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James May's Magnificent Machines: How men in sheds have changed our lives

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  243 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Our world has been transformed beyond recognition, particularly in the twentieth century, and so were our lives and our aspirations.

Throughout James May's Magnificent Machines, our Top Gear guide explores the iconic themes of the past hundred years: flight, space travel, television, mechanised war, medicine, computers, electronic music, skyscrapers, electronic espionage a
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Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Hodder Stoughton (first published May 29th 2008)
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Jim
Nov 24, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
As light as a helium balloon, this seemed like a verbatim script from a TV show where viewers have the attention span of a gnat, or a lack of words can be filled with nice moving pictures. To say it skimmed histories, like that of the Apollo project or the evolution of the Internet does a injustice to the word "skimmed". Clarkson does this stuff too, but somehow much better, and you can see why he fronts Top Gear with a couple of lightweight supports. Like James May.
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Ellie Silcox
Oct 24, 2009 is currently reading it
This book is quite interesting so far. I normally find James May a little dry, but wow, he's got an amazing sence of knowledge. This book is worth a read, but probably if your into cars or something like that. ...more
Laura
Dec 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Eminently readable, without being too technical. A great overview of some of the technological leaps of the 20th century. I enjoy James May on Top Gear very much, and this book lets you see a little bit into his own fascination with motors and technology. Wish I could have seen the TV series, too! My dad will love this book.
Gregory Gay
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Really interesting overview of the biggest inventions and technical trends of the 20th century.

Not in depth enough about any one subject, but great for a broad view. Definitely gave me a list of topics to read about later in more detail.
Thierry
Sep 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comique
Bien sur James May n'a pas l'humour caustique et ravageur de Jeremy Clarkson, mais il est plus fin, plus british. Et ce livre reprenant les plus grandes inventions de l'homme m'a appris différentes choses et anectodes et c'est très bien. ...more
Steve
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book looks at the invention and progression of a number of modern machines. Included are the airplane, computer, spacecraft and nylon. All are described using May’s trademark wit. A fun little book.
David
Apr 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cleanskin
Really a book of trivia. But quite like May's stuff ...more
Richard Hurst
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The guy is so enthusiastic. Great book to have as an audio version which is what I had.
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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-
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