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The Car: A History of the Automobile Paperback – February 1, 2008
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"'Packed with terrific photographs, [this is] a wonderfully evocative album of nostalgia, fantasy, glamour, excess and homely utility. Every motor you ever owned or dreamed of, from Alfa to Zil via Bugatti and Morris Marina.' - Daily Express 'This gorgeous homage to the gas-guzzling demi-god oozes wit, style and period charm.' - The Independent 'A charming photographic survey of all manner of vehicles, from the horseless carriage to the batmobile to Michael Schumacher's latest Ferrari.' - Sunday Telegraph"
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Top customer reviews
The book has little history in it, beyond the photos, which I will admit are quite nice. Had the book been titled "A Photographic History of the Automobile" or something similar, it would have been more appropriate. Perhaps because he isn't a gearhead, he has a lot of cars in the book you don't normally see, which is a good thing, but unfortunately, the pictures have little in the way of information.
The bottom line is, if you want to read about automotive history, don't but this book. If you want a photo book for your coffee table and you like cars, this will work.
This book of his is the one that kind of confirmed why I've always gotten some kind of unpleasant vibe from him. He casually mentions early on that one day when he was traveling in Egypt, he saw a man with a cart beating a donkey. So he stepped in and punched the driver in the face. It's bad enough that Glancey relays this completely irrelevant story in a book about the history of cars, but he does it with a mixture of faux humility, relish and self-congratulation.This is the classic "jerkiness" of Glancey's personality coming through to the fore, something I always sensed in his other books but was in full display in this particular one. Once I read that story, I was completely turned off and ever since then have been looking to unload it on someone else. It's not that he's a bad writer. He's such an unpleasant read, and the unpleasantness takes away from whatever merit he has as an author.
If there's anything good I can say about this book, it's that it has beautiful photographs and is nicely designed. But the text itself, forget it. You can find a better, more enjoyable writer to read than this one on the history of cars.