- Hardcover: 128 pages
- Publisher: Thames & Hudson; 1 edition (May 31, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0500516766
- ISBN-13: 978-0500516768
- Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.7 x 13.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#193,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #33 in Books > Arts & Photography > Photography & Video > Individual Photographers > Artists' Books
- #104 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Industrial, Manufacturing & Operational Systems > Manufacturing
- #112 in Books > Arts & Photography > Photography & Video > Equipment, Techniques & Reference > Handbooks & Manuals
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Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living 1st Edition
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
“A new book full of gorgeous and meticulously organized photographs of old school and modern tech broken down and laid bare.” (The Huffington Post)
“The photos are enjoyable as pure eye candy, but they also illustrate the history of modern manufacturing.” (Wired.com)
“McLellan’s photographs seek to challenge our disposable culture by making transparent all the things that we regularly throw away.” (NPR Picture Show)
“A geeky adoration of design, disassembly, and tinkering.” (Publishers Weekly)
“. . . 50 disassembled classics of mechanical and electronic design, with the components first arrayed in formal order and then in midair freefall.” (The New York Times Book Review)
“Fifty objects and 21,959 components later, Mr. McLellan is still disassembling objects.” (Florida Weekly)
“This fascinating book showcases unique photos of 50 design classics in a dismantled, meticulously rearranged form―including an iPad, grand piano and an espresso machine.” (FrontiersLA.com)
“Truly unique.” (Woman Around Town)
About the Author
Todd McLellan is a Toronto-based photographer who specializes in automotive, commercial, and conceptual work.
Top Customer Reviews
Take the book apart and you'll find it's in three sections. First the fifty products were disassembled and laid out in a precise and formal way, photographed and then a second shot, taken with strobe lighting, as all the pieces were dropped from a platform in the studio to create a free-fall photo of parts and the complete opposite of the other photo. Actually McLellan says he had more success creating these second images by dropping them in groups and using software to combine the photos. The third part of the book and the weakest in my view, are four essays looking at tech innovation, restoration, online repairs and product disassembly.
These short essays are interesting enough but I thought they were rather out of place in a strongly visual book of products in pieces. They really should have had some photos, too. Penny Bendall, a ceramics conservator, discusses how she repairs broken ceramics: a valuable antique vase or figurines. Gever Tulley, founder of the Tinkering School, talks about his summer camps where kids can learn how to use power tools and make things from scrap. Neither of these two essays had pictures of the things discussed.
This one of those wonderful books that can be opened at any page and you'll be immediately grabbed by stunning photos of hundreds of small items laid out with geometric precision or the same pieces floating in a spatial montage. I think the idea is good enough for second book (though without any essays).
The photographs of the disassembled objects, laid flat, are fascinating in themselves: often you cannot even tell what the object is from looking at an array of hundreds of parts. But the truly stunning photography is of the same objects actually "exploding" on the page: the author/photographer actually captured each part in mid-air, then combined all of these stills to make a VERY realistic photo of an early Macintosh computer, for example, exploding in mid-air. These are mind-blowing photographs - accomplished by what must have been an incredible amount of work.
The masterpiece of the book is an entire airplane, the Zenith CH-650, disassembled and displayed in a 3-page foldout.
There are 50 objects in all, each with the flat layout photo and the 'exploded' photo. The number of parts for each object is also included. At the back of the book there are four essays on topics related to the disassembly of objects. The great value of the book, however, is in its photography: nothing less than spectacular.
Why: I purchased this book because I don't believe 20x200 is coming back online any time soon and I needed some Todd McLellan in my life. His work is wonderful, so I suggest you get his book too - and maybe a second one for a friend that you really like.
Where: This book lives open on a vintage shop desk in my house. Every couple of days I turn the page to enjoy another creative composition. It's a bound work of art - so it deserves to be displayed and not shelved.
Who: You will like this book too if you enjoy picture books, tinkering, sculpture, science fairs, art, photography, the creative process or are old enough to identify most of the products photographed.
How: Since I am an adult, I bought this book on amazon with my own money.
When: I pre-ordered this book because I knew it would be awesome, and I was right. Seriously - buy it now - what are you waiting for?
Before ordering it, I read a blog post where the writer had cut pages from the book and framed them for his wall; while I hate defacing a book, I can understand why he did this- every page is a work of art!
Flipping through this book harkens to a time when consumer goods were not made for the serial consumer, ready to dispose of their things and "upgrade" every few years or sooner, but rather, for those who might fix their things when broken, nurturing them through the times. It reminds me of how I used to take things apart, not too destroy them, but carefully, and to figure out how they worked. Maybe you did the same, but even if you didn't, you might just love this book.