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Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms (英語) ペーパーバック – 2009/10/30

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ペーパーバック, 2009/10/30
¥ 764



An amazing journey through the thriving worlds of fantasy and gaming What could one man find if he embarked on a journey through fantasy world after fantasy world? In an enthralling blend of travelogue, pop culture analysis, and memoir, forty-year-old former D&D addict Ethan Gilsdorf crisscrosses America, the world, and other worlds-from Boston to New Zealand, and Planet Earth to the realm of Aggramar. "For anyone who has ever spent time within imaginary realms, the book will speak volumes. For those who have not, it will educate and enlighten." "Gandalf's got nothing on Ethan Gilsdorf, except for maybe the monster white beard. In his new book, Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks, Gilsdorf ...offers an epic quest for reality within a realm of magic." -Boston Globe "Imagine this: Lord of the Rings meets Jack Kerouac's On the Road." -National Public Radio's "Around and About" "What does it mean to be a geek? ...Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks tackles that question with strength and dexterity...part personal odyssey, part medieval mid-life crisis, and part wide-ranging survey of all things freaky and geeky ...playful ...funny and poignant...It's a fun ride and it poses a question that goes to the very heart of fantasy, namely: What does the urge to become someone else tell us about ourselves? " -Huffington Post --このテキストは、 ペーパーバック 版に関連付けられています。


from Kirkus Reviews, "Big Book Fall Preview":"In the late '70s, playing fantasy role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons put [Ethan Gilsdorf] on equal social footing as the AV club. Thirty years later, though, fantasy films rule the box office, J.R.R. Tolkien is considered essential reading and games like World of Warcraft are pop-culture phenomena... But there are still pockets of fantasy culture-Lord of the Rings conventions, Society for Creative Anachronism battles, LARP (Live Action Role Playing) camps-that the casual fantasy nerd wouldn't even dare to tread... 'I wanted to know why a 40-year-old man is still so interested in this stuff that he'd dress up in armor on the weekends,' [Gilsdorf] says. The author traveled from the woods of South Carolina to libraries in Wisconsin, from battlefields in Pennsylvania to the mountains of New Zealand-all in the quest to find some answers. His conclusion? They get to the heart of why any of us, geeks or not, become involved with any group. 'It's all about a sense of belonging,' says Gilsdorf. And maybe a bit about killing stuff." "This is a delightful book-more fun than being a Dungeon Master to a group of high-level mages and thieves." -A.J. Jacobs, New York Times best-selling author of The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically "Witty, downright funny, poignant, honest and ... well, wistful. Anyone who has ever embraced 'escapism' will understand, and those who haven't taken that leap of imagination will want to after reading Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks... Reading Ethan Gilsdorf's tale conjured my own D&D and fantasy experiences, vividly, right down to finding some of my old character sheets in a 3-ring binder a decade and more after I had stopped using them." -R.A. Salvatore, New York Times best-selling author of The Dark Elf Trilogy, and lead storyteller of 38 Studios game company "A fun, quirky and fresh perspective for those wanting to know more about the amazing world of gaming." -David Brin, futurist and Nebula, Hugo, and Locus Award-winning author of The Postman and Startide Rising "Ethan Gilsdorf's quest for himself leads through the fantasy world of millions of gamers in a breathless adventure/quest/memoir that is uniquely contemporary. This is at once a primer on the world of gaming, a self-help manual, and a wistful meditation on the passing of real time in a (nearly) virtual world."-Andrei Codrescu, NPR commentator and author of The Posthuman Dada Guide "An Orcs-and-all journey through geekdom, told with affection for every elf, wizard and dungeon master it meets along the way. Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks is for anyone who's ever been lured by the enchantment and secrets of faraway fantasy worlds; meticulously researched and lovingly told, the book gives a personal face to the cloak-swishing, wand-wielding, lightsaber-rattling gamer in us all." -Melissa Anelli, author of Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon "Vivid, moving, evocative, intriguing, engaging." -Chris Castellani, author of A Kiss from Maddalena and The Saint of Lost Things "Gilsdorf ... returns to the fantasy games that he used to navigate a difficult childhood as a jumping-off point for a full-scale investigation of geekdom." -Huffington Post "A detailed, funny, and loving account of all things dorky." -The Wire "Like many who will pick up his book, [Ethan Gilsdorf has] got one foot squarely in the real world, the other in the fantasy one. This is a journey well worth taking." -Booklist --このテキストは、 ペーパーバック 版に関連付けられています。



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36 人中、36人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
Good but, ultimately, what do we learn? 2009/12/14
投稿者 Andrew H. French - (
形式: ハードカバー Amazonで購入
I'm 40 years old, having been a gamer since I was 10. I'm also a husband, a home-owner, have held a professional job for over years, and I don't personally have any difficulty reconciling my love of fantasy and role-playing games with my normal, day-to-day life. It seems that the author has had difficulty in this, and this book seems to be essentially his rambling and occassionally awkward attempt to find out if it's possible to be both mature and have a love of geeky, escapist hobbies.

If you're someone who put the dice away a long time ago and are wondering whether it's okay to feel like dusting them off again...or if you never were involved in such hobbies and are wondering if it's okay for your significant other to be...then this book may be written just for you.

If you're still avidly into these pursuits, then you may come away from this book feeling a bit unsatisfied. I felt like I'd read a book that said "It's okay for you to be into this stuff", and I was saying, "Well...yeah. I knew that. Thanks." It's still worth reading the book, as he has a lot of enjoyable stories along the way...just don't hold your breath for any deep revelation at the end.
14 人中、14人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
Close to home 2009/8/22
投稿者 Wolvercote - (
形式: ハードカバー
Being a "closet gamer/fantasy geek" myself I completely related to Ethan's book. His story is my own and I'm sure a large number of other guys out there. Trying to balance the desire to immerse yourself in fantasy, (be it Tolkien, D&D, or online gaming) and living in "reality" with its expectations of what is considered "normal" is a recurring theme in the book and in my own life.
I felt the angst that Ethan dealt with as he slipped back into gaming and fantasy after years of self-denial. Anyone who has felt that twinge of embarassment over being a gamer or fantasy fan will enjoy Ethan's journey and obeservations.
I certainly did.
13 人中、12人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
Good up front and flat at the end 2010/1/9
投稿者 P. Brusa - (
形式: ハードカバー
I do not want to delve into too much info on the book and spoil it for others, but being a gamer since the age of 13 and now almost 40, I thought this book with make a sincere connection with me - and it did. Like Ethan, I too went though similar issues being a geek and since then, have boxed by geekdom in a shoebox (figuratively speaking as it is more like a chest)in my closet only to crack it open later in life to look for some kind of mid-life re-connection. And I applaud him for telling us his story - but I think there are a ton of us out there that also have very similar stories like his.

The book confused me a little and like a previous reviewer mentioned, you read and are left with "....well, and now what - what did I learn?" He identified an issue with his mother early on and I think he should have embraced that a bit more in his findings and carried through MORE - maybe the fact that there are many people he met who also were geeks and they all lived through this fantasy life at one point, but each of us have moments of harsh reality that will either not allow us to continue on on this path (for him, his mother's failing health) or you embrace it and become a geek regardless in the open. There were moments of this, but lots of empty pockets.

Hard to say, but the book was just flat from mid way (the online gaming part) through the end. Maybe for me there is no issue here for me - I am a geek in my heart and I also made that trek 3 years ago to my local gaming shop to see what has changed after 15+ years and I was ok with that. Did Ethan finally find the right balance here? Hard to say - maybe a second book will improve on a few of the issues I picked out.
7 人中、7人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
A Lot of Unrealized Potential 2011/2/26
投稿者 Epileptic Tarrasque - (
形式: Kindle版 Amazonで購入
In what could have been, with a little more work, a tremendous insight and very poignant look back at a life affected and in some ways effected by a strong, early exposure to fantasy fandom, Gilsdorf produces in a manner of speaking two books in this volume.

In the first and admittedly more readable piece, he outlines in tones of sad nostalgia the affliction of his mother, his escape from that and his marginalization at school, and the repercussions he feels now in his forties at choosing the easier road of escapism over trying harder to be there for a mother who was at the same time both suffering and very difficult to love. He provides through carefully chosen and striking imagery a potent glimpse into awkward adolescence in the 1970's even for a reader who wasn't alive then or did not experience the same difficulties, and is at once both emotional and objective. In this former part, he shows the roots of his entrance into fantasy fandom and much of his sentiment about how it affected him. It is, in and of itself, a touching memoir.

The second part, hinted at when he first speaks of going off to college and growing up past the phase of Dungeons & Dragons and J.R.R. Tolkien and begun at full speed after the near-cathartic moment involving the blue cooler, is rather like listening to a tape on a machine that's running out of batteries. The narrative begins strongly, connected through Tolkien to the world of fantasy fandom at large, but steadily slowing down and dwindling in energy and enthusiasm to the end, by which time we're left with the unfortunate impression of a grown man playing with toys in the woods and growing continuously more pissed off that he can't get a decent girlfriend who shares his interests. The latter half of the SCA segment and more or less the whole convention trip are pretty much disconnected from the rest of the work by an incessant, almost nagging theme of "I can't bed a woman." I found this to detract tremendously from the original intent of the book. In addition to that, the final chapter places the author in New Zealand (a thoroughly beautiful place), a journey "to Middle-Earth" which should be the culmination of a great personal and emotional journey. However, the entirety of the trip feels tacked-on, as if Gilsdorf didn't feel like he had enough to finish his book yet, but really didn't have anything left to explore. More than anything, the end of the work reads like the author gave up, shrugged, and said in a resigned tone, "That's good enough."

My recommendation is to pick up the book, to be certain. Read the first part, where he touches on some things that are universal to humans who have survived childhood. Read the beginning of his quest, on the pub crawl with the Tolkien society, as some of the people he meets and their insights prove equally relevant and wide-reaching. Read his adventure into LARPing. If nothing else, it provides some eye-opening examination of a world I had joined the larger society in snubbing. And then stop.
8 人中、7人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
Good material / Bad presentation 2011/3/12
投稿者 A. Sanchez - (
形式: ペーパーバック
I picked up this book after hearing the author interviewed on NPR. At the beginning it sounds like it would be an interesting ethnography of the Geek subculture. Instead of learning how they work, it ends up being a badly written travelogue.

The author does visit some interesting people, but instead of exploring them in any amount of detail, we get his boring whining and introspections. The book is not labelled as an autobiography and thus such ramblings should be kept out of it.

All in all, other books would be of better service to readers interested in this topic.
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