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How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler Paperback – Illustrated, September 17, 2019

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,006 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Technically, we are all time travelers and we are all trapped. So, even if you happen to be scanning this blurb in what you perceive to be a 'normal' timeline, I heartily recommend you read this book cover to cover.” —Zach Weinersmith, creator of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal and author of Soonish

“Brilliant conceit. . . . a slyly funny piece of popular science writing.” —Glen Weldon, NPR’s Great Reads of 2018

“Hilarious and endlessly fascinating . . . For the vast general population that might decide to trust their lives to the FC3000, this book is potentially invaluable (and mighty entertaining) one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about life, the universe, and the fly wheel.” —
Christian Science Monitor 

“Ryan North's latest is a handy guide for what to do if you get stuck in the Stone Age…The manual stands well on its own, even if you'll never set foot in a time machine.” —
Popular Mechanics

“An entertaining and informative survey of Big History . . . worth holding on to even if we never do figure out time travel.” —
Toronto Star

“A hilarious and practical guide.” —
Atlas Obscura

“The scale of 
How to Invent Everything is downright encyclopedic, and the voice, on every page, bubbles with humor. Reading it brought me back to all the afternoons I’d spent as a kid flipping through the big reference books in my local library, and then eagerly running home to tell anyone who’d listen what I’d learned. One of this book’s great achievements is the way it so gracefully combines scholarly rigor with youthful wonder.” —Electric Literature    

How to Invent Everything is a genuinely entertaining bit of pop science writing, a brief history of human civilization with a wicked sense of humor and sci-fi set-up that make it as fun as it is informative. It’s an essential read for would-be time travelers as well as anyone who really wants to know all the various uses for an alpaca.” —Barnes & Noble Blog

“I recommend this to any time traveler or world builder who is in the market for a fresh civilization. This is certainly one of those ‘better to have and not need rather than need and not have’ books, folks. So run out and grab this.”
—Geeks of Doom  

“A must-read for any potential time traveler.” —
Unbound Worlds

“Stranded in a past century? Not to worry! Here’s the entertaining and sometimes even hilarious book that will tell you everything you need to know.” –
Christian Science Monitor
“A dazzling piece of work that's also genuinely hilarious.” —Elan Mastai, author of
All Our Wrong Todays

“A witty pop science guide intended for those demanding times when one needs to create a civilization from scratch... wry humor keeps the discussion lighthearted. North’s 'survival guide' is a fun, thoughtful, and thoroughly accessible reference for curious readers, students, and world-builders, as well as wayward time travelers.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Packed with cool, fun, and useful stuff... a friendly and thought-provoking reference, just the thing for the bright kid in the family, to say nothing of the neighborhood time traveler.”
—Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Ryan North is the New York Times-bestselling author of Romeo and/or Juliet and To Be or Not To Be. He's the creator of Dinosaur Comics and the Eisner Award-winning writer of Adventure Time, Jughead, and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl for Marvel Comics, and he has a master's in computational linguistics from the University of Toronto. Ryan lives in Toronto with his wife, Jenn, and their dog, Noam Chompsky.
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin Publishing Group; Reprint edition (September 17, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 480 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0735220158
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0735220157
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 14.1 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 1.09 x 8.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 1,006 ratings

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Ryan North is the (New York Times bestselling, Eisner-award winning) creator of Dinosaur Comics, the co-editor of the Machine of Death series, and the author of both "To Be or Not To Be" and "Romeo and/or Juliet": the choose-your-own-path versions of Shakespeare's plays. He also wrote "The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl" for Marvel Comics, who you might know from their movies about an iron man. His non-fiction work includes "How To Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveller" and the upcoming "How to Take Over the World".

He lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife Jenn and his dog Noam Chompsky.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
1,006 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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Top reviews from other countries

K.S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of info and fun
Reviewed in Germany 🇩🇪 on April 22, 2022
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K.S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of info and fun
Reviewed in Germany 🇩🇪 on April 22, 2022
I think the negative reviews don't do this thick book justice. It touches a lot of topics without being ovewhelming, yet enough for me to grasp the concept enough. As I love DIY, prepping and getting hands dirty (or more often bloodied and hurt) in every hobby possible, I'm thrilled to give it to my husband, who has harder time keeping up with my current areas of interest. Also I'm quite happy it's neatly listed in the back list. I'll look up author's other books.
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vellonce
5.0 out of 5 stars La guía definitiva para el fin (o el inicio) del mundo
Reviewed in Mexico 🇲🇽 on September 2, 2019
2 people found this helpful
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Thomas Armitage
5.0 out of 5 stars How did I not hear about this book earlier?
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on October 21, 2020
2 people found this helpful
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Alice Weiss
1.0 out of 5 stars Very little useful information
Reviewed in Germany 🇩🇪 on March 2, 2022
One person found this helpful
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Angel Pargeter
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great read!
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on December 30, 2019
2 people found this helpful
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