How To Invent Everything

How To Invent Everything

Ryan North
ARRSE Rating
4 Mushroom Heads
Now this is a very strange book to review, not normally the sort of book that I would choose if seeing it on display, its a large book running to 420 pages

At first it reminded me of Stephen Hawkins book a Brief History of Time, one of those books that you read and which uses so many complex words and phrases that you give up and use to as a door stop or to throw at next doors barking dog, but one that appeals to academics who quote extensively from it and argue its theories making themselves look even cleverer by default or a book to leave on coffee tables or to carry around and quote , while not understanding a word

However this book is the Groucho Marx of a brief and boring history of time.

Initially it purports to be the service manual for a time machine, oddly one made by a company such as Microsoft and explains in simple terms how to reset the machine when and if it fails, which of course is rare !!

Then it tries to calculate by a simple and logical method exactly where in time it has crashed and dumped you , a complex and thoroughly readable flowchart takes you through this problem

After this it points out that you are not returning and better make the most of the time slot that you have dropped into

Now after this somewhat unnerving introduction, the Author breaks the book into chapters each devoted to a specific sub section of our daily life and survival, starting from the very beginning, ie how primitive man functioned a tool or medicine and then moving on to the 21st century and giving a thorough and informative history of each subject, now some chapters I am already familiar with either by my knowledge through working in this area or general learning and old age, however for younger people there is a definite digital cut off whereby early technology is not familiar to them as it predates them or there learning, the chapter on brewing will appeal to many readers at the rear of the book is a useful chapter on chemicals, how to make them and how to kill yourself with them (not the intention of the book I hasten to add).

Ask a youngster how a crystal set works and you will get a blank look, in much the same way as asking a motor mechanic how the ignition works on a Model T Ford.

So it purports to be a guide to re-building a new life, however what it does do very well is to show the timeline of our evolution, and illustrates the many mistakes made along the way; the section on contraception was brilliant and very informative. Much of the history takes you back to the turn of civilisation but is in a readable and understandable format.

A very informative and well researched book that will tease you to learn more

Also thick and heavy enough to kill an intruder with ( always a prerequisite when book buying)

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