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I have a keen interest in everyday rather than exotic cars and really enjoyed reading this Bluffer's Guide which is a compact book running to 123 pages in paperback form (it is also available on the Kindle).

The book is split into 15 sections and covers topics such as the history of cars, famous motoring personalities, the characteristics of cars from different countries, safety innovations, workings of the combustion engine, buying and selling cars, accessories, motorsport, types of driver and a really useful glossary. I found the section on automotive history rather good and it includes reference to the demise of Isadora Duncan when her scarf became trapped in the wheel of a car. Another key ingredient in the mix is the sense of humour throughout the book, for example, it recalls the 1980s fad for bumper stickers proclaiming "my other car is a Porsche" but wryly comments that Porsche owners did not feel compelled to invest in stickers proclaiming "My other car's a Lada". However, despite this theme of humour do not dismiss this book as frivolous, there are lots of interesting facts such as the story behind various safety innovations, a plain explanation of how an engine works and explanation of the "badge engineering" concept, where, for example, a car can come out of the factory and be badged as a Toyota, Citroen or Peugeot. The text also covers things like EBD, ESC, PAS, EMU etc. This 2013 edition is bang up to date and refers to many very recent models of cars.

The writing style is light-hearted, but there are plenty of facts which I think would interest even someone who already knew a bit about cars. As I've said about other Bluffer's Guides they provoke thought from people who are familiar with the subject concerned by making them think what they'd have said about a particular issue, and, whether or not they agree with what's being said. Overall a very neat, factual book which would make a great little gift for anyone wanting to know about cars (or increase their credibility by "bluffing their way") or, someone who already knows quite a bit. Very likeable, amusing, insightful and recommended.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 8 October 2013
I have read several of the bluffers guides, and my assumption was that Cars would be the perfect subject matter to arm the seasoned bluffer with enough information to impress friends, family and acquaintances. I was certainly not disappointed and this little book is packed with information, much of which I did not already know.

Like all the Bluffers guides, the delivery is quite witty and enough to make you smile quite regularly. For example in the section on buying and selling cars, the author bemoans the retreat to acronyms in many advertisements and, indeed, comes up with his own DTIWAB - or don't touch it with a bargepole. Priceless! The history of cars is discussed, together with iconic moments such as the introduction of the Model T Ford, and the first ever speeding ticket. The unfortunate culprit was doing 8mph in a 2mph area!

There is an excellent section on the reliability of cars. It is certainly true that they are not what they used to be. They don't break down nearly so often! The workings of a car have hitherto, I must admit, been a closed book to me. However, I now have a fair idea of how an internal combustion engine works. Add to all this racing cars, future cars, accessories for cars, types of drivers etc etc and you will realise just what a large remit this little book has.

This is one of the best Bluffers Guides I have read in a very good series. There is no doubt that having read through this, and it will not take you long as its not a large book, you will be much better equipped to hold your own in any car related conversation. Highly recommended!
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I have a keen interest in everyday rather than exotic cars and really enjoyed reading this Bluffer's Guide.

The book is split into 15 sections and covers topics such as the history of cars, famous motoring personalities, the characteristics of cars from different countries, safety innovations, workings of the combustion engine, buying and selling cars, accessories, motorsport, types of driver and a really useful glossary. I found the section on automotive history rather good and it includes reference to the demise of Isadora Duncan when her scarf became trapped in the wheel of a car. Another key ingredient in the mix is the sense of humour throughout the book, for example, it recalls the 1980s fad for bumper stickers proclaiming "my other car is a Porsche" but wryly comments that Porsche owners did not feel compelled to invest in stickers proclaiming "My other car's a Lada". However, despite this theme of humour do not dismiss this book as frivolous, there are lots of interesting facts such as the story behind various safety innovations, a plain explanation of how an engine works and explanation of the "badge engineering" concept, where, for example, a car can come out of the factory and be badged as a Toyota, Citroen or Peugeot. The text also covers things like EBD, ESC, PAS, EMU etc. This 2013 edition is bang up to date and refers to many very recent models of cars.

The writing style is light-hearted, but there are plenty of facts which I think would interest even someone who already knew a bit about cars. As I've said about other Bluffer's Guides they provoke thought from people who are familiar with the subject concerned by making them think what they'd have said about a particular issue, and, whether or not they agree with what's being said. Overall a very neat, factual book which would make a great little gift for anyone wanting to know about cars (or increase their credibility by "bluffing their way") or, someone who already knows quite a bit. Very likeable, amusing, insightful and recommended.
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on 1 November 2013
I recently received this book for free to review it, and as it was my day off I thought I'd give it a try. While it's not my preferred genre of book (being an 18 year old girl) I enjoyed this a lot!

Bluffer's Guide to Cars is basically a 'cheat' book about well... cars. If you're ever out for an evening with a car-crazy friend, this book is perfect to pick up some key talking points and make out that you know a whole deal about cars, when really... you have no clue.

Even if you are into cars, it's incredibly humorous and easy to read. I finished this book within a matter of hours, it was fascinatingly captivating and made me 'laugh out loud' on every other page!

As a teenage girl who isn't really into cars, I learnt a great deal and it has widened my views about reading genres other than adult and young adult fiction.

So let's get into the specifics, the book is small, merely 123 pages long. At the beginning of every chapter, there is a fact (which I loved reading).

There are 15 sections, each named with the intention of making you laugh, for example "visionary petrolheads" and "I need one of those"

Overall, this is a very enjoyable and quick read, so if you have a car crazy friend and want to impress them, if you just love cars, if you want to learn more about cars or if you just want to read something funny, then this is definitely the book for you!
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on 1 October 2013
I received this free to read and review.
Although described as a guide for bluffers I saw this more as a light hearted look at the history of motoring from earliest times and even a glance into the future. I liked the style of writing and quite a bit made me chuckle if not laugh out load. However all of the information given is accurate and if you know nothing about motoring you will learn a lot from this.
The weakness for me was the length, it is not a long book only 66 pages, and as such much is missing I would have liked to see it much longer and containing more. As couple of small example it explains manual and automatic transmissions but no mention of pre-selector gearboxes, which were great fun to put it mildly. Also the development of Ford was covered but I was surprised that the quote "People can have it in any color so long as it is black" was missing, it is an inaccurate statement as the Ford T was available in many colours initially.
Despite what seems like a criticism above I really liked it and although I know a fair bit about cars, I am probably one of those "mechanics" described in the book that could fix a solenoid with a hammer (yes it did work), I still learnt a lot from it.
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on 18 November 2014
I have never really understood cars. When pointing out a cool looking car, instead of saying anything helpful, my description tends to lean more towards saying "the shine-y black one", so I had hoped that this book would actually help me gain even a basic understanding of automobiles. The history chapters were helpful and very interesting, however I found that the book would sometimes make a reference which I didn't understand.

On page 15, the book mentions Isadora Duncan but doesn't explain what happened to her while making many references to her scarf. As someone who had never heard of Duncan before, this bit was extremely confusing and I had to look her up on my computer.

I often found that I needed to constantly reference the internet while reading. Not only for obscure references but also for images of the cars mentioned. More often then not, the Guide would discuss the distinctive image of a certain car but not actually describe the car or supply any images. It was extremely annoying for someone trying to learn about cars and without any prior knowledge of their structure. This book was clearly aimed at people who already knew about cars.

Not only did it lack clarification, the book wasted space on boring jokes in the section on stereotypical drivers. Stupid and lacking any real point, this section focused entirely on one basic type of driver instead of the massively broad range that they could have mentioned. If the author was going to half-a** this joke then I would rather have had him drop this chapter and include the lacking information from above.

However it was not totally bad. It had some very interesting and useful information about buying a used car and doing very basic maintenance though the descriptions were once again lacking diagrams, lowering their usefulness. Also the information about the races was helpful. Furthermore, like all Bluffer's Guides, this one was very funny with a wicked sense of humor that made it entertaining to read despite its flaws.

All in all, this was probably one of the least useful Bluffer's Guides.
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on 20 November 2013
The Bluffer's Guide to Cars is a light hearted and thoroughly enjoyable read about.. well, cars. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as cars really don't interest me but from the first page I couldn't put it down.

The book is split into 15 chapters ranging from the history of cars to car talk which are named in such a way as to provoke your curiosity; eg,"Suck, Squash, Bang and Blow" and "'I need one of those'". It's written in a humorous and easy to read way where even if you don't know much about cars you can still gain a basic grasp. At the start of every chapter there is an interesting fact, that I enjoyed reading, and each chapter is stuffed with compelling information - including how to buy a second hand car and telling you how that bargain could cost you a fortune in the long run.

Overall this is a book that almost anybody can enjoy to it's full potential, whether it's a car buff, someone who wants to know more about cars, or somebody who just wants to read an amusing read and show off they're knowledge to their friends.
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on 18 November 2013
Any new driver, and particularly one suffering from the twin disabilities of being both middle aged and female, needs some help. this is where the bluffers' guide kindly steps in. i remain utterly baffled by the inner workings of my car, and utterly determined not to go anywhere near the small ads in search of my next remarkably sensible and characterless machine, but i have spent some enjoyable time in the company of a expert finding out precisely how much i will never know. Recommended1
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on 17 June 2014
After seeing this reviewed in a paper (Metro i think) thought i'd give it a read, I wouldnt call myself a car buff but I was hoping for a light hearted funny read and this book is not that. A few interesting facts but not worth the cover price
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Bought a whole bunch of these 'Bluffer's' books as Christmas filler. They all make for half decent reading and are actually generally quite light-hearted. Good fun present.
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