Confessions of a Future Engineer
Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9780375718984, 364pp.
Publication Date: April 8, 2003
Petroksi's paper was The Long Island Press, whose headlines ran to COP SAVES OLD WOMAN FROM THUG and DiMAG SAYS BUMS CAN T WIN SERIES. Folding it into a tube suitable for throwing was an exercise in post-Euclidean geometry. Maintaining a Schwinn revealed volumes about mechanics. Reading Paperboy, we also learn about the hazing rituals of its namesakes, the aesthetics of kitchen appliances, and the delicate art of penny-pitching. With gratifying reflections on these and other lessons of a bygone era lessons about diligence, labor, and community-mindedness Paperboy is a piece of Americana to cherish and reread.
"Petroski writes . . . with the observant eye of an engineer and the imaginative heart of a novelist." –Los Angeles Times
"A fond but clear-eyed glance back at what it was like growing up middle-class and upwardly striving in 1950s New York." –The New York Times Book Review
"[Petroski] once again discovers mystery and magnificence in the mundane. . . . By the end, we’re convinced that no metaphor for life is more apt than a paper route." –Kirkus Reviews
"[A] pleasant trip though an America that has faded into history, with a tour guide who shares with us both the eyes of a young boy and the wisdom of a grown man." –Civil Engineering
"Petroski . . . can see the poetry in a bicycle." –The New York Sun
"Petroski not only can put science in laymen's terms, but also can do so without killing its magic." –The Christian Science Monitor
"Petroski . . . asks us to see the extraordinary in the ordinary." –Chicago Tribune
"Petroski . . . offers a charming account of adolescence in a much different era." –Booklist
"[Petroski is] the poet laureate of engineering." –Rocky Mount Telegram
"The book is a joy to read for anyone who enjoys a good story, not just working on a challenging project." –CE News