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Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus "Notch" Persson and the Game that Changed Everything Hardcover – October 17, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"You may find this book as addictive as Minecraft."—Slate

"At the core of the story of Minecraft is the lesson that success is possible, if you have a good idea and the passion and skill to pursue it. Minecraft is indeed an unlikely tale. That’s what makes it so great, and that’s why this little book will make a terrific holiday gift for the gamer in your life.”—Andrew Leonard, Salon

"Minecraft is a beautifully human story...it's well worth a read and offers, at the very least, inspiration, and at the very most, hope."—TechCrunch

"This book takes his story and gives you a closer look. You learn about the man behind the game. His childhood, his family, the growth of his company and the lives of the people who work there. It doesn’t just give you the big enormous, glamour-filled cut scenes that you read about on the Internet. This book gives you the pixels, the details."—Book Riot

"Suspenseful, grounded, and startlingly relatable. I expected a book about Minecraft; what I got was a compelling story about personal struggle and accomplishment. A perfect gift for Minecraft players, parents of younger players, or anyone interested in indie games."—Game Skinny

"Pulls itself along with the narrative compulsion of a tech biography...outlines a cultural phenomenon in ways that even those who've missed out up 'til now can understand."—The Stranger

"I have been following Minecraft closely for over three years, and yet this book consistently surprised me with new insights into the game's development.  It focuses on the human story behind all those pixellated blocks. I have a new respect for Notch's accomplishments with Minecraft and for all the hard work that the Mojang'ers have devoted to making the game such a phenomenon. This book offers a fascinating and honest peek into the mind of the man who made Minecraft a reality."—Joel Levin, MinecraftEdu co-creator 

"This book explores the man behind the game to a depth that you won't, and that you can't, find anywhere else. In this work, Markus "Notch" Persson has revealed everything about the events that led to an international super-phenomenon. The resulting story will fascinate and inspire."—Sethbling, Minecraft video maker 

About the Author

LINUS LARSSON and DANIEL GOLDBERG are two of Sweden’s best-known writers on new technology and the internet. They have been published in the Washington Post and American Computer World, among other places, and quoted by BBC News, the New York Times, and the Sydney Morning Herald. Their first book, Swedish Hackers, was published in 2011 in Sweden. Minecraft, their bestselling English language debut, followed that same year.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press; Reprint edition (October 17, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609805372
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609805371
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #361,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A great read for Minecraft lovers, indie enthusiasts, and anyone who loves to see the good guy win.

If you're looking for a perfect gift for a kid that loves Minecraft, there's a lot to recommend this book. It's short enough to not feel overwhelming but not too short to 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.

There are a very, very few places where the subject matter strays into territory you might be uncomfortable with... (full review available at GameSkinny)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is how you get your minecraft crazy kid to read a book. My son loves this game and he is now engrossed in this book. The bonus is now he knows what big words like protagonist means. Two thumbs up!
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By Diana on December 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Book was released just in time for my 9 yr. old's autobiography presentation. He loves the game, Minecraft. I was so intrigued and inspired by Markus's story. Loved it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I recommend this book to any Minecraft lover. It's an easy read and my 10 year old & husband found the book very interesting.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Chances are you have played the huge sensation Minecraft. If you haven't, then chances are you won't like this book, so don't read any further.

This book tells you of the life of Minecraft's creator, Notch. You read about the hard times he has gone through, from his child hood, to today. It's very well written, and will definitely keep you interested. Now I've read some of the reviews on this book saying it's great for kids. I HIGHLY stress against letting kids read it as some of the language it uses isn't exactly appropriate, some of the situations are also not necessarily appropriate for kids.

It's a biography, and chances are if you like the person, you'll like the book.
4/5
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book at Minecon 2013 in Orlando and read it on the plane ride home. It is a really great little book about a very interesting subject. I especially recommend it to parents of Minecrafters.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like founders' 'origin' stories and this one delivers the goods on how Minecraft sprung from the singular vision and doggedness of Markus Persson. Still though, anyone hoping for a crash-and-bang "brutal dawn" story like Nick Bilton's "Hatching Twitter" (the stuff of films) or any of the Jobsian epics recounting the early days of Apple won't find it here. By those standards, it's the prosaic tale of the good guys winning. Even the 'bad guys' here aren't really bad...just ploddingly corporate.

I erred in getting the first edition. The story feels incomplete. I would hope that in the second edition that Swedish co-authors Goldberg and Larsson have captured the lead-up and after-effects of the Microsoft deal. The Persson pictured in this book bears little resemblance to the one now known almost equally for buying mansions in LA and throwing epic parties over the world over.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Disclaimer. I have only read the original in Swedish so I can not comment on the quality of the translation.

Notch turns out to be a rather normal person. albeit with a hard upbringing. The authors still manages to make the story of Notch and Minecraft exciting, I read it all in a day and barely ever put it down. It is a sweet read about a good (and skilled) guy that hits the jackpot big time without really having any plan or approach except doing what he loves.

From a technological gaming history perspective the book is not quite as interesting as Kushner's "Masters of Doom" or Craddock's "Stay awhile and listen", not because it is poorly written but because Notch and Minecraft doesn't push any technological limits like say Carmac did with Doom and Quake. But looking at it from the view of important people in gaming history it belongs right up there.

Most of all its a genuine feelgood story, after reading it I was just happy!
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