Inspirations are uninspired. The wealthy elite are playing God. Sensible people should shriek in horror.

The humour saves it from being unbearably dark. In discussing the internet of things, talk turns to "toast 3.0" that your newly empowered toaster will be expected to produce. What that is, nobody knows. Nanotechnologists are also known as little people, which neatly tucks that topic away. And many paragraphs end by questioning themselves, as in: statement, Really? No, not really. OK, maybe. Think about it.

They also have an ear tuned to people's names, forever congratulating them on neat-sounding ones. A consistent sidelight throughout this roller coaster read.

Surprisingly, this is a largely well researched effort, citing a wide variety of scientists and authorities. References are noted. Facts are laid out for all to judge. It doesn't look good, but the spoonful of sugar helps.

David Wineberg
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