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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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  •  
    Winter alliston, ON, Canada 05-21-12
    Winter alliston, ON, Canada 05-21-12 Member Since 2017

    Winter Apocalypse

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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.


    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corey A. L. 12-14-15
    Corey A. L. 12-14-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Starts strong, struggles to finish"

    A fascinating look into the history of Nintendo, viewed mostly through the prism of the various roles Mario has played for them. The book starts very strong with Mario's formative years, sharing a lot of insights that belong just as much in a management book as one about video games. But, as the tale moves toward the modern day, the thesis just gets rehashed and the insights get fewer and further between. Still, a nuanced performance by the narrator makes this an enjoyable listen to the end.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gerardo Austin, TX, United States 12-12-15
    Gerardo Austin, TX, United States 12-12-15 Member Since 2017

    Businessman, Technologist, Marketer. Loves to learn and enjoys books. Mostly nonfiction plus historic novels.

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    "Detailed, entertaining and insightful"

    This is one of the better audiobooks I have read in a while. I listen to audiobooks in my car, and this is one of those where I often find myself parked in my destinantion just wanting to hear a little bit more of the story.
    The author is a great storyteller. It's well narrated, well documented, and entertaining.
    It provides a great story of how Nintendo became a legendary gaming company, what it did right, what it did wrong. It provides a great story about how the games industry grew and how it evolved along with the technology that made it possible.

    2 of 2 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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dustin Walton, KY, United States 01-30-12
    Dustin Walton, KY, United States 01-30-12 Member Since 2016
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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.

    2 of 2 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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean Los Angeles, CA, United States 01-30-14
    Sean Los Angeles, CA, United States 01-30-14
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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.


    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    V. T. 03-15-17
    V. T. 03-15-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Good, but a bit out of date"
    What made the experience of listening to Super Mario the most enjoyable?

    Great book, but a bit outdated. The story stops right around Wii. I really wish it was written more recently and included the past few years when the company was going through some of the more recent developments.
    Great read otherwise.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arthur 01-20-17
    Arthur 01-20-17 Member Since 2015
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    "a must listen for Nintendo fans"

    Awesome book with excellent narration. I'd recommended this book for anyone who grew up with a NES and is a fan of the history of video games.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Quicksilver84 01-01-17
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    "A great book"

    Diving right into the core Nintendo history, this book covers everything. A pure must have!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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