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You by Austin Grossman
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You (2013)

by Austin Grossman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2282050,815 (3.23)4
  1. 00
    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Anonymous user)
  2. 00
    JPod by Douglas Coupland (ivan.frade)
    ivan.frade: Fictionalized life in a video game company.
  3. 00
    Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America by Jeff Ryan (melissarochelle)
    melissarochelle: Super Mario is a nonfiction read-alike for You (and Ready Player One). It focuses on Nintendo, but the gaming industry as a whole is discussed. Very interesting read.
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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
I can't even add to the review that Lilian wrote.

This is just not worth sticking with to the end (I'm giving up at the Kidbits camp section). ( )
  sci901 | Apr 23, 2017 |
Too technical. All about video games. ( )
  kathred1 | Jun 13, 2016 |
READ IN ENGLISH

Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com


I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

Maybe I'm too young for this novel. Born in '93, I wasn't young in the 1980ies -obviously- and therefore I might not have enjoyed this novel as much as someone who did. Because it is filled with (what I expect is) a lot of nostalgia to this early era of computer games.

Russel's live hasn't been too successful so far. He missed out on a chance to be co-founder of Black Arts, producing video games, and now he's back to beg for work. Although he hasn't really gained any more knowledge about developing games than he had in high school, he makes game design look easy. It's actually just playing around. (I don't know anything on game design or game programming myself, but I think it will be harder in real life. And I had some questions on the level of freedom people playing and NPCs had in the Black Arts games. When I remember games from the late-90ies and even ones that are a lot more modern, there never is so much choice. Instead of 20 ways to cross a river, I think you would find 3, maybe 4.)

The story itself is quite often interrupted by RPGs from the other games Black Arts created. It isn't always clear exactly when this happens and sometimes the the narrative changes into second-person addressing 'You' all the time, which is something I'm never really comfortable with. Although in general the story was quite enjoyable, I thought the many RPG parts in between (which read a bit like bad fantasy/sf stories) made the story feel too long and sometimes they were just not interesting or important enough. After a while, it became a bit boring. Overall, I think you'll probably like this if you were into gaming in the 1980ies, or really like (to read about) RPG-computer games. ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
This one's tough to review. I like the concept and I enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane to the world of computer gaming as it existed in the late 1990s. But there's something ultimately a bit unsatisfying about "You," as well. It's packed with game talk and lengthy descriptions of the games produced by the fictional protagonist company, Black Arts. But there are few characters that have been fleshed out, very little actual conflict, and ultimately it kind of ends on a poignant note that seems a little unearned (and is a little confusing).

Anyway, I liked "You" (and am curious about Grossman's other book "Soon I Will Be Invincible). But the book it most reminded me of -- "Ready Player One" -- is by far a more vibrant and entertaining take on a similar sort of story of dead men leaving mysteries inside virtual worlds. ( )
  chasing | Jan 18, 2016 |
More like 3.5 stars. I liked this book and will be posting a full review on my blog in the next few days. ( )
  ebethiepaige | Oct 17, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
One can’t help but appreciate Austin Grossman’s formidable writing skills. He’s grafted the game itself into the narrative, as well as other texts (emails, memos about bugs, character and game backgrounders) so that it’s a metanarrative. He’s also used the novel form to tackle big questions: What is the nature of reality? Who is the protagonist in a video game? (Hint: It’s not Mario. It’s … well … you.)

File this one under a good book that just didn’t click, although it would no doubt fare much better with a reader who was both a gamer and a fan of good literature.
added by KelMunger | editLit/Rant, Kel Munger (Jul 22, 2013)
 
Grossman isn't just chronicling the rise and fall of a company, or of a character, or even an industry. Rather, he uses YOU as a tool to prise open the mystical center of what art is, what games are, what fun is, and how they all mix together.
added by r.orrison | editBoing Boing, Cory Doctorow (Apr 16, 2013)
 
Readers interested in software and game design will find some reward in Russell's reflections about life as a game designer...
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Austin Grossmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Chung, SamCover fontsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ng, KapoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
SuperbrothersCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
For they are actions that a man might play,

But I have that within which passeth show ...

--William Shakespeare
Hamlet
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To everyone making games.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
When Russell joins Black Arts Games, brainchild of two visionary designers who were once his closest friends, he reunites with an eccentric crew of nerds hacking the frontiers of both technology and entertainment. In part, he's finally given up chasing the conventional path that has always seemed just out of reach. But mostly he needs to know what happened to Simon, his strangest and most gifted friend, who died under mysterious circumstances soon after Black Arts' breakout hit.

Then Black Arts' revolutionary next-gen game is threatened by a mysterious software glitch, and Russell finds himself in a race to save his job, Black Arts' legacy, and the people he has grown to care about. The bug is the first clue in a mystery leading back twenty years, through real and virtual worlds, corporate boardrooms, and high school computer camp, to a secret that changed a friendship and the history of gaming. The deeper Russell digs, the more dangerous the glitch appears — and soon Russell comes to realize there's much more at stake than just one software company's bottom line.

With You, Grossman offers his most daring and most personal novel yet — a thrilling, hilarious, authentic portrait of the world of professional game makers, and the story of how learning to play can save your life.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316198536, Hardcover)

A NOVEL OF MYSTERY, VIDEOGAMES, AND THE PEOPLE WHO CREATE THEM, BY THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF SOON I WILL BE INVINCIBLE.

When Russell joins Black Arts games, brainchild of two visionary designers who were once his closest friends, he reunites with an eccentric crew of nerds hacking the frontiers of both technology and entertainment. In part, he's finally given up chasing the conventional path that has always seemed just out of reach. But mostly, he needs to know what happened to Simon, the strangest and most gifted friend he ever lost, who died under mysterious circumstances soon after Black Arts' breakout hit.

Then Black Arts' revolutionary next-gen game is threatened by a mysterious software glitch, and Russell finds himself in a race to save his job, Black Arts' legacy, and the people he has grown to care about. The bug is the first clue in a mystery leading back twenty years, through real and virtual worlds, corporate boardrooms and high school computer camp, to a secret that changed a friendship and the history of gaming. The deeper Russell digs, the more dangerous the glitch appears--and soon, Russell comes to realize there's much more is at stake than just one software company's bottom line.

Austin Grossman's debut novel Soon I Will Invincible announced the arrival of a singular, genre-defying talent "sure to please fans of Lethem and Chabon" (Playboy). With YOU, Grossman offers his most daring and most personal novel yet-a thrilling, hilarious, authentic portrait of the world of professional game makers; and the story of how learning to play can save your life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:11 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

After joining a revolutionary video game company run by his once-closest friends and a team of eccentric nerds, Russell discovers a software bug that leads him to uncover a mystery stretching back twenty years.

» see all 3 descriptions

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