The Elfish Gene

The Elfish Gene

Dungeons, Dragons and Growing up Strange

Book - 2008
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"[Barrowcliffe] writes how D&D twisted his teenage development - and about how twisted teenage development is in general. It's easy to read in a weekend, and thanks to several hilarious, unbelievably well-remembered recountings of dialogue-heavy extreme nerdiness, begs a movie adaptation."- Seattle Times

"Barrowcliffe's retrospective self-awareness is by turns poignant and amusing ... as fantasy movies dominate the box office; the author offers a timely, appropriate memoir of addiction recovery ... worth a few hours holed up in the basement." - Kirkus Reviews

"I urge you to buy it yourself and make up your own mind. You'll love discussing it with your friends. There's not a whole lot written about gaming, especially from the inside, and The Elfish Gene belongs in every gamer's library." -Enter the Octopus Blog

"This is a good, funny book, and I am enjoying the heck out of it so far.  Barrowcliffe ... has an excellent writing style that is light and funny, and when he describes the game, you feel his excitement as he rolls the dice.... I hope [it] intrigues you as much as it intrigued me."

Summer, 1976. Twelve-year-old Mark Barrowcliffe had a chance to be normal. He blew it. While other teenagers were being coolly rebellious, Mark-and twenty million other boys in the 1970s and '80s-chose to spend his entire adolescence pretending to be a wizard, a warrior, or an evil priest. Armed only with pen, paper, and some funny-shaped dice, this lost generation gave themselves up to the craze of fantasy role-playing games. Spat at by bullies and laughed at by girls, they now rule the world. They were the geeks, the fantasy war gamers, and this is their story.

Mark Barrowcliffe grew up in Coventry, England. He worked as a stand-up comedian before writing his first hit novel, Girlfriend 44 . He has written two other acclaimed comic novels, Lucky Dog and Infidelity for First-Time Fathers . He lives in Brighton, England.

From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Soho Press, 2008.
ISBN: 9781569475225
Characteristics: p. cm.


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Apr 15, 2017

The author is battling some kind of internal conflict the entire time, and it gets in the way. After trudging through a quarter of the book, I put it down because it got boring and a little bit cringeworthy.

Mar 29, 2017

Written by a self-hating nerd it's ...kind of sad.

Nerd culture has finally "won", but this guy never got the memo.

Skip it!


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