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4.5 out of 5 stars
Mogworld
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 7 September 2011
I was really curious to see how Yahtzee's machine-gun chatter of sarcasm and wit in his gaming reviews translated to a fantasy novel. The result? I ended up blasting through Mogworld in little more than a day, and giggling at its jokes on a number of occasions.

When Jim, a lowly mage-in-training, finds himself frustratingly resurrected from the dead, he finds that his generic fantasy world has changed for the worse. People aren't dying properly anymore, adventurers are becoming afflicted with bizarre behavioural patterns, and things are disappearing from the face of the planet in the blink of an eye. Thus begins his quest not to save the world, but to continue the permanent death he was so rudely awakened from.

The novel is written in 1st-person-perspective, which gives the writer a great excuse to transplant his humour directly into the thoughts and words of the protagonist. Yahtzee is like a more caustic, contemporary Terry Pratchett drawing from video games instead of classic literature, and the whole vibe of humour in the writing really tickled my fancy. Poor old Jim is an irritable, unheroic hero with unheroic and very human thoughts, clashing cleverly with the generic fantasy setting that underpins Mogworld. The plot, and the consequences of his actions, rarely go in the direction expected of a fantasy novel, and the eventual interleaving of the greater, game-related plot is very cleverly done.

Knocked off a star for an opening that I didn't feel was as strong as it could have been, but once Jim is resurrected, the fun really starts. If you've ever played an MMO, every joke should amuse you, unless you've come down with the Syndrome . . .
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 30 November 2011
This is a book about a Wizard. Or at least a novice wizard. Did I mention he's dead?

Set in "Mogworld", an MMORPG, where no one can die. This also means no one can be born. So the main character will have to do something about that. For what ultimate goal you may ask? So that he can finally die properly...

Reading this book, I thought of Pratchett, Gaiman, Adams and more, but edgier. The jokes are brilliant and cynical, but go a bit further than the whimsical nature of the aforementioned authors. The only reason I would not read this book is if you have no foreknowledge of MMORPGs. Some knowledge is required for the pure joy of the jokes.

So to sum up: If Yahtzee writes another book I will preorder 5 years in advance. If he does not write another book I will spend my life making video games that I know will annoy him.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2011
A good deal of the humour in this book presupposes that you've at least seen the outside of a fair number of computer game boxes.

That said, if you have, it's really good. I read it in one sitting and I'll probably read it a second time. I was surprised how well it was written to be honest (no offense). The art of writing a good blog is very different from the art of writing a good novel so I wasn't sure how well Yahtzee's humour would transfer.

So...if Terry Pratchett had developed an addiction to computer games in his youth, this is what he'd have written. Can't wait for the next one. **drums fingers impatiently** /glare...where's the next one?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2011
After reading Mogworld I realised that Yahtzee Croshaw is the disenchanted spawn of a drunken love affair between Douglas Adams and Tom Sharpe. Adams' conservative parents forced him to give the child up for adoption, and the ensuing legal battle culminated in Charlie Brooker becoming the infant's legal guardian.
In short, this book rocked my cotton socks, and anyone who finds themselves without not only spiritual enlightenment but, also, split sides upon finishing Mogworld should get themselves screened by a qualified physician. Hopefully, it's not too late.

P.S.
Very much looking forward to Croshaw's next novel. I can only hope it has a better editor than its predecessor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 May 2011
I m a fan of Yahtzee's hilariously acid videogame reviews and when I heard that he wrote a book I bought it right away. And it was a wise decision.
Yahtzee's unique writing (or, uuuh, rapidly speaking) style is right there. Funny, outrageous, susprising and well, I admit that I felt a profound empathy about the main character..and he's an undead novice battle mage, so Yahtzee didnt just go for cheap jokes and puns, but he actually invested a lot in creating his characters.
You dont need to be a fanatic gamer to enjoy this book, but if you ve had your fair share or RPGs it will definitely help! Give it a try.
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on 7 May 2015
As a fan of Yahtzee's Zero Punctuation series, I was happy to provide a little revenue to someone who has given me many hours of entertainment for free but was also hopeful that the book would at least be an enjoyable read. In that respect, it did not at all disappoint. While not quite a page-turner, the wit and intriguing premise held my attention from start to finish.

I'm guessing that many of the people who are thinking of reading this book will be be coming with prior knowledge of Yahtzee from Zero Punctuation, or perhaps his own YouTube videos too. While the book is certainly witty and is not at all a kids' novel, you may find it a bit more restrained than you expected, which probably is a good thing. The crudeness of ZP would likely lose its appeal if sustained throughout a full novel.

I won't spoil any of the plot here (and I'm inclined to argue that even the promotional blurb gives away a more-than-ideal amount) but it's very interesting and more thoughtful than I expected. Much of the humour is derived from an eclectic and eccentric cast of characters, that never fail to be fun. Perhaps the most important aspect that holds the whole book together is the relatable protagonist, who is surprisingly human beneath his rotten flesh and sarcasm.

The greatest weakness in the novel, to me, was the somewhat confusing and inconsistent motivations some of the characters have. It feels like comedic value was given precedent over giving characters a logical reason for the things they do, at times. By all means, comedy can be a priority, it just doesn't need to come with a cost, in all cases. However, that is a minor gripe and is easily forgivable.

I greatly enjoyed my time reading Mogworld and I would readily recommend it to fans of fantasy, video games or Yatzee's other work. Perhaps the best compliment I can give is that I feel the world created here could easily be expanded into a series, something I generally don't want after reading even the best books.
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on 4 April 2015
If you've seen Yahtzee's Zero Punctuation video series, you should have a good idea of the type of humor in this book. The jokes are witty, delivered rapidly and consistently, and there are lots of them. I don't think there is a single page in this book without some sort of joke or quirky sentence to make you smile. Mogsword is an intentionally generic video game world with AI so intelligent (intelligent in a hilariously stupid sort of way) that they have become sentient, but the developers of the game have no idea this has occurred and continue to mess up the lives of the NPCs for the sake of creating the best conditions for gameplay.

The main character, Jim, is a massive Negative Nancy about everything and everyone, especially after some git brought him back from the grave as an undead minion. His only goal is to find a way to die permanently. Unfortunately, he keeps respawning into his own deteriorating body, urging him on an epic quest of self destruction where he will come across many memorable characters and places, and Jim dislikes every second of it.

People who've never played a video game before will be able to grasp most of the video-gamey stuff going on in Mogworld and make sense of it. However, people who play video games (such as Skyrim and World of Warcraft in particular) will undoubtedly have the better reading experience because they will be better able to appreciate the humor of the sentient NPC's situation and their confusion at all of the adventurers running around like robots.

The story isn't very complicated and the characters do not have deep personalities with in-depth backstories. This book's purpose is to make you laugh and have a good time. If you are a fan of video games then you will most likely love this book. If you have not played a video game before then you should probably get on that sometime soon. Like right now. VIDEO GAMES!
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on 29 July 2014
I had high hopes for this book as it gets rave reviews.
Unfortunately, for me the humour fell rather flat. I didn't find any of the characters particularly amusing or endearing, so found myself plodding through the book waiting for the fourth wall to fall (I was aware of the central premise of the book before I read it).

When it does, you can soon see where things are going, and there are lots of jokes referencing standard MMORPG tropes - the problem is that their presence just isn't as entertaining or interesting as it should be. For example, when the protagonist manages to see the world through a player's eyes, he sees names floating above everybody. But, there's no pay-off to the reader other than "yes, he ticked that checkbox of things we'd expect to feature".

It wasn't terrible by any means, and I rather enjoyed the opening chapters, featuring an evil necromancer who nevertheless fosters great love from his employees. The problem is that it all continues in much the same vein - take a standard Fantasy trope, apply a slight bit of spin and hope this entertains the reader for the whole book. In my case, it didn't.

I found running jokes such as body parts falling off the main (zombie) character to be a bit tired, and once you strip away the comedy there isn't really that much to the main story. So, my advice is to read the Kindle sample and if you find yourself smiling then definitely buy the book. Otherwise, you may, like me, find it is persistence that gets you through the book rather than genuine desire.
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on 8 April 2014
I haven't managed to sit down and read a good book in years, but after hearing the premise of this book (An undead guy travels around trying to find a way to kill himself again) I took a chance on it. It sounded like my kind of humour, something which I rarely find and i gave it the benefit of the doubt.

It's worth noting that I AM a gamer but I had no knowledge of the authors prior reviewing works or what he does, I still don't, so I had no idea what to expect and had no biases regarding the author.

After the first few chapters I was sold, it was most definitely my kind of humour, the characters were interesting, the events were compelling and ended up taking a very interesting couple of turns throughout the course of the book leading up to a rather unique ending that left me wanting to read more (I looked up the author and within minutes ended up buying his second novel "Jam", a book I also recommend).

I am a very big fan of Douglas Adams which is also "my kind of humour" so if you're a fan of Douglas Adams then quite simply, GET THIS BOOK!

If you're familiar with the gaming world then GET THIS BOOK!

If you're not familiar with the gaming world then GET THIS BOOK anyway, the gaming elements are secondary to the characters and plot and presented in such a way that even those unfamiliar with it will be able to understand it.

All I can say is, GET THIS BOOK!

I cannot recommend it enough, to the point where I almost feel compelled to grab a few dozen copies and hand them out on a street corner to share the experience I just had.

Everyone should go on this adventure with Jim and Meryl, it's so oddball it's brilliant.
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on 20 December 2013
This is way beyond what I expected it to be. A truly original experience. When I bought it, I thought I was getting into a fest of gaming references, without any actual, engaging story. And how wrong was I.

Well, to start off, Jim, the main character, is a very strong character. It really feels like an actual breathing person, and you can relate to his experiences. You never really feel like you are him, but you somehow feel you are always "there".

The supporting characters are almost likeable, each one with a deep enough personality to suit their role in the story.

What was most amazing about this was the "game" aspect really wasn't at all the main focus. In reality, it is simply a canvas, a set of rules with which the story played out. It really was all about the characters and their interactions. Sure, there is a large amount of references and jokes about gaming, but it was done so cleverly that you never really feel like the characters are some nonhuman monsters.

One touch of can be seen on his writing style as well, by observing the alygories and real life criticism inside seemingly trivial comments of characters.

My favorite part of this book, is its amazing focus on dialog and key elements of the scenery. It very rarely strays from what's important, and thanks to that, it has a great flow.

Recapping, great characters, great story, game puns and references plenty but really not important to the whole picture as you can get most of them with minimal knowledge, and even without that, the way it's told makes you learn it on thw spot, so you never really feel left out on something important.

Must read by me. Well, onto Jam.
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