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3.7 out of 5 stars76
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 14 September 2012
The general criticism of `Round the Bend' is Clarkson's references to `the above picture'. Images are absent as the book is a simple `copy-and-paste' job of his Sunday Times columns. A previous reviewer describes this occurrence as `in nearly all of... [the] reviews'. This is an absolute exaggeration; I found about 10 and there are about 100 chapters. Although irritating, watchers of Top Gear aren't likely to have problems visualising the chosen car.

Aside from this error, Clarkson's reviews do not disappoint. They are short (about 4 pages each), perfect for those without much time. Often, the first 75% of each extract is a rant, which is then skilfully linked to the characteristic of the chosen car for the final 25%. The rants are laugh-out-loud amusing, commonly mocking politicians, environmentalists or Audi drivers, and his car-talk relates to the everyday person, not steeped in confusing automotive jargon.

To conclude, finely written (for Clarkson fans), yet the poor editing job subtracts from its overall success.
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on 3 November 2011
I wish I'd been warned beforehand. A new book by JC is a must-have for any self-respecting British petrolhead, even if it's one of his works which only mentions cars in passing. This latest opus is 100% cars, but the trouble is, it's simply a thrown-together collection of Jeremy's reviews for the Sunday Times since 2008. Which is all very well, unless you happen to be a Sunday Times reader,because if you are,that means you've seen all of this stuff before, except if you skipped an issue.

Now innumerable journalists have published anthologies of their newspaper articles, from H.L. Menken via Flann O'Brian to Hunter S.Thompson. Perhaps the best-known example is Charles Dickens. But Jeremy Clarkson, despite being a fine contemporary writer, is no Charles Dickens. And I used the expression 'thrown-together' to describe this collection seriously. You see, in nearly all of these separate reviews,the phrase 'in the picture above' recurs. The trouble is, there are no pictures, unlike when the article first appeared in the paper. Maybe this is for copyright reasons, or something like that, but even the most ardent petrolhead is hard-pushed to have such an encyclopedic knowledge of the motoring world that he can conjure up a mental image of every car Mr Clarkson refers to.

So the repetition of 'in the picture above' niggles at first, then becomes irritating, and finally leads the reader to feel negative about the book as a whole. It's not just bad editing, it's a sign of no editing at all, and that's why I give this one only three stars. The writing itself is just as much fun as ever, and the timing of publication for the paperback version impeccable: it will end up in any number of Christmas stockings without a doubt. But it's a bit of a cheap shot.

'Could have tried harder'.
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on 25 July 2012
I've got to admit this isn't one of Clarkson's finest. It is still a good read and funny in places but not as entertaining as his earlier books. Also, as has been mentioned in some of the other reviews, constant references to photos of cars that don't exist became a bit wearing.
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on 19 February 2012
As a huge TopGear fan, I love Jeremy Clarksons irreverent style. I like his tone and the way he describes things sometimes in the most inconceivable ways. Humour mixed with a message. Great stuff.... Usually.

This book does contain his irreverent and unmistakable style for sure, it is Jeremy Clarkson who penned it originally. But this unfortunately is just a mash if his Sunday Times peices thrown together for £20. Not exactly Best-seller material. To top it off, most of the cars mentioned are out of date by today's standards, some articles date back to 2008, some 4 years ago (at the Time of writing this).

It seems a shame that such a man, with such a way with words, and knowledge of all things automotive, would sign off on this, which in all honesty is a fast money maker and not much else.

Shame on you Mr. Clarkson, your fans deserve better.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 25 February 2013
Try to get past your innate prejudices and read Clarkson. You'll generally be well rewarded. He is a pretty good writer and persuasive in the style of classic essayists. As with those classic essayists, you may not agree with every word he says. In my own case, I'd be lucky to find more than a small percentage of Clarkson's thoughts finding a resonance with me but he is my guilty pleasure.I love reading him and have bought almost all his books. Try it for yourself- I won't tell anyone and you don't have to read it in a public place.
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on 19 October 2012
I prefer Clarkson's more miscellaneous writings (I'm a girl, I'm not that interested in torque and bhp!) but when I can't get them I'll happily read the car stuff because most of every review is generally pretty random and always amusing. I do love the way he tells it like (he thinks) it is, even when I don't agree with him the man can make me laugh.

This book doesn't disappoint. It's just what you expect it to be so if you like him, buy it, if you don't like him, don't buy it. Or buy it and rant while you read!
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on 17 January 2013
And honestly I thought this one is not as good as some of the previous ones. Some jokes are repeated, some car reviews are almost identical with ones he has written earlier. Few times I had irresistible feeling I read it before and remembered vividly. Does not change the fact that I love his sense of humour and agree with most of his observations. If you read him just from time to time go for it - it will make you laugh.
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on 12 November 2014
Bought this on a whim. Clarkson gets a lot of criticism (some of it deserved), but this is written quite well and it is written in bite-size chunks making it ideal as a 'bathroom book'. One downside of this book is that he is reviewing specific cars (although he quickly goes off topic), but a book like this needs a glossy pic of the car he talking about.
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on 28 March 2013
I sometimes think JC is arrogant and sometimes juvenile. But I must admit his books are definitely amusing. I wish I could sum things up in such an amusing manner like he does. Or put things into a nutshell with devastating wit and brevity. His disdain of footballers I find refreshing in a world that seems to revere yobbish behavour.
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on 13 June 2013
It took me most of the way though the book to work out way I didn't enjoy this volume as much as the other 3 I have read previously. I came to the conclusion that it was the format of trying to start with a humorous story followed a a serious car review jammed into whatever the work limit had been set by the newspaper.
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