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4.5 out of 5 stars180
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 31 July 2006
Yes its a brilliant book for boys aged 8 to 80. Im 47 and I enjoyed it tremendously. When I was 10 I remember building a go-cart exactly like the one described. So for older boys it brings back great memories when you could play outside all day without the worry of modern problems.

Its packed with things that you learnt as a child and forgot (like cloud formations, making a paper boat, learning about insects and tress), or should have learnt as child (famous adventurers, famous battles).

There is also a great list of recommended books that "every boy should read". Many of them I have read and the ones that I havent, I am making sure that I do !

The fabulous hard cover means the book will last for years. Its a book that should have been passed down from generation to generation, and now it will be.

First Class olden days enjoyment.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2007
When I opened a present from my parents and saw I had been given this book, I was a tad disappointed. A book for 10 year old boys, and me aged 32. Suddenly the 6-pack of socks were back in the top three best presents for Christmas 2006.

But then, after lunch and as a better option than nothing on television, I flicked through a few pages of the book. The book is brilliant. The book is all about stuff that is interesting and fun. Nearly all of it will never be useful, but all of it is vital to know for mainly no other reason than fascination and fun. How to make a magnet, Longitude and Latitude, and some great pages about the romans (a favourite Iggulden subject) etc etc.

This book is up there with Schotts Miscellany for the sheer quantity of fascinating, if occasionally useless, facts. A perfect book for grown ups and young Boys/Girls alike. I think there is probably a narrow 'window of opportunity' to buy this for children. 7 or 8 might be too young, 12 or 13 probably too old. But I agree with another reviewer that there is a whole new audience for young boys aged 30 and more!

The joy of this book is that it contains things you really want to know, just for the fun of it. None of this is important to your degree, 11 plus, accountancy exams or being called to the Bar. This is knowledge for the fun of it. Buy it.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2006
Having read the reviews both here and in the newspapers I was prepared to be disappointed, but when my son was given a copy for his 9th birthday it really came up to scratch. Despite living in this computer age this book has inspired my son in so many ways, as well as given me both happy memories and some projects to look forward to. Thoroughly recommended.
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106 of 112 people found the following review helpful
on 4 December 2006
I was browsing my local bookshop when this gorgeous bookcover caught my eye. I picked it up flicked through it and realised that it was the perfect gift for my son's 11th birthday.

Now my son is one of those little boys for whom the only Tv channels begin with the words 'Discovery' or 'History', and whose interests could largely be summed up as 'sharp, pointy things'(historical men with big knives and extinct animals with big teeth.) He is also very creative;he spends hours drawing or building things - ballistae out of toothpicks, rafts out of twigs, castles out of cereal boxes, toilet roll holders and sticky back plastic. And this is where the 'Dangerous' bit comes in.

Not only have I had to haul off down to the dump to find him old pram wheels to make is own go-kart, he is now fully equiped to make is own bow and arrows. Which it transpires are even more effective that a coathanger and a 'laccy band... then there's the catapults and the tripwires.

I am also in danger of going deaf as I am constantly regaled with historical trivia about the British Monarchy, famous battles, astronomy,cricket and rugby, insects, the solar system, the Ten Commandments, clouds, light, trees, pirates, chess and the world in general (although I have to admit that this is only marginally worse since the arrival of the book).

So far I've managed to keep him from making fire-proof cloth (because he'll want to test it afterwards), and I think I've convinced him that you can't build a damn great tree-house in a ten-foot Elder tree, but I havn't managed to stop him taking his siblings pocket money since he learnt how to play Poker.

He was recently asked by a coy young lady to comment on the condition of her hair, which query elicited a very blank look and the response: 'Yeah... Are we allowed in the ball pit yet?' - so I don't think the pages about 'Girls' are going to cause me any problems yet, although they had me in stitches.

What else can I say? I love this book (so does my son). It's marvelous. Buy it. Today. Even if you're not a boy. Although if you keep boys - of any age - around the house and you just want a quiet life maybe you should keep it hidden.
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72 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2006
I was most gratified at the way my 8-yr-old grandson's eyes lit up when he opened my birthday present. I feel I have earned "brownie points" with this one - and it's always so difficult knowing what to surprise them with.
The book is "magnificent" in its presentation - congratulations for THAT! but I have a very happy little grandson this year! It made an immediate impact.
Thank you!
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 19 July 2006
This beautifully produced book contains a splendidly eclectic mix of information (much of which is also interesting to me as a girl - shhhh!). My son is seven and already hooked. I caught him with a pack of cards trying to teach himself to play poker the other evening. The paper aeroplanes work well and many have been launched from our attic windows with great success.

I suspect that this book will be a favourite for years to come. There is a delightfully sweet and very funny section which offers advice about girls, which I can't help thinking some grown-up boys could do with reading too!

I think that every boy should have a copy of this book and I have recommended it to many friends.
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98 of 104 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2006
I have to write, primarily to disagree with Mr Mitchell.

This may not be the greatest book ever, but it fills a huge hole, and I for one look forward to Volume II.

I and a friend, when we were about 10, made a go-kart just like that described, and the paper aeroplane detailed in this book comfortably beats my previous "favourite design", (gleaned from a Rupert Annual many years ago). You learn something every day.

It's a great book and while learning bits of Shakespeare won't be to everyone's taste, there will be something - many things in fact - that WILL be to everyone's taste. I bought my copy on impulse in a book shop for £18.99, I'm here buying another for the 50+ year-old friend with whom I built the go-kart all those years ago! :-)

If you have kids, or grandchildren, or godchildren (or simply remember being one yourself) buy it!

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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 6 February 2007
I bought this book for my husband knowing that he would see ideas immediately for the time he spends with his grandchildren. I then found out my son had been given it by his wife too. Both men love the book being 'Just William's' at heart! My husband has in fact read every page and can't wait to get started on such things as making batteries and arrow heads!! Hopefully our grandchildren will thoroughly enjoy the things this book inspires their granddad to do with them.
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76 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2006
With a newborn baby boy on the way, I look forward to spending time with my lad and going through this book with him. The book may be new, but it takes you back to a time when boys were allowed to play conkers without taking out life insurance and wearing goggles. In fact I think the reason that the word "Dangerous" is in the title is due to the fact the health and safety nazi's would never approve of many things talked about, such as making a go-kart or making a bow and arrow set.

The book includes stories about heroic and historical figures, info about stars and planets, how to make a battery, how to make a tree house, how to make a go-kart, how to make a bow and arrow and so on. There is a ton of interesting information contained within. One of the great things about this book is that you can pick it up and open it to any page and start reading. I also like that the book was written with a sense of fun and good humour.

We live in a world were our children are wrapped in cotton wool and put in front of a t.v. screen to watch some mind-numbing television, or play with over priced video games.

Get this book and live a little. For those grown ups that don't have kids, get it anyway. Even if you don't want to race down a hill as fast as you can on your home-made kart, you could still find some gems to keep you amused.

Anyway I'm off now to go and read the Jungle Book under the covers whilst wearing a paper hat.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
I must have missed something along the way regarding the title of the book, and I certainly do not think it is the best choice, but that aside the book is a wealth of vital information for boys, young and old.

It is the type of book that William Brown (Just William) and his gang would have had hidden under the bed, or under a pile of dry leaves in the den.

It is full of vital information, stories of incredible courage, acts of bravery, the best places to capture your very own pirate. How to make a camera, even information about girls. There is information about dinosaurs, fishing (an essential pastime), even how to make crystals. All the things a young man needs to know about.

If you once owned a penknife with a special tool to take stones out of horses hooves, then this book is essential for you. And if you didn't well read it anyway, you will have lots of fun doing so.
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