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Publisher's Summary

Three years ago, 32-year-old Markus "Notch" Persson of Stockholm was an unknown and bored computer programmer. Today, he is a multi-millionaire international icon. Minecraft, the "virtual Lego" game Markus crafted in his free time, has become one of the most talked about activities since Tetris. Talked about by tens of millions of people, in fact.It is the story of unlikely success, fast money, and the power of digital technology to rattle an empire. And it is about creation, exclusion, and the feeling of not fitting in.

Here Markus opens up for the first time about his life. About his old Lego-filled desk at school. About the first computer his father brought home one day. But also about growing up in a family marked by drug abuse and conflict.

But above all it is the story of the fine line between seeming misfit and creative madman, and the birth of a tech visionary. Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus "Notch" Persson and the Game that Changed Everything is a Cinderella story for the Internet age.

©2011 Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson. English translation ©2013 by Jennifer Hawkins. (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A decent depiction of a fascinating story

Full disclosure - I've played Minecraft off and on for years and have dabbled in amateur game programming. That's probably part of why I find the story of Notch and Minecraft so fascinating.

This book is the telling of Notch's story from his childhood, first jobs, creating Minecraft, and the aftermath. I was already familiar with many aspects of the story, but the book filled in a lot of the details. In particular, the parts about Notch's family and early jobs were completely new to me. The parts about forming Mojang, its financial success, and Notch's evolving role within the company were filled with tons of details I had never heard before. The book seemed sourced from a variety of interviews of the players involved, which added a lot of color.

The book also unfortunately contained quite a bit of filler. The exhaustive descriptions of other Stockholm based game studios really added nothing. In fact, the book even concluded that chapter with a line about how this story is not about the little guys versus the big corporate giants. Also, all of the needless info from psychologists about online communities and human perception of realistic computer graphics just seemed like filler.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. The story itself is excellent. The book's telling of it is ok. Together this makes for a decent book. I'd recommend it to anyone who plays MInecraft or wishes to learn more about Notch's story. However, if you aren't already at least somewhat into Minecraft, this book will probably be quite boring.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Susie
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 03-17-14

From Legos to Pixels

From saying, as an adult, “Mom I’m going to live with you forever,” to one of the biggest names in gaming, Markus “Notch” Persson is an example of the old cliché that following one’s dreams will pay off.

The game “Minecraft" looks deceptively simple, but once you dive in, it expands into an entire block-y universe. People build fortresses, castles and scale models of real life objects. I’ve even heard of one player’s quest to find the edge of the “Minecraft" world.

Where did this phenomenon come from?

Persson went from using the computer as a sanctuary alone with his thoughts away from family tensions, to building a community online and in real life.

This book does an excellent job of subtly pointing out the roots of “Minecraft” in Persson’s life; Legos, “Boulder Dash,” “Magic the Gathering.”

But it also tells the story of someone relatable, someone with an un-extraordinary background, but who always knew what he wanted to do, and through perseverance, challenged the status quo of gaming (macho guys killing each other), and created something playful and creative that he is proud of, and is beloved by gamers all over.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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insightful and entertaining

It really is! I know those terms are quite overused but they remain true nonetheless.
This book was an insightful and entertaining listen. Regardless of whether or not you are a gamer the story of this mans success and all around good qualities make him very likable.
I don't normally write reviews and in fact this is my first, I apologize if it isn't very well spoken or descriptive.
Absolutely worth the purchase!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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My children love Minecraft

I had to listen to this. I agree with Markus, it's important that we as human beings do something that matters with our lives. You helped my children find happiness in themselves. Through your creation they can see the creativity inside themselves. This matters sir! Thank you for Minecraft. Thank you very much.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Very very interesting

Although I'm not into the game always wanted to know the history behind the game and the person that started it. It's very well told, moves along quickly and it's very interesting.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Makes me want to play a constructive game

I have never played Minecraft, but as I read this book I wanted to step in and see how creative I can be in the game. (That didn't go well, but that's a different story and irrelevant here).

In this audiobook, you can find the history and philosophy behind the game, the backstory of the developers and their rise to the spotlight. It is a success story by any standard, and it will be an example of what a simple idea and basic talent can become a successful business with minimum capital to begin with.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • Northern, Virginia
  • 03-10-15

Mostly boring

I was hoping for more information about the process, marketing, and development of Minecraft. Plus more biographical information about Notch. Some of the information in the story seemed to be in there for nothing more than filler material.

The narrator did a good job though!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great "biography" of the brain(s) behind Minecraft

Would you listen to Minecraft again? Why?

Yes. To catch things I might have missed the first time. And to listen to it with my Minecraft-addicted son to help explain some of the 'adult' perspectives of the book. Also - to help gloss over the few profanities used (two specifically I recall; one 'F' word in reference to a title; one 'S' word used as an idiom reference "S... meet fan"). Just nice to know since it may sneak up on listeners who think this might be aiming at the younger Minecraft audience.

What did you like best about this story?

The background story behind "Notch" (Markus) and how Minecraft (and Mojang, etc.) came to be.

Which scene was your favorite?

This isn't really applicable with this more biographical account.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The end / wrap-up of what Markus did after his huge success with Minecraft (what he is doing now). I won't spoil it for those who haven't read it.

Any additional comments?

Readers need to understand that this is not some sort of Minecraft users guide, or anything to do about playing the game itself. It is a biographical account about Minecraft's creator. And, it is written more with a 13+ year-old audience in mind (just my opinion).

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Not for Minecraft nerds

If your a minecraft nerd this book is not made for you. If the books central focus was on Notch and his life in the real world, then i would of found it more informative. unfortunately with the common knowledge i have of minecraft, this is a story for those who have never heard of computer games or minecraft. litterally no knew information is in this book outside of occasional references to notch real life,. The author most of the time treat you as if you know nothing of minecraft or computers or video games and therefore talks to you as if you're the most stupid ignorant person on the planet. This book is meant to inform people about minecraft for those who have never heard of minecraft not the other way around.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Inspiring tale for dream chasers.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would definitely recommend this audiobook to a friend because it is inspiring and depicts that when you choose your goal, follow your heart, and persist at working toward your goal, you will ultimately get to where you want to be.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Markus was my favorite character in the book because I can relate to him. At least in my younger years, I was just like him.

Which scene was your favorite?

I really enjoyed listening to the part in the book where Markus is watching the payments for Minecraft accumulate in his PayPal account.

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

Yes! I started listening to it at work and when it came time to do I didn't really want to leave my desk.

Any additional comments?

The book was so great to listen to. The narrator did an outstanding job at bringing Markus' story to life and easily held my attention throughout the story. Very inspiring listen and I highly recommend it to everyone!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • morgan
  • 01-08-16

boring

Didn't like the book it was my free book so sorry to say I'm cancelling

1 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-26-18

This a such great book!

Amazing story and description! The Tale of Minecraft was very interesting! Thanks to Audible! Hope People like it!