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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You Who?
The follow up to the excellent 'Soon I Will Be Invincible' is a quite different kind of book and in a decidedly lower key to its predecessor. The tone is not dissimilar to 'The Magicians' by Grossman's brother Lev and the geek friendly content is reminiscent of Ernest Cline's brilliant 'Ready Player One'. However, although there are semi-fantasy sequences - the heroes...
Published 12 months ago by houndtang

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I picked this up in the sci fi department of WH Smiths. I thought it was going to be like Ready Player One. But it isn't. It's a story about making a video game and with flashbacks to school and college. it was something of a disappointment but had nice nostalgic bits. In all 3 stars.
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 21 Aug 2013
This review is from: You (Paperback)
I picked this up in the sci fi department of WH Smiths. I thought it was going to be like Ready Player One. But it isn't. It's a story about making a video game and with flashbacks to school and college. it was something of a disappointment but had nice nostalgic bits. In all 3 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You Who?, 27 Aug 2013
This review is from: You (Paperback)
The follow up to the excellent 'Soon I Will Be Invincible' is a quite different kind of book and in a decidedly lower key to its predecessor. The tone is not dissimilar to 'The Magicians' by Grossman's brother Lev and the geek friendly content is reminiscent of Ernest Cline's brilliant 'Ready Player One'. However, although there are semi-fantasy sequences - the heroes from the video game the protagonist is working on hold conversations with him - this is a more realistic tale, albeit one which should appeal to nostalgic gamers and D&Ders. The story doesn't really go anywhere is particular but it's an enjoyable journey nonetheless.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good nostalgic trip down gaming memory lane, 6 Jun 2013
By 
mr ky p nichol (Worthing, West Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: You (Kindle Edition)
great book recollecting the games industry in late 90's with reference to some classics that those alive and gaming then would remember with fond nostalgia
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5.0 out of 5 stars "I felt as close to having a life as someone who had no life could possibly feel", 22 May 2013
By 
D. Harris (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: You (Paperback)
As a teenager, Russell ran with a pack of geeks - Lisa, Darren and Simon. The were the ones who, given 15 minutes on a shiny new Apple II at school, news what to do - knew that this was going to be the future. Together, they created a game world. But Russell drifted away, looking for an ordinary career, and Simon died. Years later, Russell returns to the company founded by Lisa, Darren and Simon, a company still developing games that have at their core the fruits of those long, after hours sessions in the computer lab.

There's a reassuring shakiness about Russell's narration. A great deal in hinted at but never spelled out. The story of the four friends is told in short highlights, intercut with play from the sequence of games they made over the 80s and 90s - games that feature four heroes, "the same four heroes you found in any video game that featured four heroes, anywhere" - a fighter, a magician, a thief and a princess. As the pressure of game development deadlines increases, Russell also has to embark on a quest through the successive games to track down a bug that could threaten not only the company but even the wider world - a bug built in from the start and propagated through every successive build and update since. Delving to the source of this means coming to terms with what he ran away from all those years ago.

It also means interrogating the whole lifestyle of gaming, in debates which Russell holds increasingly frequently with the four heroes themselves - Brennan, Lorac, Prendar and Leira. As Grossman cuts back and forth between straight narration, ongoing gameplay, dreams(?), debate with the heroes, flashbacks to the 80s and extracts from game manuals and helpfiles, it becomes less and less clear what is "real" and what is a "game". As a games designer, Russell's job is to make games that confine and chivvy the player along the chosen narrative. But he and his friends set out originally to make the ultimate game, in which the player can do whatever he wants - a totally lifelike experience. So when is life a game, and a game life?

It's an intoxicating read, leavened by humorous interludes such as Russell's experiences demoing a game at a trade fair, when everything goes wrong, and for me there was a glow of nostalgia in the D&D language and early 80s computers. It all stops in the early days of the Web, which is right, I think, because then it can celebrate an age before the really big corporations began to throw their weight around again.

I'm so glad I read this book. For me, it was touching, nostalgic and - despite concluding in 1998 - modern. I wrote my first computer program in about 1979 or 1980, in BASIC, on a Nascom 2 computer with 32kb of RAM. It was a Space Invader clone. I thought at the time I was very clever: to make it work I had to add a realtime keyboard reader routine which I got from a photocopied fanzine. I never made a career out of programming, but I can relate to the sense in this book that Grossman describes of coding as a creative act, insane fun, and something newly and wholly unexpectedly within reach.

The nearest book I can think of to this would have to be Cryptonomicon but "You" is less of a thriller, while still more weird than other books which use game conventions and insights such as Bedlam or Halting State - though it recognisably shares something, an outlook, an aesthetic, with them.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time, 26 July 2013
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R. Rosini "Newtype" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: You (Kindle Edition)
This book is a semi-autobiographical novel about video games development with a bit of mystery plot thrown in. The story is as dull as the flat characters and have no idea why anyone would waste time reading this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'I delved into the substanceless phosphorescent earth for that priceless treasure, always elusive.., 23 Oct 2013
By 
Simon Barrett "Il penseroso" (london, england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: You (Paperback)
..the transcendent loot of memory'

Five adjectives! I'm jealous!! Grossman may design games, but he sure can write when it's called for - and (just as important) only then. Not only does the regulation sex scene not slither or clunk into view, it is not even a gleam in its author's agent's accountant's eye. This page-turner is about gaming and programming and the world of work. (It makes a very nice contrast in the latter respect with Ed Park's too-good-to-rush Personal Days.) The actual gaming scenes (Adric, Lorac and ilk) are leavened, rendered palatable by humour. A bildungsroman or coming-of-age novel pas comme les autres, I think by page 100 you'll be hooked
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You by Austin Grossman (Paperback - 25 April 2013)
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