Sunday, November 10, 2013


by Austin Grossman
383 pgs

Russell has recently left the fast-paced lifestyle of an up-and-coming attorney for the all-night-subsisting-on-skittles-and-mountain-dew lifestyle of a computer game programmer. Back when he was a teenager, Russell and three of his closest friends had been some of the first people in the world to see the potential of computer gaming when their teacher gave each of them 15 minutes alone to play around on a new Apple II computer the school had bought and didn't know what to do with. Each of them finally found something in the world that they could relate to and that they could interact with naturally. And from those few minutes alone, the future of online computer gaming was born.

Russell eventually parted from his friends and went off to pursue the type of career his parents would be proud of, while the other three created their own company and launched the highly-successful Realms of Gold game series. Now, in an attempt to fill the void in his life created when he left the world of computer-generated magicians, thieves, princesses, and dragons, he has quit the law firm, swallowed his pride, and come back to the company he wishes he'd never left.

The company is at the early stages of creating the next game in the series and Russell has to quickly get back up to speed and prove to everyone there that he can contribute and help the company return to the levels of success it once enjoyed.

YOU is the second book by Grossman. His first book Soon I will be Invincible was a highly imaginative tale of superheroes which I enjoyed a lot. This one is just as imaginative, but unfortunately it fell flat for me. I don't write computer programs, I don't know HTML or C++ and I moved on from playing video games when I was 18 years old or so, right around the time Super Nintendo came out, so much of the story was uninteresting to me. I wish that Grossman had made YOU more accessible to a broader audience. He's such an intelligent writer and I wanted to like the book more than I did. But it read more like a memoir than it did a thriller. I kept waiting for some dramatic climax which unfortunately never materialized. I'm sure a geekier person than me would enjoy this book much more, unfortunately for both Grossman and myself, I was just a little too cool for this one.

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

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