Speed Reads: 'Confessions from Quality Control'

[Disclaimer/Disclosure Thing: This reviewer paid $15 over market price during the book author’s crowdfunding campaign to be able to contribute 20 words about his first car. They’re in Chapter 13.]
When I read that Rich Duisberg from MotorPunk was writing a book, I was already shouting incoherently and waving my wallet around like a drunk at a live Home Shopping Network taping. I didn’t even care much about the topic, because Rich goes on grandly silly adventures with a typically witty English writing voice that renders his adventures even more silly and grand. However, his Confessions from Quality Control: Stories of bodges and balls-ups of car factories in the nineties documents his years in the 1990s selling quality-control instruments to British carmakers, which as Duisberg documents, are often unfamiliar with concepts like “instruments,” “control,” and “quality.”

The paperback comes with some kind of plasticky cover and internet-style paragraph formatting with line breaks. That departs from traditional printing, but the subject matter—including the chapter “The man who stapled my scrotum” about his favorite coworker—demands anything but traditional formatting. Duisberg writes with ascerbic recollection of the things seen and done (and forgotten) in his traveling-salesman work in some of the world’s best and worst automotive production facilities. The prose isn’t Hemingway-sharp, but its chatty nature recalls a long night at the pub, speaking of the bizarrely funny quirks people who build our cars with occasional twists into the macabre meat-hook realities of assembling heavy machinery.
In the contemporary sea of pretty-picture automotive books, Confessions of Quality Control might easily float untendered into obscurity. It’s probably never going to go over big with the ‘69 Camaro-worshiping mainstream car culture, anyway. However, given that you are reading this on Hooniverse, you probably appreciate Duisberg living on the automotive fringe and self-publishing a volume about weird stuff in automotive quality control.
$9.90 Paperback, Amazon
£8.80 Paperback, Amazon UK
£4.42 Kindle, Amazon UK

[All photos copyright 2017 Hooniverse/Eric Rood]

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4 responses to “Speed Reads: 'Confessions from Quality Control'”

  1. Sjalabais Avatar

    I’m by no means an oracle, but I have a strong feeling you jumped right at chapter 4.

  2. outback_ute Avatar

    I imagine he had no shortage of material!

  3. mdharrell Avatar

    I have an autographed copy that I keep with my Allegro and Maestro manuals, as a reference guide for overarching context.

  4. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    Hmm. Not sure how this has escaped me. I can’t imagine it will tell me anything about the Rover 800 that I’ve not encountered already, though.