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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
38


on 7 February 2008
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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on 1 June 2007
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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on 26 January 2008
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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on 10 August 2013
My 15 year old (American) grandson wanted this book and has now finished reading it. He really is a huge fan of Top Gear and likes James May. His assessment of the book, is that it is laugh out loud funny in many places, but in others, it is "James May-ish" and by that he means he goes into too much detail in areas that my young reader doesn't understand. When pressed about what that content might be, he says "like physics." All in all, though, he loved the book, but realizes that perhaps an older person--and British--might enjoy it even more because he/she could understand some of the references. Still--not bad! It was his idea to share his views on this book in the hopes that others would find it a fun read.
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on 21 November 2011
If you like wordplay, irony, self deprecation, humour (but not of the laugh-or-I-shoot kind) etc. this is for you. Don't be afraid, it's not about cars really, although they do come into it a bit, but it's mostly about the slightly foggy, clumsy, man-in-shed kind of bachelor, in short, May himself and the many non-adventures in his life which, apart from a few trips to places like Iceland, isn't very eventful or adventurous. Which makes it all the more fun to read about his battles (of sorts) with tools, pets, officialdom, colleagues (you know who), vague friends, someone called 'woman' and yes, cars and motorcycles. Delightful, wordy and inventive entertainment.
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on 25 August 2009
James May is brilliant. This collection of articles from the Daily Telegraph is a great read. A bonus for me as I don't have that paper so have been able to catch up with lots of his well thought out, witty and intelligent writing.

It's not all about cars and engines either, lots of everyday things make it in here and the accounts of his travels abroad are eye-openers. He could be the next Michael Palin with no trouble at all. Perhaps Jeremy and Richard could be camera man and sound recordist, what an adventure that would be.

As with James May's 20th century, this book is well worth a read, even if you're not a Top Gear devotee.
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on 20 May 2014
As much as I like Jeremy Clarkson James May is just as insightful if not more so but a bit more intellegent as he thinks before he speaks with is why this book is more readable not that Clarksons are not but James is not as prone to the foot in the mouth sydrome his observations are more gential James gives you a insight to his personality, a funny and intellegent guy and a funny and intellegent book I highly recommend this read.
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on 8 October 2011
I generally like James May's non-Top Gear shows, and this is (at least the sample is) like one of those. It reads in his inimitable slightly nerdy, slightly irked moany kind of style without ever turning into a full-on Clarksonesque rant, and is all the better for it. I slightly preferred May's Car Fever, but this comes a close second.
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on 21 February 2008
This is a great toilet book , to all the blokes out there .......James has a great way of writing what everyone is thinking about how this country/world is going !!!!!! loads of sort stories which is great.

congratulations james may
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on 24 February 2011
What a Great book!
I have read James's column of a little while now, when I recently got my kindle it was the first paid book I purchased.
I must say its brilliant. James is such a fantastic and witty writer. I am now about to download his other books.
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