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The Micro Kids: An 80s Adventure with ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and more

Narrated by: Jas Walker
Length: 4 hrs and 30 mins
4 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It is November 1983 and young Billy Twist and his friends are about to discover the exciting new world of microcomputers.

Billy and his friends start on their journey but run into some obstacles as they try to setup a computer gaming club.

Take a trip into the 80s world of micros, 80s pop culture, and classic video games in a story for 8-bit micro fans and geeks.

Billy is a typical kid growing up in the 80s - the age of the microcomputer. An age of wonder for teens and adults alike.

A nostalgic story of ZX Spectrums, Commodore 64, Amstrad and Ataris.

If I didn’t grow up in the 80s I would be jealous of everyone that did - because the 80s rocked!

©2018 Gary Plowman (P)2019 Gary Plowman

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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1980s: The Nostalgia Strikes Back.

“The Micro Kids: An 80s Adventure with ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and more”
Author: Gary Plowman
Released: December 8, 2018

Narrator: Jas Walker
Audible.com Release: April 30th, 2019
Length: 4 hours and 30 minutes (Unabridged)

The year was 1984 and recall waking up around 4 AM to unwrap my gifts from Santa and my family. I was 8. I wanted a specific gift that year and did not receive it. I was ok with it because I got awesome gifts and felt the love of my parents. My desired gift was the GI Joe Aircraft Carrier. I did get Destro, who was and will always be a great villain. This story begins with that feeling of will Plowman get his coveted computer, or not? We all have been there. I won’t give away that, but certainly it’s no surprise that this book is about the author’s love for the Micros and the subculture devoted to the Microcomputers. I really enjoyed the author’s attention to detail making this fun romp less an essay and a coming of age story based on a budding interesting in computers that the author still holds interest 30 years later. The author and narrator are British, which I appreciate, because the love of computers and early computer geekdom is not an exclusive to any Country. I learned a lot about the Spectrum and this story brought up feelings and memories that I forgot, which is a fan for any GEN X, or that Millennium wanting a glimpse of the previous generation. Lastly, there is not really a “story”, but I found the entire experience worthy of my time and recommend this one to any geek over the age of 35.

Note: I was provided a free audiobook copy at my request and voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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For Nerds of a Certain Age

There were so many things that I loved about this book, but the narration was not one of them. It was too slow which can be overcome by speeding up in the Audible App but it also suffered from a horrible echo which the app can't fix.

Now on with the good!

The author states that he feels sorry for people that didn't grow up in the 80s, I have to say that I agree with him. For those of us that were teens in the 80s and nerdy teens at that, nothing captured our hearts and minds like the invention of the personal micro computer. This book is a love letter to the era, the machine, the games and the friends we made though computing.

Some of the descriptions made me feel like I was 12 and upstairs at home typing away the night to get my program to run properly in BASIC. The author really got the feeling of being a nerd in the 80s spot on.

At times the book read like a series of reviews of the programs that we loved and struggled to load using cassette tape. These parts were a little tedious and lended to the overall adventure promised in the title to be lacking.

All in all this was a very good book and I highly recommend it to nerds of a certain age.

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Decent, if you lived it

As an 80's kid who had a C64 and lived at the rise of microcomputers I *REALLY* wanted to love this. Even for someone who is now an IT pro the story seemed slow and rambling though. It's more autobiographical than adventure. Sure it's fun to see what happened on the other side of the Atlantic (as I'm a US citizen) however I had a really hard time caring for the characters as anything more than 2 dimensional pieces being moved about the narrative (which as I write this might be appropriate given the topic of 80s games)

The book did bring back fond memories, and anyone who grew up in the times with a love for computers will likely do the same, however if you didn't the long lists of hardware, accessories, and games is likely to become so much background noise that one glosses over.

Kudos to the author for trying to bring that time, the excitement, the every changing environment and the nostalgia looking back on it to life, hopefully for others he was able to capture it but for me it sadly fell short.

I received a free copy of this book at my request in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Craig Rich
  • 05-25-19

Like it’s being read to a 5 year old

The story is as basic as it gets. The nostalgia is there for sure, but it feels a little like it’s a story that a 10’year old has written in school. This might be purposeful on behalf of the the author, but add the appalling narration by someone who clearly has zero experience or affinity with the source material “an Apple i i E” and it feels like a bedtime story for a 5 year old.

This was something I was looking forward to, being in my late 40s and having grown up with very similar memories, but I almost switched it off 6 or 7 times because I just couldn’t deal with the tone.

I persevered but was left feeling like I should have stopped after all.

Overall probably something to read, not listen to.