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max gearhead has commented on (5) products.

max gearhead, April 7, 2008

Yes, another "5". but this time out of respect for a true American icon.... Lucius Beebe. Rebel,unbelieveable snob, true edwardian, rabble-rouser first-class, great railroad fan, and a true bigger-than-life character. some of his work is so funny that I put it down with tears streaming from my eyes as I try to catch my breath. I guess he may be an aquired taste, but one thing that cannot be challenged is his railroad writing. ANY of his books on this subject are terrific, and "Highball " is no exception. It's sort of random, really. he and his partner Charles Clegg, travel the country,photographing and writing about train stuff that they thought was cool. his technical knowledge is first-rate, but it's his observations that make this SUCH a fun read. these aren't "tech" books at all ,but deal with the romance, history, and overall " splendidness " (!) of the American railroad story. but you will have to decide for yourself. next time you are in the store, pick up anything by him and see what YOU think. Max sez: " vote yes on Clegg and Beebe" two of Americas most outstanding railfans !"
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



Why Buildings Fall Down: How Structures Fail by Matthys Levy and Mario Salvadori
Why Buildings Fall Down: How Structures Fail

max gearhead, April 7, 2008

ok, the synopsises ( ?) pretty much cover it, but there is lots more. first, these two have a good sense of humor. while I wouldn't call it a FUNNY book, there are some ironies here that will have you crack a smile. and it is pretty easy reading. for ten bucks ,you will get tons of interesting stories and geek-satisfying detail. it is definately a page-turner, and I was able to go through it at a pretty good clip. the sketches are clear and easy to follow, and you will be biting your nails as you watch the various scenarios unfold to they're some times spectacular end. there is even a great Perry-Mason style courtroom scene. Max sez: c'mon, what else are you going to do ? go get a copy, and lose yourself for a couple of hours in some great architectural adventure ! It's good for your'e head.
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(4 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)



In the Cockpit: Inside 50 History-Making Aircraft by National Air and Space Museum
In the Cockpit: Inside 50 History-Making Aircraft

max gearhead, April 7, 2008

Max, ANOTHER 5 star ? well, I just don't buy many books I don't like. and I like this one. here's why. one look at the cover, and I was ready to dismiss this as another " Ken Burns" style coffee-table book. It's fake-old-timey graphics and puffy cover failed to give me a warm-fuzzy. but as soon as I opened it, it was yet another wallet-grabber to add to my already bulging bookshelves. for me,Travolta's intro was a" Whatever" but he's a pilot, and I'm not. and he is a major airplane guy. you have probably already read the story of many of these aircraft, but here is a chance to see an aspect that you can't really get at an airshow or museum. so, for 25 dollars you get outstanding views of the cockpits of some of your favorite planes. the detail is mind-boggling. we're talking counting fasteners here, and I mean you can put a magnifying glass to these images and totally geek-out . it is fascinating to see the different approaches and techniques the engineers used, and see all sorts of clever solutions to the problems involved. I think it can stand on it's own, but it is also a GREAT addition to the information you may already have. check it out, you may love it !
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(4 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)



Standard Catalog of American Flyer Trains
Standard Catalog of American Flyer Trains

max gearhead, April 7, 2008

" second spot " ? must be a Lionel fan ! I have built model railroads for years, but it wasn't until I was given a box of old " Flyer" stuff that I re-connected with the FUN of playing with trains. chuffing smoke and lights and whistles,rocketing around curves and through switches, It's a blast ! but, I really didn't know anything about them, so I bought this book to get up to speed. WOW ! for 33 bucks, it's 400 full-color pages of "drool-factor ten " American Flyer. not just the trains in all gauges, but more accessories and doodads than you ever dreamed. Gilbert was amazing. the price guide is interesting, but the real thrill is page after page of all that is "flyer". Max says: "buy it "
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)



max gearhead, April 7, 2008

If you like engineering-action stories, this book is still the best in it's class. whether you are a railfan or not, Rolt's ability to set a scene, blend engineering details, the humor and tragedy of the people involved from the lowliest station boy, to the most outstanding engineers of the day, and the chain of events that lead to each inevitable disaster is second to none. here is engineering and design wisdom learned the hard way as it so often is. there are other books about "train wrecks" but none like this. Max gives it an enthusiastic five-star rating !
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



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