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

Mark Barrowcliffe
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Soho Press (1 Nov 2009)
  • ASIN: B007S7H59W
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "Memoir" misses the Mark 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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