'A typically Mayesque celebration of classic engineering ... May is extraordinarily good at explaining what a carburettor is or outlining how a governor works... It's charming, transfixing and surprisingly intimate...It might be the best thing he's ever done.' - Guardian [review of BBC4 TV series]
'Reassembly is merely a form of therapy; something that stimulates a part of my brain that is left wanting in my daily life. When I rebuild a bicycle, I re-order my head. So might you...
I'm delighted that you will be holding in your hands a book about putting things back together. It's a subject that fascinates me but which I assumed was a lonely passion that I would take to the grave, unconsummated by the normal channels of human interaction.
Welcome! You and I, we are not alone, and our screwdrivers are our flashing Excaliburs as we sally forth to make small parts of the fragmented world whole again.'
As in his hit BBC4 TV series, as well as learning the history of the objects, we get a history of the component parts. As James rebuilds an engine, he explains the cylinders, what they are, how they came about and what they do.