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Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living [Hardcover]

Todd McLellan
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.95
Price: 13.57 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

20 May 2013
This extraordinary book makes visible the inner complexity of some of the worlds most iconic products. Photographer Todd McLellan disassembles mechanical relics such as the typewriter and modern gadgets such as the iPad, before laying them out and photographing them in meticulously detailed arrangements, or capturing them in an exploded form, the individual pieces frozen in mid-air. Essays by people who work within the world of disassembly and restoration accompany each chapter.

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Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living + Art of Clean Up: Life Made Neat and Tidy + How to Sharpen Pencils
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Thames and Hudson Ltd (20 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500516766
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500516768
  • Product Dimensions: 34.3 x 26.7 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Artfully reveals the beauty hidden within all the stuff of our lives --GQ Magazine

Every man loves smashing things up, doing DIY, nerding out on something and looking at very pretty things, so when these four worlds collide, holy mother mercy of hell do we get excited ... It's almost too amazing. --FHM

A song of praise for the objects he so lovingly destroyed. --The Daily Telegraph

Jaw-dropping ... hardcore OCD porn. --Gay Times

Todd McLellan makes this junk drawer of mechanics a visual splendour --Dazed Digital

Fascinating and unusual. --Engineering Designer

These images provide a startling insight into their workings and the changing nature of manufacture, consumerism and obsolescence. --Embroidery

These images provide a startling insight into their workings and the changing nature of manufacture, consumerism and obsolescence. --Embroidery

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Piece by piece 11 May 2013
By Robin Benson TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
A fascinating look at just what is inside everyday objects and what surprised me was just how many bits there are when they carefully laid out and photographed from above in one of Todd McLellan's shots. A nice touch was keeping a running total of all the pieces: a 1982 Walkman has 370; 2007 Blackberry 120; 1960 blender 147; 1970 sewing machine 482; 1980 bike 893. Oddly cameras seem to have a very similar number of components: 1973 SLR has 576; 2012 digital SLR 580; 2005 digital video camera 558. Admittedly all these totals do include every nut, screw, washer and bolt. Most of the products were hand-holdable except for three, a bike, piano and a Zenith two-seater light aircraft (the CH-650 with 7580 pieces) this was photographed in the company hangar and shown over three pages with a fold-out.

Take the book apart and you'll find it's in three sections. First the fifty products were disassembled and laid out in a precise and formal way, photographed and then a second shot taken with strobe lighting as all the pieces were dropped from a platform in the studio to create a free-fall photo of parts and the complete opposite of the other photo. Actually McLellan says he had more success creating these second images by dropping them in groups and using software to combine the photos. The third part of the book and the weakest in my view, are four essays looking at tech innovation, restoration, online repairs and product disassembly.

These short essays are interesting enough but I thought they were rather out of place in a strongly visual book of products in pieces. They really should have had some photos, too. Penny Bendall, a ceramics conservator, discusses how she repairs broken ceramics: a valuable antique vase or figurines.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally interesting 8 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Fascinating. Excellent publication for anyone interested in how things work, symmetry, arrangement, visual order, complexity, and the underbelly of technology.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great 28 Jun 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
bought it as a present after seeing at the book store in selfridge's. recipient loves it.

very interesting book even if you are not a geek. pictures are amazing and you could look at them forever. good size for a coffee table book, although maybe on the slim side if you ask me. but such a creative book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book 5 Mar 2014
By Rhodri
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
this is a large and beautifully created book. it is amazing how taking a product apart can be turned into an art form. the large pull out sections really highlight the complexity of some of the products studied.
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