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am 19. Juni 2000
After reading Bill Bryson's other works I was keen to read this. Although very well written and informative, it is not such an easy read as, shall we say, The Lost Continent; more a Walk Through a Sticky Gue than a Walk in the Woods. Many of Mr Bryson's earlier works tend towards the academic. His "Mother Tongue" is a valuable resource for all linguists and it is good to see that he is still capable of writing a useful book that is not merely entertaining.
The sections on metal turning and milling are especially good as is the chapter on gas nitriding systems. I haven't had such a laugh about carborundum since the days of Monty Python. I wish he had included more amusing anecdotes as in his other books, but the subject is not quite so suitable.
If you have read and enjoyed other Bryson's other books then I would certainly recommend this one. It may be a little technical, but nobody could accuse it of being shallow. Bill Bryson has proved he is much more than a travelogue writer with this unfortunately titled book. Perhaps it should be called "Steel Tools and How They Get that Way."