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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

4.3 (1355 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Christopher Voltz 12-23-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Generally good"

    The book is entertaining and is well researched. Getting to see the internal workings of Nintendo and its colorful employees and the thought process behind their decisions was interesting.

    Unfortunately, the book has a couple of blemishes. One, the author often uses a 25¢ word when a 10¢ word would work just as well. Two, lists of examples are frequently exhaustive instead of representative. For example, does the reader really need to hear every single thing that has had Mario on it? After the first dozen (and the list takes several minutes to read), it just gets annoying.

    The reader generally did well and sounded excited by the material but his mispronounciation of certain names was distracting. I listened to the book in the car and my children (well versed in Nintendo) would highlight each mistake.

    Despite a few shortcomings, the book is entertaining, informing, and worth getting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benja 12-12-16
    Benja 12-12-16
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    "excellent listen - recommended"

    Really liked the book and Ray Porter did a great job reading. There's quite a bit I didn't know prior to this book, which I loved.

    There are a couple of factual errors I was aware of, such as saying that in Japan the "Dragon Warrior" games - now called "Dragon Quest" in the west - cannot be released on weekdays. There is no law and the last couple of games have been released on weekdays in Japan.

    The errors don't take away from the rest of the book, and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who enjoys video games, Nintendo, history, or business.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terri Yang 11-30-16
    Terri Yang 11-30-16
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    "Intriguing Biography of Nintendo's Creation"

    An interesting book about the history of Nintendo, the company, and how it started from its humble beginnings as a card maker to the impressive franchise it is today.

    It's very much a look at Nintendo from a business perspective and talks about the political conflicts, the Japanese cultural influences, and international expansion through a historical recounting of their product releases up to the Nintendo Wii. Those interesting in game industry history would likely like this book.

    This book focuses primarily on the Mario Franchise, but does touch a little bit on Zelda, Kirkby and others. However, those are mostly ignored in favor of discussing Mario the brand's growth over time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Mollinet Layton, Utah USA 10-26-16
    S. Mollinet Layton, Utah USA 10-26-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Good for someone wanting to learn about Nintendo's business"

    We love Nintendo at our house and have bought every game system over the years and most games that Nintendo has made. So all of this story is very familiar to me. I wanted my son, quite a Nintendo gamer, to read this, but he thought it was far too boring and too businessy. I enjoyed learning about the business side and found it interesting. I liked the author's insights and jokes. The book was written in 2011 so it doesn't include the current state of Nintendo.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Boyd Tschaggeny 10-03-16 Member Since 2016

    I'm an electrical engineer who looks like Conan and has a flair for business. I'm nostagic for FF7 and Pokemon... and Salsa Verde Doritos.

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    "A one-sided love letter to Nintendo."
    Would you try another book from Jeff Ryan and/or Ray Porter?

    Yes. The author and the narrator both did a good job.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I wanted to hear more about the challenges and failures that Nintendo encountered. This book focused too much on the success of Nintendo.


    Have you listened to any of Ray Porter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Did Super Mario inspire you to do anything?

    The most inspirational thing about this book was a court case that was covered. It made me want to stand up and fit against legal bullies.


    Any additional comments?

    Nintendo was shown in too favorable of light. Much more could have been gained by learning how Nintendo recovered from their failures, rather than just gushing about how great Nintendo is.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wes 04-13-17
    Wes 04-13-17
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    "Good listen"

    This book is a great one, written well and of course narrated with passion. Thank you

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy 03-15-17
    Timothy 03-15-17 Member Since 2015

    Musician and runner living on the island of Jeju in South Korea.

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    "Worth Your Coins"

    An intriguing look at a company's perfectionist commitment to quality storytelling. This book explains how a moustachioed bundle of pixels has come to mean so much to the world. A great read for gamers and non-gamers alike.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bogardfury philadelphia, PA, United States 09-30-16
    bogardfury philadelphia, PA, United States 09-30-16
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    "Author cared very little about being factual."

    Take everything you hear in this book with a grain of salt. Countless things are either misrepresented or just wrong.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MauiAG 08-29-16
    MauiAG 08-29-16
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    "Insightful look into important history"

    This book covers the strategy and history of this important global company. It's great conversation material as well as full of insights into gamers and the gaming industry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark 08-22-16
    Mark 08-22-16
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    "SUPER!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Super Mario to be better than the print version?

    YES, the narrator does an excellent job telling the story.


    Have you listened to any of Ray Porter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I enjoy this performance. He's a competent and quality narrator.


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

    I honestly didn't know what to expect when I read/listened this. It's a great history of nintendo from its humble beginnings through to modern day.


    Any additional comments?

    like I said I didn't know what to expect when I first started listening but couldn't put it down. I was engaged/informed and entertained from start to finish. Kudos to author and all the way down the line.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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