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Notes from the Hard Shoulder
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Notes from the Hard Shoulder

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  248 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Top Gear presenter and columnist for the "Daily Telegraph" James May brings together another brilliant collection of his most controversial and humorous writing. From tales of motoring adventures through India, Russia and Iceland, to classic articles on essential subjects such as driving songs and haunted car parks, these gems from the number one car connoisseur will take ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published May 10th 2007 by Virgin Books (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 514)
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Jenn
I may be biased as I have a strange, huge crush on James May, but I thought this was fantastic! Wry, witty, well-written, wonderful. And you certainly don't need to be a car person to enjoy this!
Richard
Jul 23, 2007 Richard rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of TV's 'Top Gear'
Shelves: tv-filmtiein, comedy
James May is one of the presenters of 'Top Gear', a car based magazine programme on British TV. He is often seen as the 'fall guy' who is there to be the butt of the joke, coming last in the various 'races' that the team run. He even has the nickname 'Captain Slow'.

This book is a collection of his writings in various newspapers and magazines. He is clearly the most eloquent of the team, able to tell an amusing tale as well as to argue a detailed case.

Like many of the books I've been reading rece
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Margaret
The books is a collection of James May's magazine columns.

One thing is obvious, he is out to claim Jeremy Clarkson's title of BBC's Curmudgeon-in-Residence. But he does it with much more flair and intelligence.

He makes comments and jokes that, unless you are VERY well read with good general knowledge, the average reader is just not going to get them.

A must read for Top Gear fans, car enthusiasts, and fans of middle-aged English curmudgeons.
Ross Kung
I love the start of the book. James May had some very interesting stories at the start 100 pages or so. But after reading half way through the book, it became boring and dry. I give this a 2.5 out of 5.
Kifflie
3.5 stars. This is another collection of essays from one of the presenters on Top Gear. James May writes with one of the driest wits I have ever come across. He has a real knack for finding absurdities in all sorts of situations and making them amusing.

I'd love to read something by either May or Jeremy Clarkson that wasn't simply a collection of essays. It took me some time to get through this, mainly because there wasn't any unifying theme as there was with Richard Hammond's books. Still, it w
...more
Sephie
Lacking the acerbic wit of the more erudite Clarkson, and resembling an overgrown schoolboy (or hip Geography teacher/social worker) on the front cover, this selection of automotive anecdotes is mildly amusing. There are indeed a few very funny bits, but overall, I was pleased to have arrived at the end, thankfully aided by the larger than usual font size.
Mark
This book brings together a good collection of articles written by James May and previously published in various magazines. If you like Clarkson's books which contain similar articles or if you're a fan of Top Gear then you'll find something in here to like. Easy to pick up and read one or two articles if you only have a short while.
Sumit
Had higher expectations from him. And although it is unfair to compare him with Clarkson, but have to mention it as I was disappointed to find that somehow Clarkson manages to make much better intellectual remarks and deeper thoughts than James, even though I would have expected it to be opposite.
Kristina
Entertaining, low-pressure read. I enjoy James' grumpy but articulate rants, and even if I don't always agree with him, I can usually at least see his point. It's nice to pick this up and just read a couple articles for a laugh.
Manuel Marques
A good companion for a 5-hour wait for my flight home... James May can be quite funny, and it is quite interesting to know the guy better, especially if you're a Top Gear fan like me :).
Gregory Gay


Another excellent book of essays from the Top Gear co-host. Very funny, and often quite intelligent as well.
Steve Mitchell
Occasionally really funny and not as political as Clarkson's books; quite a good read
Sarah
Interesting, but VERY hard to read at night if you want to understand what he's saying
Andrew
It's James May. One of the greatest men in all the world. What's not to love?
Jacky
Not as good as Clarkson, but not bad.
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James May is a British television presenter and award-winning journalist.

May is best known as co-presenter of the motoring programme Top Gear alongside Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond. He also writes a weekly column for The Daily Telegraph's motoring section. On Top Gear, his nickname is "Captain Slow", owing to his 'careful' driving style. He has, however, carried out some exceptionally high-
...more
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“Another man I met recently had employed a builder to screw a wine rack to the wall. Why he wants a wine rack anyway is a bit of a mystery, since he lives only a few doors from a pub that sells proper beer. Even more unfathomable is how he could bear the shame of standing by while another man drilled four holes in some brickwork and inserted some rawlplugs. He can regard himself as little more than a receptacle for keeping sperm at the right temperature until it’s needed.” 0 likes
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