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(THE ELFISH GENE: DUNGEONS, DRAGONS AND GROWING UP STRANGE) BY Barrowcliffe, Mark(Author)Paperback Nov-2009 Paperback – 1 Nov 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Soho Press (1 Nov. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007S7H59W
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Product Description

Paperback

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

If you grew up with D&D in the late 70's and early 80's this book is for you. I relate absolutely to all the characters and guess what there is no hidden messages about how to live your life.
Well worth a read, wish there was another like it
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jan Johansen on 6 Jan. 2014
Technically this is a well-written book. Sometimes funny, and the characterization is superb. Sadly, it characterizes a monstrously unlikable character, who refuses to learn anything from adversity, and consistently blames external factors -a game- for his problems.

It is written in an memoir format, and is the story of a hideously unsocialized boy who discovers Dungenos and Dragons. The boy comes across as a terribly repellent person, and the adult, looking back at this socially misplaced childhood appears a dissassociative personality. All the things that went wrong in his life is the fault of Dungeons and Dragons, not the fact that he was a social misfit. And his life, he believes, would have been much better if he had never picked up the dice. However, the book provides ample evidence that he was badly dysfunctional socially long before he discovered Dungeons and Dragons.

He supposes life would have been much better if he had found a different, more "normal" interest, but the book subtly illustrates that his the subject of his interest was not the problem, but the intensity of it. Looking at it with a readers eye, it seems unlikly that the main character would have been any less obsessive over a different interest. He'd simply have ended up in a subculture less tolerant of social misfits.

In writing this "memoir" the character believes he would have been much happier if the game had not conditioned him to expect more out of life and sparked his imagination. This is written by the adult character, a successful writer. He imagines that without the game dragging him down, he would have gotten better friends, a more "normal" social life, and a career not burdened by his own expectations.
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