Book Review: Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus “Notch” Persson and the Game that Changed Everything

A great read for Minecraft lovers, indie enthusiasts, and anyone who loves to see the good guy wind up winning.
This book surprised me in the best possible way.
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Judging by the cover (I know, I know) I expected a story that Minecraft players would love. And it is that. But it’s also much, much more.

In telling the story of Markus’s struggles and triumphs, both personal and professional, the authors assembled all the ordinary bits of real life that almost always get overlooked in describing a person’s ascension to fame. Those offhand comments, quiet moments and inner dialogues are the pieces that really make a story compelling, and Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus “Notch” Persson and the Game that Changed Everything made sure that those precious pieces of reality weren’t lost along the way.

Suspenseful, grounded, and startlingly relatable.

Even though most readers will know the outcome of the book long before they crack the cover, the authors make us experience the nail-biting uncertainty that things might not work out.

As readers, we’re eventually immersed into the bizarre, otherworldly, not-quite-believable sensation that yes – this dream has really succeeded. It’s an odd feeling to experience, even second-hand, and makes you appreciate all the more how Markus must have felt along the way.

An interesting story that’s all the more captivating because it’s true.

I expected a book about Minecraft; what I got was a compelling story about personal struggle and accomplishment.

I expected a book about Minecraft; what I got was a compelling story about personal struggle and accomplishment. As a gamer, I was captivated. As a member of the industry, I was heartened. As a person with my own dreams and ambitions, I was inspired.

Precisely because I’m a gamer I can’t say for certain, but I’d even guess this story is captivating enough to appeal to non gamers. It’s certainly a good read for any parents who are wondering about the game that has captivated their kids.

Speaking of kids…

A perfect gift for Minecraft players, parents of younger players, or anyone interested in indie games

If you’re looking for a perfect gift for a kid that loves Minecraft, there’s a lot to love about this book. It’s short enough to not feel overwhelming, but not too short to not tell the whole story. The writing is smart without being daunting. Depending on their reading level, anyone ages 7 and up could potentially read this on their own.

Whatever your age, at right around $15, (even cheaper on Amazon as of this review) this book is a good buy. Suitable for kids, but by no means will it solely appeal to the young adult crowd. That said, there are a few places where the subject matter strays into territory you might be uncomfortable with for young readers (there is mention of drug addiction and a suicide) but it’s not tastelessly done, and could provide a good conversation starter into those hard to broach topics.

A final compliment

Whenever anyone tells me we’re getting an advanced, uncorrected proof of anything, the primal part of my brain that shrieks in terror over misused commas gets a little more shrill.

*It’s the same part that sees this burned into the back of my eyelids whenever I try to sleep.*

I correct books as I read them – it’s automatic and I can’t help it. Too many years of editing. But it’s a real bummer to have your fourth wall broken by a typo or misplaced punctuation. As a grammar snob, I’d like to say thank you to the writers and translator for having one of the cleanest, well-constructed books I could have hoped for. It was a delight.

10
Book Review: Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus “Notch” Persson and the Game that Changed Everything
A great read for Minecraft lovers, indie enthusiasts, and anyone who loves to see the good guy wind up winning.

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Amy White
Former Editor in Chief at GameSkinny. I am the Gray Fox. Questions, comments, feedback? Bring it. Amy.White (at) GameSkinny.com