I might try one of his earlier books. As he mentions late in the book, his writing and reading habits were considerably different a few years before, and I suspect he was a really good writer back then. I would need to see some reviews before taking a chance on this writer's future work, though.
For me, the autobiographical content started out noticeably dominant, but in a way that worked for me -- it complemented the content. But as the book continued, it started to take over. Personal reactions, reflections and unsupported assumptions started to appear with increasing frequency. The whole thing totally spun out of control in the chapter about Grand Theft Auto 4. At the end of that chapter, I felt my time had been thoroughly wasted. Previous chapters were valuable, but often didn't seem to close the deal. And I would very much have liked to have the question posed by the subtitle answered: Why DO video games matter? Frankly, this felt like the second draft of a promising manuscript. Not a rough draft, but not the third draft and most definitely not a finish draft either. And it felt relentlessly self-indulgent. Not sure how to fix that ... I think that ball is in Bissell's court.
No, this is my first.
I would have liked to know a lot less, actually.
I quit listening to it after the "afterword" told me that it would only be useful to me if I were a member of an elite cadre of gamers skilled in a particular franchise. I'm not one of them. It left a bad taste in my mouth and kind of put a cherry on top of my disappointment with the book.
Reined in his admiration for the Mongol ruling house just a little bit.
Fascination, followed by annoyance as I realized the author was building a case for a warmer, fuzzier view of Genghis Khan.
I love historical accounts that don't disguise their point of view. But at a certain point, you're not writing history, you're writing an apologia, and this book crosses that threshold fairly early -- glossing over uglier bits, "contextualizing" battlefield atrocities by comparing them to what other armies did, and entirely leaving out inconvenient tidbits like the debate over whether the Mongols used rape as a tactical tool. I got most of the way through this book before I realized that I couldn't entirely trust it; the author was grinding an ax, making a case for a more sympathetic view of Genghis Khan. He may be right, but I feel I've just wasted the time I spent listening to the book.
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