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Tiny Tin Men :: Archives

Book Review: The Elfish Gene

August 26, 2009 2:04 PM - Posted by Phil - Category: Reviews

I just finished reading ‘The Elfish Gene’, by Mark Barrowcliffe. The byline of the book is ‘Dungeons, Dragons, and growing up strange’, and that’s exactly what the book covers.

It describes the author growing up as an adolescent boy in Coventry, becoming totally addicted to Dungeons & Dragons. Many of the episodes he describes are very recognizable for those of us who also grow up during the 70s and 80s, the golden age of pen-and-paper roleplaying games. Although of course the setting is a bit different, I could relate very well to the anxieties and obsession of teenage boys with games. I even admit that at one point I thought the ultimate career in life would be to run a gaming shop (to have free access to all the stuff), or at least be a game designer in one of the game companies.

Although I still play games, that same level of intensity one had as a boy is gone. But non-gaming friends tell me I still look like a game fanatic to them, so I guess it must have been really weird 20 years ago ;-)

Full reviews:

Comments on this entry

Phil Thanks for the kind words. Weirdly, D&D seems to follow me around, a shop has opened directly across the road from me as a RPG, wargames shop and gaming centre. I think I am going to find myself going in. I’ve been drawn back into the whole fantasy world since writing the book and have just completed my first fantasy novel - Wolfsangel, under my pen name MD Lachlan. If you fancy an advance copy let me know and I’ll send you one when they’re out - some time next year. All I ask is that you review it on your blog. May your morale remain forever between Rout and Frenzy. Mark

August 28, 2009 9:04 PM - Posted by Mark Barrowcliffe


Thanks for reading our blog! Reading your book threw me back in time, and I am actually now considering running a vintage roleplaying campaign using vintage rules. On the other hand, I’ll probably wait a few days till the feeling of nostalgia wanes off …

September 2, 2009 5:36 PM - Posted by Phil