How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler by Ryan North
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
This is basically a gimmick book, and for me, the gimmick wore thin real fast. The premise here is that time machines are so ubiquitous you can rent them like cars and go gallivanting into the past. Unfortunately, if one breaks down, there are no repairable parts and the traveler is stuck. (One would think this would lead to such lawsuits as to bankrupt the company, but I suppose that the argument could be made that since the travelers vanish and never reappear, those left behind will never know if they chose to stay in the past, or were killed by other factors that had nothing to do with the machine itself.) Hence this book, provided with the machine to rebuild civilization from scratch.
I'm sure there was a vast amount of research necessary to write this, and I admire the author for doing so. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a plot or characters to be found anywhere in these pages. The author tries to make up for this by being cute, funny and snarky, especially in the footnotes, but I got tired of "cute, funny and snarky" about halfway through. I would think you'd really have to be a history and/or engineering buff to enjoy this book, and I am not. So I'm calling it a day. Onward.
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