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Masters of Doom Audiobook

Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture

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Publisher's Summary

Masters of Doom is the amazing true story of the Lennon and McCartney of video games: John Carmack and John Romero. Together, they ruled big business. They transformed popular culture. And they provoked a national controversy. More than anything, they lived a unique and rollicking American Dream, escaping the broken homes of their youth to produce the most notoriously successful game franchises in history - Doom and Quake - until the games they made tore them apart. This is a story of friendship and betrayal, commerce and artistry - a powerful and compassionate account of what it's like to be young, driven, and wildly creative.

©2003 David Kushner (P)2012 Audiobooks.com

What the Critics Say

"Compelling . . . Masters of Doom succeeds on several levels. It's just great storytelling, with perfect pacing, drama and characterization. It's also an excellent business book, a cautionary tale with the kind of insider detail that other writers working in the genre should envy." (Houston Chronicle)

“Kushner’s mesmerizing tale of the Two Johns moves at a rapid clip . . . describing the twists and turns of fate that led them to team up in creating the most powerful video games of their generation. . . . An exciting combination of biography and technology.” (USA Today)

“Meticulously researched . . . as a ticktock of the creative process and as insight into a powerful medium too often dismissed as kids’ stuff, Masters of Doom blasts its way to a high score.” (Entertainment Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Pi STATE COLLEGE, PA, United States 10-29-13
    Pi STATE COLLEGE, PA, United States 10-29-13 Member Since 2011

    Shamelessly geeky; mathematically delicious.

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    "Fascinating story, perfectly told."

    With the break-neck pace that the gaming industry moves, it's amazing that anyone has had the clarity of vision to step back and document the history of this new form of entertainment. In Masters of Doom, Kushner does just that by detailing the careers of two of gaming's earliest superstars, John Carmack and John Romero. The fact that this book even exists is a testament to Kushner's foresight, and the quality of its presentation leaves nothing to be desired.

    There's something fascinating about a creative duo, something magical about the dynamic it creates. Kushner positions the two John's, Romero and Carmack, as that sort of pairing, reminiscent of Jobs and Wozniak of Apple fame. But where Jobs and Woz were the design and engineering halves of the computer revolution, Romero and Carmack were those halves of the PC gaming revolution.

    Kushner takes what could have been a rather boring history of id software and turns it into a real narrative. He shows Romero and Carmack as yin and yang, two parts of a whole. But he also shows them as headstrong individuals who just don't see enough of themselves in their partner. Ultimately, we see the two split ways and compete, seemingly never to achieve the greatness alone that they had together. Along the way there are many recurring themes and characters, all of which Kushner takes great care to point out to the reader.

    It's worth noting how tight of a time frame this book exists in. Masters of Doom was published in 2003. Doom came out in 1993, and Daikatana (the development of which is a focus of the latter half of the book) was released in 2000. 3 years separation from the subject matter is nothing, but reading this book in 2013 still shows it to have significant historical perspective.

    As for the narration, Wil Wheaton is, as always, a fantastic reader for anything and everything geek related. His delivery here is pitch perfect, and it really brings the story to life.

    The only thing I might have wanted was a more recent afterword. I believe the one presented in the book is from the 2004 softcover reprinting. Considering the audiobook was recorded in 2012, and both Carmack and Romero have continued to work in the industry during that time, an extra chapter to bring the book back up to date would have been appreciated. That's a lot to ask from an audio release, however, and I can hardly fault the publishers for merely doing a "great" job with this book, rather than going way above and beyond.

    If you care about gaming, and you enjoy a good biography, Masters of Doom is tough to beat.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daphna 09-23-13
    Daphna 09-23-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Excellent!!!"

    This is a great listen even if you are not a gamer. Great story and an excellent performance. Highly recommended!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nate C 08-21-12
    Nate C 08-21-12 Member Since 2016

    Revolutionist

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    "Very Intresting"

    It is amazing what 2 men could/did for an entire industry and pop culture. Having known bits and pieces of the story before this brings it all together and at a great pace. A must for gamers wanting to understand where and how this came to pass.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Love CLEARFIELD, UT, United States 09-29-16
    Jonathan Love CLEARFIELD, UT, United States 09-29-16 Member Since 2016

    My two favorite topics are Baseball and Military History. But my favorite books of all time are Starship Troopers and Ready Player One.

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    "The Non-Fiction Version of 'Ready Player One'"

    Listening to this title felt like I was back in the world of the Oasis and getting more background on James Halliday and Ogden Morrow - IRL John Carmack and John Romero. "The Two Johns" as the author describes them, become legends in pioneering PC game industry. Their inimitable talent to 'hack' computers, programs, (and eventually cars and rockets) help them leap ahead of everyone else in the industry; a lesson we should all take to look at things differently.

    The author describes the ebb and flow of success in the market as well as the coming and going of people in the industry and specifically their company. The book could be a historical case study on Organizational Management as well as the Psychology of Personality Disorders in the early days of video game development; successes and failures can be attributed to the John's inability and/or non-desire to effectively communicate.

    As far as narration, Wil Wheaton is my favorite narrator ever. Additionally he's found a niche genre that he embodies so well, the same that he played in Star Trek TNG. Wheaton brings character's personalities alive from the written word and each is distinct. My first audio book with him as narrator was the aforementioned, Ready Player One, so this book is perfect for him. I usually listen at 3x speed and had no problem with this audio book at that speed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vanessa Melendez Miami, FL 09-20-16
    Vanessa Melendez Miami, FL 09-20-16
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    "Loved it!"

    From the writing to the voice work to the research, this was a wonderful experience. Time to fire up some Doom. Suck it down!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank Langsteiner 09-06-16
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    "Outstanding"

    I recommend this book to anyone that lives the FPS genre. I still remember my parents buying shareware doom for 9.99 @ Circuit City. I took the shareware home and installed it on my brand new AST Advantage. After the game installed I was blown away. I payed Doom every chance I could. Kushner brought back a lot of good memories and gave me a lot insight into the development of Doom. Will Weaton nails the narration! If you haven't picked up Ready Player One... Do it now... Will Weaton is just one hell of a narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryant B. 08-06-16
    Bryant B. 08-06-16
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    "Great Insight into the Heroes and Legends of Gamin"

    I knew some parts of this story before starting this book, but it was fantastic listening to it all unfold. It's hard to believe this drama and adventure happened in my own back yard in Texas. Wil Wheaton is great at the narration, and gives character to the different people involved and reads with gusto the entire time.

    I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of video games and how the industry grew to be what it is today.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 07-31-16
    John 07-31-16
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    "A must listen to... If you are into the games"

    This was a great listen. Wil Wheaton was fantastic. I really enjoyed hearing what went into the creation of some of my favorite games.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 07-31-16
    Chris 07-31-16

    Audio book lover with sci-fi leanings

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    "The Story Will Draw You In"

    This is a story of the two creators of Doom and their cohorts that begins in the early 80's and takes us all the way through the millennium. I found the story fascinating as the author sculpted a well written story that walks us through the creators early projects and draws draws the reader in as the leaps in graphics and programming are described that allow our main characters to create some of the most popular games developed in the 90's.

    This was a hard one to put down and highly recommended!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deep Reader 06-22-15
    Deep Reader 06-22-15

    Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Doom"

    This is the story of a gaming landmark from the golden age of video games up to the current day. It is fascinating to see what goes into game design, and the tensions and ups and downs of game development, including that of having a do-no-wrong image in the industry.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Mr S
    6/18/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Entertaining and insightful"

    Great audiobook. intresting look into the pioneering days of game development and the lasting impact a few individuals at id had on the industry. Playing todays games you can see the inherited elements everywhere. All read by the legend that is Will Wheaton. Highly recommended especially for video game geeks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • MR
    6/13/16
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    Performance
    Story
    "Superb untold story"

    Really enjoyable story. A first rate history of the golden age of pre-internet PC gaming.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dave
    6/7/16
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    Performance
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    "Brilliant book"

    Finishes off just before the launch of Doom 3, this book covers the rise and fall of Id software and ionstorm. Really engaging and focuses on the people behind the projects. Prepare to google Carmacks reverse.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David Stretch
    3/28/16
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    Story
    "Fascinating and brilliantly read!"

    A wonderful reading of a brilliant story. Fascinating history of the iD rise to fame.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Matthew
    2/26/16
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    Performance
    Story
    "Origin story of a genre"

    Fascinating account of the Origin of FPS games and the team responsible for one of the biggest games in history.

    Read fantastically by Wil Wheaton. I couldn't seem to take a break from this book and highly enjoyed it.

    My only issue is that it ends too soon. I would love to hear a continuation taking us up to the current day of the id founders and what they're doing now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Simon
    Cannock, United Kingdom
    8/3/15
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    Story
    "Very interesting.... "

    Great history and people story. Hard to put down and slightly disappointed when it ended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. Kathleen M. Smyth
    Northern Ireland
    5/23/15
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    Story
    "Fascinating tale of two geniuses"

    Great book and a must for all video game fans interested in the mediums history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Juggler
    1/30/15
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    "Great lessons for start-ups"

    Neatly encapsulates the story of birth of gaming. Told with aplomb and style, well worth the time. A great real life story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • iLard
    London, UK
    12/17/14
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    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating journey, energetically narrated"
    If you could sum up Masters of Doom in three words, what would they be?

    I was sceptical but was very quickly hooked. I did not think the story of Doom would fill a book, but in reality there is masses of interesting and thought provoking content. It says much about the games industry of the era too, not just Doom itself. Wil Wheaton brings massive amounts of enthusiasm to the story and some of his accents are hilarious (not sure if intentional or not!) and sure he brings the characters alive.<br/><br/>Thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended, especially for those who played video games in the 80's through 90's.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Crispin
    Tufnell Park, United Kingdom
    11/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Behind the scenes"

    After Elite, Doom was my favourite game. To find out the backstory to its creation was like this was brilliant. The atmosphere, passiin and optimism of working in startup organisations always attracts me. It is all recreated here, along with the darker elements.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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