Wallace & Gromit: Cracking Contraptions Manual 2 by Derek Smith and Graham Bleathman

After reading the first book, you would think there wouldn’t have been enough material left for a second. However, ‘Wallace & Gromit: Cracking Contraptions Manual 2’ covers ‘Wallace And Gromit’s World Of Invention’, ‘A Matter Of Loaf And Death’ and ‘The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit’ and fills the gap showing nineteen devices (patent pending) that our favourite inventor and his dog use in their everyday life. They also show an odd respect for animals, humanely capturing rabbits although I do wonder about brainwashing them not to eat vegetables as to just what were they planning for them to eat. Using elephants as methane suppliers did make me wonder how the pachyderms would like being on a montone…all right, monogreen diet even if Brussels sprouts is a favourite treat. I do think Wallace should be suing over idea infringement in that the BBC and other TV channels have ‘borrowed’ his Wallace Vision multiple televisions to have an enlarged picture spread across them. Of course, unlike Wallace, they have more money to use consistently sized screens.

I should point out that Wallace, seeing the first edition of this book written by Derek Smith and illustrated by Graham Bleathman, decided not only to put the draft through his EDIT-O-MATIC but also to print the edition for Haynes as well. Considering this cover does not have repairs or tea stains this time, I suspect Haynes will be going back to Wallace again. It is still a bit worrying that the text wasn’t done a make-over in Wallace’s style and there weren’t even footnotes from our inventor this time.

Wallace has, of course, widened his expertise by not only improving his rocket with a mark two version, but also into robotics with the Labour Assisting Device (L.A.D.) and…er…brainwashing which does make me a little more nervous. I do think cricket would be a lot faster with the Bowl-O-Matic, not firing bowls but balls. From the photo, I doubt if even the bat would stop it getting at the wicket.

Although I’m not sure if the younger generation will make much sense of the text, I do think they’ll love the assorted photos and illustrations. I suspect the adults will leave it on the coffee table for visitors to peruse although will insist on body searches to make sure it doesn’t leave the house. As Wallace has printed 50,000 copies, there’s certainly enough copies to go around for them to buy their own copy. If you enjoyed the films of ‘Wallace And Gromit’, then you’ll want to have this book in your collection.

GF Willmetts
July 2012

(pub: Haynes. 95 page illustrated large hardback. Price: £12.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-85733-147-2)

check out website: www.haynes.co.uk



Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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