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25 Reviews
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, cute guy, lots of giggles....
I love James May, not as controversial as Clarkson but still has a fantastic view on life, cute and funny and an adorable scruff, many of the articles here had me laughing out loud, May is very self effacing, modest and comes across as a grumpy middle aged bloke with the heart of a 10yr old boy, my only complaint is that a lot of the articles in this book can be read...
Published on 31 May 2007 by S. C. Tuck

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard going!
James May writes exactly as he comes across in Top Gear! Nerdy and slightly boring! I even skipped a chapter because it was sooo tedious! I did persevere with the rest of the book but it did not enthrall me as much as Jeremy Clarkson's writing.
Published on 5 Sep 2011 by annie


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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, cute guy, lots of giggles...., 31 May 2007
This review is from: Notes from the Hard Shoulder (Paperback)
I love James May, not as controversial as Clarkson but still has a fantastic view on life, cute and funny and an adorable scruff, many of the articles here had me laughing out loud, May is very self effacing, modest and comes across as a grumpy middle aged bloke with the heart of a 10yr old boy, my only complaint is that a lot of the articles in this book can be read online at the Daily Telegraph's website but despite that it's a fantastic read, his other book May On Motors is also a brilliant read, well worth the cost just to hear him talk about his cat, his motorbikes and Colin....the best mate who has the patience of a saint :D go buy it, even if you just keep it by the toilet for those lengthy "getting away from the kids/wife/husband/in laws" moments.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny, would definitely recommend!, 1 Jun 2007
This review is from: Notes from the Hard Shoulder (Paperback)
Don't be put off by thinking that this will only be a very dry book about the intricacies of engines etc, even if you watch Top Gear mainly for the humour then you'll still enjoy this book because James May's writing is extremely funny at times and always very intelligent. Don't listen to what Jeremy Clarkson says on the back cover, buy this one!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and funny follow up, 31 May 2007
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This review is from: Notes from the Hard Shoulder (Paperback)
James May as usual proves to be an intelligent, entertaining and thought provoking writer and anyone who enjoys his Telegraph column will also get the added benefit of some of his "early works". These highlight the fact that he is one of our best journalists and there are some excellent observational pieces which show him to be a great travel writer in the making.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read from James, 25 Nov 2007
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Mrs. T. Jeffery (Ruislip, Middlesex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Notes from the Hard Shoulder (Paperback)
I will admit that I love James May in every way!! This book is as good as May on Motors. He's a great writer, not as controversial as Clarkson, but is still funny. Had me laughing out loud a few times. Look forward to his next one!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An acquired taste, 23 Feb 2009
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This review is from: Notes from the Hard Shoulder (Paperback)
When James first appeared on Top Gear, he just seemed plain weird. But as I got to know him, that turned into an eccentricity where he shows a scary kind of intelligence. This book takes that on where you get further insight into his unique perspective and logic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whoever would have thought I'd love a book that spends four pages discussing cup-holders in cars?!, 7 April 2008
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Sarah Durston (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Notes from the Hard Shoulder (Paperback)
I'm a little reluctant to admit to watching Top Gear as a guilty pleasure, even though half the time I haven't the foggiest idea what they are talking about! It was on this basis that I bought this James May book, hoping that things would become a little clearer. James May seems like the perfect teacher, a lot less abrasive than Jeremy Clarkson and looking a bit more like a science boffin than Richard Hammond.

I found this book hugely enjoyable. The short articles mean that it is easy to pick up and put down and he covers a range of topics from haunted car parks to how to solve disputes with van drivers and from cup-holders in cars to camper van holidays.

There were times when I was still lost. For example; 'The BTCC A4 is geared at a mere 0.9 turns lock to lock' I don't have the first idea what this means, but I still had a great time reading anyway!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 16 Mar 2008
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N. Young (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Notes from the Hard Shoulder (Paperback)
James May's second compendium of motoring-related articles makes for an excellent read. Of particular note is the one about the camper-van holiday, which is almost worth the asking-price on its own. Definitely better - in terms of being both more amusing and less arrogant - than Jeremy Clarkson's books.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read, 5 Jun 2007
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J. Finlayson "Jan" (Up North) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Notes from the Hard Shoulder (Paperback)
James as usual is an excellent writer, and some of the earlier articles such as the one on Detroit are thought provoking. Some of the articles are very funny and have me laughing out loud. If you enjoy Top Gear you'll love this. James is not as controversal as Clarkson, but is a great read. Buy !
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - a good light read with a hint of Wodehouse, 7 Feb 2008
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C. Stewart "The Cat's Whiskers" (Yorkshire/Nottinghamshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Notes from the Hard Shoulder (Paperback)
As an XX-chromosome carrier (i.e., not male) amongst the human species, I watch Top Gear for their humour and glorious refusal to bow to the PC idiots and enviro-mental scaremongers. I also read all three newspaper columns, which can make books like this seem deja vu, but I buy James May's because he reminds of an intelligent Bertie Wooster, or Rupert Psmith, that other great character by the master of comic prose, PG Wodehouse. On screen, May is often in the background, or the butt of Clarkson and Hammond's aggression, albeit this is why the trio work so well together - Clarkson's 'public persona' is the fact that he is an opinionated ranter, whilst Hammond's equally is that of the 'cheeky lovable chappie' - but May's quiet 'everyman' provides the balance, though this does mean he is underrated for his dry wit, intelligence and "affable irony". If you like reading gently sardonic opinions, ironic observations and you like your humour in the style of the superlative Plum Wodehouse (i.e., intelligent, well-crafted wordplay not obscene expletive laden drivel), then this is the book to reach for when you want to enjoy a pleasant afternoon or evening of intelligent but funny reading with a bottle of red or a good port.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC!, 26 Jan 2008
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Ms. Joanna Barker (South Manchester) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Notes from the Hard Shoulder (Paperback)
I have not finished reading this book, because when I've had a bad day it cheers me up , James is Intellegent , charming , handsome , single and british with a sence of humor ...what more could a woman want to snuggle up in bed and read this ( its not just for men).
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Notes from the Hard Shoulder
Notes from the Hard Shoulder by James May (Paperback - 10 May 2007)
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