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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Piece by piece, 11 May 2013
By 
Robin Benson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living (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. Gever Tulley, founder of the Tinkering School, talks about his summer camps where kids can learn how to use power tools and make things from scrap. Neither of these two essays had pictures of the things discussed.

This one of those wonderful books that can be opened at any page and you'll be immediately grabbed by stunning photos of hundreds of small items laid out with geometric precision or the same pieces floating in a spatial montage. I think the idea is good enough for second book (though without essays).

***LOOK AT SOME INSIDE PAGES by clicking 'customer images' under the cover.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally interesting, 8 July 2013
By 
M. Kopczyk "potatobenevolence" (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living (Hardcover)
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
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This review is from: Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living (Hardcover)
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
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This review is from: Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living (Hardcover)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars cool book, 13 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living (Hardcover)
It is interesting to see what objects are made of.
A bit nerdy , boyish, engineery, but really cool to look at
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful photos, 19 Jan 2014
This review is from: Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living (Hardcover)
Really great pictures - this book shows an absolute dedication to bringing these items to life once they have been dissected. Enjoyable to flick through and read the notes too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Geekfest, 12 Nov 2013
By 
Eric Stephen (Bonnie Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living (Hardcover)
Brilliant for people who like to take the backs off and have a look inside but are a little shy of going this far, especially if the item being investigated is not actually theirs.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating publication, 28 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living (Hardcover)
Amazing to see all the innards of contemporary equipment laid out and photographed. How does anyone figure all this out and make them in the first place? No wonder ordinary folk like me could hardly consider mending new items.
Very interesting articles interspersed with the photographs that consider the issues around making modern equipment that could make them more recyclable. It's not just a collection of pictures; interesting as they are on their own, the words that accompany them are worth reading on their own.
Summing up, if you ever found yourself dismantling kit to find out how it worked you'll love this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 21 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living (Hardcover)
Very interesting and inspiring book! Quick delivery!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 14 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living (Hardcover)
A fascinating insight! Well worth the investment.
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Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living
Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living by Todd McLellan (Hardcover - 20 May 2013)
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