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on 24 April 2013
A very readable and humorous reminder that there are more satisfying things in life that are not purely cerebral.
In a world where hands on skills are being lost among the general population, this book should inspire more to get involved with simple tasks of making and repairing their own things and remind you of the simple pleasure and satisfaction that this results in.
A great read for those who already consider themselves to be handy with a set of tools, and for those who automatically get someone to do the simplest DIY task - but could be inspired to try it for themselves.
In the UK there is sometimes a denigration of those who work with their hands. For anyone who holds that opinion, this book will probably change your mind.
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This book came to me as a "definite read", and as it mentioned motorcycles I brought a copy. It's a thought provoking read on the value of 'real' work - that is working with your hands on projects/jobs that have a hard measurable outcome rather than those with softer outcomes. In that it made me want to make things it succeeded, as a mildly right- wing diatribe I found it uncomfortable in places. You should be aware that this is not a lightweight read; it isn't the language of a self help book but something that uses some unfamiliar words and demands a certain level of intellectual involvement from the reader. That's not to say it's difficult and I for one applaud the author stretching me in language and in thinking.

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on 11 September 2011
The Case for Working with Your Hands or Why Office Work is Bad for Us and Fixing Things Feels Good.

It is, perhaps, difficult to write a book when everything is already condensed into the rather long title. Matthew Crawford takes us on the often very personal journey of his life's experiences. He is his best in his own world of motorcycle repairs and petrolheads. Some of these passages are vivid and make for great insightful reading. Sadly there are too few of these in a book that reads, as others have pointed out, rather like the dissertations that Crawford has written in earlier lives. That is a shame, as his message is good, just not communicated with sufficient clarity or precision.
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on 5 May 2015
A good piece of well reasoned philosophy. Its a little heavy going at the start but I urge you to persist... The middle of the book is more readable and there are good things to be learnt. It will probably change your thinking, It might change your life radically but in my case it prompted me to leave the comfortable job I was in for the last twenty one years and find one that I actually like doing..! (closer to home and for a bit more money)
You only have one life, so you need to find a river that floats your boat.
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on 11 October 2014
Some relevant thoughts about lots of different issues related to the path one chooses (or not...) in terms of work. However, the reader gets distracted by way too much description about the whole motorcycle business and how the author got into it. I can see why he uses it as a base to talk about the rest, but for me, personally, it gets too distracting.
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on 3 October 2011
Really well written, genuinely thought provoking. Matthew Crawford sets out the value and the beauty of craft work in an elegantly expressed and carefully constructed series of arguments. Through the unusual setting of motorbike maintenance, he subtly constructs and illustrates a case for working with our hands that is compelling in its appeals to both logic and morality and where his passion for what he does, both as mechanic and philosopher, draws the reader subtly but consciously onside. If you've ever had the satisfaction of making or repairing anything or raged at the frustration of being told to 'throw it away and get a new one', this book will strike many chords. But the analysis goes much further than individual work to offer an important critique of work generally and how the value of people and their efforts is continuously undermined in modern economies (good to see Braverman's ideas being re-expressed). All this ...and a superb destruction of management too.
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on 19 April 2017
One of the best books (if not the best) about the meaning of work I've ever read.
Practicing its concepts literally made me a better person.
Forget about all those self-help books and books about happiness. This is the real thing.
Read this instead and put the contents of this book into practice and you shall find true contentment.
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on 7 January 2011
Very quietly stated but persuasive book on modern work patterns and how they have disconnected us from the previous 5000 years of work practices and satisfaction. Because the points are not made with the shrill voices, exclamation marks or jabbing fingers of some writers on similar subjects Crawford's points are easier to digest and to reflect on further. Interesting to see how little impact this book made when first published but how it is gradually spreading in acclaim. Will be referred to as far sighted in years to come when the West discovers that its not just blue collar jobs that are moving East but that many white collar jobs may follow the same way as they are easily replicable and transferable with the right level of experience and education.
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on 2 March 2015
Very enlightening reading. This book completely opened my eyes to the fundamental reasoning behind 6 years of unrewarding employment. I would thoroughly recommend this as a 'must read' to anyone considering any kind of employment change.
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on 2 April 2015
One of the most inspiring books I have ever read. If you are interested in education, or engineering, or life in general, just get it and read it. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.
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