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The Elfish Gene: Dungeons, Dragons and Growing Up Strange

by

The Elfish Gene: Dungeons, Dragons and Growing Up Strange Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"[Barrowcliffe] writes how D&D twisted his teenage development — and about how twisted teenage development is in general. It's easy to read in a weekend, and thanks to several hilarious, unbelievably well-remembered recountings of dialogue-heavy extreme nerdiness, begs a movie adaptation."—Seattle Times

“Barrowcliffe's retrospective self-awareness is by turns poignant and amusing ... as fantasy movies dominate the box office; the author offers a timely, appropriate memoir of addiction recovery ... worth a few hours holed up in the basement." -Kirkus Reviews

"I urge you to buy it yourself and make up your own mind. You'll love discussing it with your friends. There's not a whole lot written about gaming, especially from the inside, and The Elfish Gene belongs in every gamer's library." -Enter the Octopus Blog

"This is a good, funny book, and I am enjoying the heck out of it so far.  Barrowcliffe ... has an excellent writing style that is light and funny, and when he describes the game, you feel his excitement as he rolls the dice.... I hope [it] intrigues you as much as it intrigued me." -Geekscribe.com

Summer, 1976. Twelve-year-old Mark Barrowcliffe had a chance to be normal. He blew it. While other teenagers were being coolly rebellious, Mark—and twenty million other boys in the 1970s and ’80s—chose to spend his entire adolescence pretending to be a wizard, a warrior, or an evil priest. Armed only with pen, paper, and some funny-shaped dice, this lost generation gave themselves up to the craze of fantasy role-playing games. Spat at by bullies and laughed at by girls, they now rule the world. They were the geeks, the fantasy war gamers, and this is their story.

Mark Barrowcliffe grew up in Coventry, England. He worked as a stand-up comedian before writing his first hit novel, Girlfriend 44. He has written two other acclaimed comic novels, Lucky Dog and Infidelity for First-Time Fathers. He lives in Brighton, England.

Review:

"As a 12-year-old in England in 1976, Barrowcliffe (Lucky Dog) made a fateful choice: he started playing Dungeons and Dragons. Role-playing games were just beginning their rise, and Barrowcliffe, along with 20 million other socially maladapted boys, spent his adolescence in dining rooms and basements as a druid, warrior or magician, throwing oddly shaped dice and slaying monsters. While D&D allowed Barrowcliffe to escape his mundane, much-bullied existence in an all-boys school, it also threw him into an equally cruel nerdiverse of Nazi wannabes, boys with nicknames like Rat and Chigger, and his polymath, Falstaffian best friend who once ate a still-frozen chicken pie on a bet. Barrowcliffe, whose own schoolboy nickname was 'Spaz,' wonderfully captures the insensitivity, insecurity and selfishness of the adolescent male. His eye for the oddities of 1970s British life is equally astute. At times, Barrowcliffe's relentlessly self-deprecating humor descends into a tedium of self-loathing. The book also loses some of its focus toward the end when D&D gives way to heavy metal clubs and tolerant girlfriends. However, these are minor imperfections when measured against the quality of the author's vision. Barrowcliffe renders all the comedy and sorrow of early manhood, when boys flee the wretchedness of their real status for a taste of power in imaginary domains." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

A laugh-out-loud funny memoir about a Dungeons and Dragons addicted youth.

Synopsis:

"No one has done the Dungeons and Dragons memoir before, and now no one else needs to. It's a lovely book, far funnier and more enjoyable than its slightly terrifying subject matter might suggest. . . . Barrowcliffe is superb on male friendship. . . . This is a genuine achievement. . . . [Barrowcliffe] has written a good and happy book."-Daily Mail(UK)

"Very funny, very sharp. . . . Hilarious."-Hull Daily Mail(UK)

"Reaches Office-style levels of embarrassing hilarity. But it also has a lot to say about the casual cruelties and bizarre social dynamics that exist among packs of adolescent boys who have only their hobby in common. Toe-curlingly honest."-Bournemouth Echo(UK)

Summer, 1976. Twelve-year-old Mark Barrowcliffe had a chance to be normal. He blew it. While other teenagers were being coolly rebellious, Mark-and twenty million other boys in the 1970s and '80s-chose to spend his entire adolescence pretending to be a wizard, a warrior, or an evil priest. Armed only with pen, paper, and some funny-shaped dice, this lost generation gave themselves up to the craze of fantasy role-playing games. Spat at by bullies and laughed at by girls, they now rule the world. They were the geeks, the fantasy war gamers, and this is their story.

Mark Barrowcliffegrew up in Coventry, England. He worked as a stand-up comedian before writing his first hit novel, Girlfriend 44. He has written two other acclaimed comic novels, Lucky Dogand Infidelity for First-Time Fathers. He lives in Brighton, England.

About the Author

Mark Barrowcliffe worked as a journalist and a stand-up comedian before writing his first hit novel, Girlfriend 44. He has written two other acclaimed comic novels, Lucky Dog and Infidelity for First-Time Fathers. He now lives in Brighton, England.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781569475225
Subtitle:
Dungeons, Dragons and Growing Up Strange
Author:
Barrowcliffe, Mark
Publisher:
Soho Press
Subject:
Authors, English
Subject:
Teenage boys
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Childhood Memoir
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Authors, English - 21st century
Subject:
Barrowcliffe, Mark - Childhood and youth
Subject:
Biography-Childhood Memoir
Subject:
Biography-Literary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20081101
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9.20x6.32x1.00 in. 1.04 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Literary
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Role Playing Games » Advanced Dungeons and Dragons » Adventures
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Role Playing Games » Reference

The Elfish Gene: Dungeons, Dragons and Growing Up Strange Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Soho Press - English 9781569475225 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "As a 12-year-old in England in 1976, Barrowcliffe (Lucky Dog) made a fateful choice: he started playing Dungeons and Dragons. Role-playing games were just beginning their rise, and Barrowcliffe, along with 20 million other socially maladapted boys, spent his adolescence in dining rooms and basements as a druid, warrior or magician, throwing oddly shaped dice and slaying monsters. While D&D allowed Barrowcliffe to escape his mundane, much-bullied existence in an all-boys school, it also threw him into an equally cruel nerdiverse of Nazi wannabes, boys with nicknames like Rat and Chigger, and his polymath, Falstaffian best friend who once ate a still-frozen chicken pie on a bet. Barrowcliffe, whose own schoolboy nickname was 'Spaz,' wonderfully captures the insensitivity, insecurity and selfishness of the adolescent male. His eye for the oddities of 1970s British life is equally astute. At times, Barrowcliffe's relentlessly self-deprecating humor descends into a tedium of self-loathing. The book also loses some of its focus toward the end when D&D gives way to heavy metal clubs and tolerant girlfriends. However, these are minor imperfections when measured against the quality of the author's vision. Barrowcliffe renders all the comedy and sorrow of early manhood, when boys flee the wretchedness of their real status for a taste of power in imaginary domains." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
A laugh-out-loud funny memoir about a Dungeons and Dragons addicted youth.
"Synopsis" by , "No one has done the Dungeons and Dragons memoir before, and now no one else needs to. It's a lovely book, far funnier and more enjoyable than its slightly terrifying subject matter might suggest. . . . Barrowcliffe is superb on male friendship. . . . This is a genuine achievement. . . . [Barrowcliffe] has written a good and happy book."-Daily Mail(UK)

"Very funny, very sharp. . . . Hilarious."-Hull Daily Mail(UK)

"Reaches Office-style levels of embarrassing hilarity. But it also has a lot to say about the casual cruelties and bizarre social dynamics that exist among packs of adolescent boys who have only their hobby in common. Toe-curlingly honest."-Bournemouth Echo(UK)

Summer, 1976. Twelve-year-old Mark Barrowcliffe had a chance to be normal. He blew it. While other teenagers were being coolly rebellious, Mark-and twenty million other boys in the 1970s and '80s-chose to spend his entire adolescence pretending to be a wizard, a warrior, or an evil priest. Armed only with pen, paper, and some funny-shaped dice, this lost generation gave themselves up to the craze of fantasy role-playing games. Spat at by bullies and laughed at by girls, they now rule the world. They were the geeks, the fantasy war gamers, and this is their story.

Mark Barrowcliffegrew up in Coventry, England. He worked as a stand-up comedian before writing his first hit novel, Girlfriend 44. He has written two other acclaimed comic novels, Lucky Dogand Infidelity for First-Time Fathers. He lives in Brighton, England.

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