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Super Mario Audiobook

Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America

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Publisher's Summary

The story of Nintendo’s rise and the beloved icon who made it possible

Nintendo has continually set the standard for video game innovation in America, starting in 1981 with a plucky hero who jumped over barrels to save a girl from an ape.

The saga of Mario, the portly plumber who became the most successful franchise in the history of gaming, has plot twists worthy of a video game. Jeff Ryan shares the story of how this quintessentially Japanese company found success in the American market. Lawsuits, Hollywood, die-hard fans, and face-offs with Sony and Microsoft are all part of the drama. Find out about: Mario’s eccentric yet brilliant creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, who was tapped for the job because he was considered expendable; Minoru Arakawa, the son-in-law of Nintendo’s imperious president, who bumbled his way to success; and the unexpected approach that allowed Nintendo to reinvent itself as the gaming system for the nongamer, especially now with the Wii.

Even those who can’t tell a Koopa from a Goomba will find this a fascinating story of striving, comeuppance, and redemption.

©2011 Jeff Ryan (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“One of America’s favorite pastimes is covered in exhaustive, enthusiastic detail.” (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Steve alliston, ON, Canada 05-21-12
    Steve alliston, ON, Canada 05-21-12 Member Since 2015

    I'm a twenty-something year old guy who loves science, space, and knowledge.

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    "Great read! Very informative."
    Where does Super Mario rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I grabbed this book as my first free book on my free trial and I was not disappointed. I learned so much about a company I previously didn't think much about. Now I have such a great deal of respect for them. This book is a well constructed, witty biography of the life on Nintendo and it won't disappoint you.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Super Mario?

    Learning about how Nintendo got started in the video game industry, and how they gained a monopoly for almost all of the early years in videogaming.


    What about Ray Porter’s performance did you like?

    I felt he had a real connection to the material, making it a pleasure to listen to.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, I didn't want to stop listening.


    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean Los Angeles, CA, United States 01-30-14
    Sean Los Angeles, CA, United States 01-30-14 Member Since 2016
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    "A poorly told story of popular culture."
    What disappointed you about Super Mario?

    Jeff Ryan clearly knows how to write about videogames - that is to say that he knows how to spin un-researched anecdotes as probable facts, and how to turn attention to merchandise and pop culture rather than the topic at hand. I learned more about Captain Lou than I did about Nintendo, Miyamoto or Mario.


    Has Super Mario turned you off from other books in this genre?

    If I hadn't already listened to Masters Of Doom, this would have turned me off from videogame nonfiction entirely. It's pretty well-known that games writers are not great nonfiction writers, and the idea of a stack of books of this quality is enough to make me steer clear. Luckily David Kushner has already shown that it is possible to write a compelling, well researched, nonfiction story about game studios, so I remain hopeful that lightning can strike twice.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The reader seemed bored most of the time, and when he tried to spice things up, it always fell flat. One moment that stuck out was when he described Mario's accent in the cartoons, he said the words "New York accent" in a cartoonish BOSTON accent. It gives me douche chills just thinking about it.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    If you're looking for a more-or-less chronological list of Mario themed merchandise from the 90s, you'll find it here. If you just want to hear someone utter the words "Super Mario Bedsheets" so you can say "HEY! I had those" then you might like this book.


    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Springfield, OR, United States 10-18-15
    Greg Springfield, OR, United States 10-18-15 Member Since 2011

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Entertaining but occasionally weirdly inaccurate"

    Jeff Ryan's Super Mario is an ode to the cultural staying power of Nintendo, points made with egregious metaphors and allegories. It starts off with a bang, trekking Nintendo's rise to power and meanders towards the end. Strangely the book is packed with factual errors as Ryan professes the original Super Mario to have 4 levels per level, the Genesis was backwards compatible (failing to mention it required an expensive add-on), Xbox required all games to have online multiplayer, the Playstation 4 cost $100 for online play, all things that can be verified in minutes.

    Inevitably I was left to question, "If I spotted these errors, how many other errors are there?" I don't profess to be a gaming expert. It's well narrated and written well enough besides overstated points, and find itself most at home waxing poetic on the nature of Mario. Its unfortunate as I was entertained.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dustin Walton, KY, United States 01-30-12
    Dustin Walton, KY, United States 01-30-12 Member Since 2015
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    "A fun little book"

    This was a nice little book. I took a star away because some of the information was wrong, but overall it was entertaining. Most of the focus of this book concerns the history of Nintendo beginning with the arcades through the N64. There is some history of early Nintendo and some history of the gamecube and Wii era's but the bulk is what's in between. Overall it was a fun little book, if you were into games in the 70's - 90's you'll probably enjoy this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 01-04-12
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 01-04-12 Member Since 2010
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    "more than luck"

    Great story about the ramp up to success for Nintendo. There were some interesting strategies in the early days of the "table games." Good strategy, coupled with a little luck, evolved into a company that measured unit sales in the 100+ million range. Solid narration too.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Foster 05-21-16
    Tim Foster 05-21-16 Member Since 2013
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    "awesome!!"

    jeff ryan is a great writer!! fascinating story! this is a book you want to re-listen to!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danniel Slade Killeen, TX United States 04-29-16
    Danniel Slade Killeen, TX United States 04-29-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Great book"

    This is a must for fans of Nintendo or just games period. I found this book very informative and interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keklar 04-09-16
    Keklar 04-09-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Great history of Nintendo"

    This was a really great listen for a lot more details of Nintendo's history that I never knew. When it gets into the more recent history it gets a little weird with commentary and what may come next because this was written years ago... some of the things have come true, and some comments are off. Overall worth it though. I do wish, however, that someone had gone over pronunciations of character and business names with the narrator, some are pretty bad. "oobasoft" for Ubisoft? Ugh.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy 03-10-16
    Jeremy 03-10-16 Member Since 2012
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    "Loved loved loved it."

    From a non-gamer this is A super fun, fascinating look into the world of Mario. I feel like I know more about the gaming world than I ever thought possible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gnorb Ft. Lauderdale, FL 02-09-16
    Gnorb Ft. Lauderdale, FL 02-09-16 Member Since 2016

    A customer

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    "A tour through my childhood, and how great design created a behemoth"

    First , if you grew up in the 1980's and 90's, be prepared for a lot of nostalgia. This book read like a tour of my childhood, from gaming to cartoons to films, all the while also delivering a great corporate history lesson.

    And in that corporate history there was another story: how design and paying close attention to the user experience created one of the world's great companies and icons.

    I couldn't stop listening to this. Finished in about 3 days. I would have finished it sooner, but those pesky responsibilities get in the way.

    Excellent book, and phenomenal performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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