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Boilerplate: History's Mechanical Marvel Hardcover – October 1, 2009
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The fact that this book is so well executed, so convincing that a person will ignore common sense, a basic grounding in history and even the slightest knowledge of engineering to believe that Boilerplate was real only attests to the skill, talent and vision of the artist.
I found this book quite by accident when the author's booth at WonderCon was my family's last stop of the long, tiring day. It only took a moment of scanning through this stunning, high-quality book to understand its genius. Although I find the robot's face to be personally creepy, the concept, story, history, illustration, layout, and photo compositing are simply outstanding. I have never seen a higher quality book. If you like steam-punk, history, sci-fi, mockumentaries, fiction-as-reality, illustration, or high-concept, BUY THIS BOOK. It's a steal at Amazon's price. It's also endlessly entertaining, EDUCATIONAL, and inspirational. Bravo.
But the book isn't just a wonderful fantasy. Folded into the history is a pointed commentary on subjects which are still pertinent a century later. Boilerplate is a mute witness to to early movements for workers' and women's rights. It fights alongside the Buffalo Soldiers and sees action in the Philippine-American War, Spanish-American War and WWI, fighting both in the trenches and with T. E. Lawrence, in Arabia. While the narrative never becomes preachy, only a fairly obtuse reader could fail to understand the point of history as it's presented here. This is not a book likely to appeal to people whose beliefs run to the right of the political spectrum.
"Robot", a word not in existence when Boilerplate itself was supposed to have been created, derives from a word that means "forced labor." (Karel Capek, R.U.R., 1920) Even the name, "Boilerplate" suggests a kind of non-existence, something that only serves as a model for the real thing.Read more ›
Like Forrest Gump, Boilerplate rubs shoulders with the movers and shakers of his time, and was well known to his contemporaries, but came to be largely forgotten after he was no longer in the public eye.
The excellence of this book is illustrated by the fact that significant numbers of readers don't realize it is a work of fiction. Hundreds of "archival" images "prove" that the robot served with Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders, Lawrence of Arabia, and General Pershing, pursued Pancho Villa through northern Mexico, and traveled to the Antarctic and to the Yukon. Every photograph, dime-novel cover, hand-tinted postcard, movie poster and newspaper caricature is perfectly done in the appropriate style of the era. Boilerplate's existence is thus better "documented" than any character in classical fiction or for that matter, anyone in the Bible.
The book is actually a history lesson of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, made so much more interesting by seeing them through the eyes of Archibald Campion, the robot's inventor.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Paul Guinan has seamlessly created a parallel universe chockablock with humor and befuddlements to engage all who would cross the threshold.Published 2 months ago by Jimmy Hickey
Super cool book... If you didn't know better you'd think he was an actual part of history and not fictitious.Published 4 months ago by Brewer
This book could have been such a fun way to learn some history but is instead marred by the blatant anti-US tirade throughout. Read morePublished 15 months ago by R. Fletcher
Really imaginative and well done. Boilerplate is seamlessly inserted into history.Published on August 5, 2014 by Melinda
The story of Boilerplate makes you believe he actually existed. The photos had been photoshopped perfectly so it was difficult to tell that Boilerplate was not really in them when... Read morePublished on August 12, 2013 by Hal Allert
Interesting piece of fiction about a mechanical marvel. It's too bad Boilerplate isn't real! Lots of real history notes intermixed with Boilerplate's life experiences. Read morePublished on March 9, 2013 by Cohoman