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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 12 April 2017
Absolutely fantastic!!! Gripping the whole way through. Can't wait to start the next one. Definitely found a new favorite writer
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on 30 July 2015
I read this book all the way through even though I did struggle. I almost gave up half way, but I thought it might have a good twisting end. Disappointed, but it probably just isn't my cup of tea!! Interesting to read the book from the killers perspective though!!
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on 10 March 2017
I absolutely worship this book. It's so interesting. The perspective and the wording and how vulgar and yet passive and informative yet vague it is. Well written.
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on 25 May 2017
This book should be great, witty, clever...... but it isn't, sections are just too dull and I ended up skim reading just to get to the end.
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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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on 9 March 2017
Take a walk through video game history as the author spins a yarn seemlessly mixing digital and real life without making it seem too far fetched or unrealistic. This could be a story about any one of the great gaming studios and the people who made them great.
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on 26 April 2017
The item arrived on time, and was as described.
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on 13 May 2017
You is a book with a difference, or at least it felt different to me, reading about it and then reading it. It’s told from the point of view of Joe, the Stalker, and it’s quite unapologetic about it. There is no attempt to make his actions seem more reasonable – no calling back to a difficult childhood to explain his actions, which include murder. He is, quite simply, a psychopath – obsessively following and inserting himself into the life of a young woman because he is convinced she is the one for him.
Told from his perspective, she probably is. She is perfect. Beautiful, clever, engaging. Every negative behaviour of hers (she has a lot of boyfriends, always leaves her studies to the last minute, calls on people then drops them like hot potatoes) Joe can see and find cute, or something he could fix if only he was her boyfriend. To do that, of course, he has to turn himself into her perfect man.
For the first two thirds of this book I was completely drawn in to how Joe slowly wove his way into Beck’s life, tuning up at just the right time to save her from herself (as he saw it) and always saying the right thing at the right time. Joe’s is the only voice you hear. It’s repetitive and convincing. I started to think he might not be that bad after all just misunderstood. But no, he’s basically rotten to the core with no redeeming features.
It was this that eventually got to me I think. The lack of redemption. He was never going to learn and there was only one way this story was going to end. With just his voice in my head and no possibility of a happy ending I started to flag. I became tired of reading and, for me, the last 100 pages were a slog. I almost put the book down but kept reading in case I was wrong about the outcome (I wasn’t).
It is a shame because it’s not a badly written book by any means. In fact, it’s clever in taking the angle and in creating the character Joe. The problem was I couldn’t get away with such a relentless voice and nothing to cut it with for over 400 pages. Take 50 – 100 out and I think I would have been fine. I’d probably have been raving about this book as so many others have. As it is, because of the length and lack of change of page and tone, I have ended up liking vs. loving this book.
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on 2 May 2017
In this book we meet Joe, a simple guy with a simple life of working in a bookshop (any readers dream job), one day Beck comes in and chats to Joe, he then finds out her name from her credit card and the stalking begins.

Joe googles her name and of course she is on every social media (who isn’t nowadays?), all it takes is a bit of digging and he finds out everything he needs to know about this girl. Naturally from there he stalks her and sits outside her house watching her have sex.

Although this isn’t a normal romance book at all I do believe that Joe really loves Beck and would do anything for her (as he shows throughout the book). Therefore I am torn about putting it under the romance category, this is clearly not a normal romance. Stalking is definitely not the way to a womans heart and there definitely isn’t a lot of hearts and flowers in this book, however there is still the protective bond between the two characters which could be classed as love?

Anyway from there Joe’s stalking gets increasingly worse and he starts doing more sinister things to ensure that he and Beck end up together and that she is safe. This book is strange, definitely strange. I haven’t really read many (if any) books about stalkers and it was interesting to read from that POV. I liked seeing how Joe thought he was protecting Beck when he did the things he did and of course you can see from the other point of view why it is creepy. It was a very interesting read and very intense.

This book is definitely for mature audiences, there’s swearing, sex scenes and definitely some crude comments. Therefore only read if you are ok with reading these things (by swearing I don’t just mean the common ones, I mean the vulgar terms).

Overall I think this book was ok, at times it was interesting and exciting however for the majority of the book it was just Joe trying to please Beck but doing it in the creepiest way possible. From a stalker/thriller novel I expected tension and anticipation however there was never any, it always felt like something bigger could have happened, something to add tension to the plot however in the end I was just left with a feeling of disappointment. Therefore I’m not saying this book is bad because it really is interesting to read from the POV of a stalker however at the same time there is none of the thrill/tension you think you would get from reading about a very intense stalker.

I have mixed feelings about this book but overall I don’t think it was great, definitely not pushing me to read the next book in the series.
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on 3 December 2016
I'm rather late to the party with this one. I've been putting off reading it for a long time because of all the hype surrounding it. I try to avoid books that everyone raves about as I find that the bar gets set so high that I usually end up rather disappointed in the end, but I have finally bitten the bullet and decided it was time to give it a read.

Was I disappointed? I would have to say yes, and no. I'm honestly not sure how to describe my feelings for this one. The writing style really drew me into the story. The way the author pulled me into the complex and twisted mind of Joe, who was obviously off his trolley, but still managed to make him relatable, and dare I say it likeable, was extremely well done. Being inside Joe's head was disturbing and creepy, yet I found myself liking him despite his actions.

I found Joe to be a very believable character for the most part, however I struggled with the reality of his actions at times. I can understand how many of the smaller things didn't draw attention or suspicion, but the way he managed to get away with some of the more serious events without setting off any alarm bells just didn't sit right with me. I would have liked to have seen him questioned in regards to some of the more serious events that he carried out. Not necessarily changing the storyline, but just to add another layer of interest and tension. It would have been really interesting to see how he would cope with the suspicion and how he would continue without drawing more attention to himself, but at the same time have the story continue along the same path that it did.

I did enjoy it and I would recommend it, but I do feel that it was drawn out and slow paced in places.
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