I bought this for my brother, who started playing computer games on the ZX Spectrum years ago. I ended up reading it in one sitting from start to finish.
What separates this book from others on the subject is that it has a great deal of humour and warmth in its pages - the author describes experiences that were common to all teenaged computer nerds of the time with a very readable turn of phrase which really brought it all back to me; I don't know how he managed to remember it all.
The British market seems to be the target for this book, as the machines that garner most attention are the BBC Micro and the ZX Spectrum and their respective games, and it was a real pleasure reading about them all again after all these years.
The articles are alphabetically arranged, and there are different subjects such as games, machines, peripherals and arcade machines, to give you an idea of the scope of the book.
Highly recommended - a good read; thank heavens it wasn't dry and humourless like I feared it would be!
I myself am a huge fan of the games and systems which appeared in our homes from the early eighties onwards. I always kept up-to-date with the goings-on in the gaming world, but after reading this little treasure trove I feel somewhat humbled - it's amazing just how little I ACTUALLY knew! The book is brilliantly written in that as well as being a very easy read, it's also a very amusing one. I had many a proper giggle when reading some of Railton's descriptions! It goes through, as it says on the tin, an A - Z of games but also covers the systems on which they were released. It then goes further again and gives info on the companies responsible for producing these machines. If you are a fan of the Spectrum 48K, C64 or even the old Binatone home entertainment systems, then this book will be an absolute treat for you. Contact Santa now - you won't be disappointed! Well done Jack Railton. 10/10.
This book is EXCELLENT - It also has the one ingredient missing from some of the other efforts - a dash of (sometimes very funny as well as nostalgia-inducing) humour!
I found myself identifying with a LOT of the reminiscences in the book, and it's written in a friendly, down-to-earth way - A real nostalgia trip, and I would THOROUGHLY recommend it to anyone else who was around in the 'Golden Age' that all of us Eighties retro-heads all loved...
PS - Let me know ASAP when Jack's written another book - I've sadly finished reading this now, but it was like meeting up and chatting about the "good ol' days" with a like-minded friend - very entertaining, nostalgic, and thought-provoking...
I bought this book because it was cheap and I love computer games. The titles a little misleading as it's not strickly an A-Z. More of a mixture of articles on computer games, the machines, accessories and so forth. It's mostly text, not many photos in here. Just several in the middle pages. Reading the text brings back plesent memories of games I used to play and made me smile with the authors wit. All in all a read I'd recommend if you love computer games. If you love lots of photos I wouldn't recommend it.