Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “It Looked Good on Paper” as Want to Read:
It Looked Good on Paper
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

It Looked Good on Paper

2.93 of 5 stars 2.93  ·  rating details  ·  43 ratings  ·  9 reviews
A remarkable compendium of wild schemes, mad plans, crazy inventions, and truly glorious disasters

Every phenomenally bad idea seemed like a good idea to someone. How else can you explain the Ford Edsel or the sword pistol—absolutely absurd creations that should have never made it off the drawing board? It Looked Good on Paper gathers together the most flawed plans, half-ba...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published January 9th 2009)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about It Looked Good on Paper, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about It Looked Good on Paper

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 88)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
James
Some of the stories didn't strike me as especially funny, either because they were already well enough known to be old hat or because they weren't really that bad. Also, I spotted a couple of factual errors, a significant problem for a book like this. Still, this is entertaining light reading for the most part.
Ari
Picked this up at the MIT Press outlet bookstore because it looked interesting. Unfortunately, the book is painfully shallow. The book is a long series of vignettes, without any real analysis. It sneers, when it should explain.

A lot of their examples are military, but the authors don't know as much as they think they do. Among the vignettes are HMS Hood, and the Brewster Buffalo fighter plane. Both performed badly in World War II, but this wasn't because they were particularly bad designs, or pa...more
Ann
short quirky nonfiction anecdotes. Just what I like
Steve Mount
I like books like this - a quick read; small, almost anecdotal episodes; fascinating looks into history. This book sorely could have used illustrations, though in this Internet age, I was able to look up each item it discussed quickly. This editor has several other similar books, and I might check them out. The editor himself wrote several chapters, though they were always the shortest ones. I think the editor could have spent a little more time on his own entries.
Jeffrey
This book is a humorous non-fiction book. In it is many great plans of architecture, transportation, weaponary, aviation, marine vessels, medicine that has failed in the real world, like the Great Wall of China (designed to stop the Mongols), the Messerchimits-262, the German Kamikaze, The Concorde, Amphicar, Hubble Space Telescope, Russian Mars Program, Nuclear Cannon, gas Bomb, the Langley Aerodrome, and the tower of Pisa.
Kristi Thielen
A mildly interesting compilation of inventions that went wrong. Much too much focus on blunders in the military - although that certainly says something about the military - and not enough attention to other failures. The books includes bad cars (the Pinto) but says nothing about the most spectacular automotive blunder: the Edsel.
Peter
Slapped together bits that read like Wikipedia cliff notes cheaply presented on newsprint quality paper. If it took longer than 4 weeks to conceive, compile and publish this book I'd be surprised. Sub-par bathroom reading...I gave it 1 star because you can't give out zeros.
Cristhian
A really forguetable book, full of not very interesting stories written in a very superficial manner. Make sure that you like the war stories before read this book.
Sarah
Sarah marked it as to-read
Sep 09, 2014
Chloe Weyham
Chloe Weyham is currently reading it
Jul 05, 2014
Neil Mckillop
Neil Mckillop marked it as to-read
Apr 10, 2014
Pete
Pete marked it as to-read
Feb 06, 2014
Blossom
Blossom marked it as to-read
Dec 29, 2013
Michael D
Michael D marked it as to-read
Nov 21, 2013
William Nicoll
William Nicoll is currently reading it
Sep 21, 2013
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
140129
Bill Fawcett has been a professor, teacher, corporate executive, and college dean. His entire life has been spent in the creative fields and managing other creative individuals. He is one of the founders of Mayfair Games, a board and role-play gaming company. As an author, Fawcett has written or coauthored over a dozen books and dozens of articles and short stories. As a book packager, a person wh...more
More about Bill Fawcett...
Old Guard: Bolos Anthology 5 (Bolos, #5) How to Lose a Battle: Foolish Plans and Great Military Blunders Cats in Space and Other Places 100 Mistakes that Changed History: Backfires and Blunders That Collapsed Empires, Crashed Economies, and Altered the Course of Our World You Did What?: Mad Plans and Great Historical Disasters

Share This Book