Coventry, 1976. For a brief, blazing summer, a young Mark Barrowcliffe had the chance to be normal. He blew it...
While other teenagers concentrated on being coolly rebellious, Mark – like millions of other boys in the ’70s and ’80s – chose to spend his entire adolescence pretending to be a wizard or a warrior, an evil priest or a dwarf. Armed only with pen, paper and some funny-shaped dice, this lost generation gave themselves up to the craze of fantasy role-playing games, stopped chatting up girls and started killing dragons.
Extremely funny, not a little sad and really quite strange, The Elfish Gene is an attempt to understand the true inner nerd of the adolescent male.
©2007 Mark Barrowcliffe (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
While I liked the majority of this book, I felt let down at the end by the apparent geek/nerd shaming. Not all geeks/nerds/gamers partake in constant one-upmanship at the expense of those around them.
Fabulous. Great story telling. At first I thought he resented his RPG early days, but in the end... well, just listen to the book.
Thoroughly recommend to anyone who role played as a kid, or whose childhood had such an alternative view that you thought you were cool, but in reality you were just an eccentric twat.
I'm open to any book as long as it is true to itself.
I thought this book was laugh-out-loud funny, told with self-deprecating humour, picking fun at his mis-spent youth, Barrowcliffe captures his adolescence and obsession with dungeons and dragons (at the expense of everything else!) so well that I could see him and his over-inflated teenage ego sat with his fellow D&D-ers rolling dice oblivious to the rest of the world. As one of his contemporaries and having grown up in England I can attest to how well he captured that time and filled it with humour.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
As a gamer with some interest in tabletop games, this is a great story of a young boy's journey into the world of role playing games before the era of World of Warcraft.
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