"As Adam Pennyman
records his thoughts in 'The Catalog of Obsolete Entertainments,' his
blend of video game arcana, gnosticism and other flights of fancy perfectly captures a
specific type of arrested-adolescent prose. [Lucky Wander
Boy] is undeniably entertaining
and touches on some serious ideas."
--The New York Times
Boy the novel has myriad antecedents: there are echoes of Repo Man, Bruce Bethke's
1983 story 'Cyberpunk,' Being John Malkovich, High Fidelity, Ghost World -- just about any geeky
guy/gal story you can think of. But its clearest influence is Frederick Exley's fictionalized memoir
A Fan's Notes, still the funniest, most frightening, and moving account of 'that long malaise,' a writer's
life, ever penned...
"I wonder how much of D. B. Weisss target audience... will have read Fred Exley. I hope a lot of them
have. Probably it doesn't matter,except for this: A Fan's Notes was
a touchstone for an earlier
generation. Lucky Wander Boy may just turn out to be the same for another
one. It's a lovely, funny, sad book."
--Elizabeth Hand, Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
and then I feel the fear and start to fret that video games will be the death of culture...
And then I read a smart, engaging novellike D.B. Weiss' Lucky Wander Boy and I take a deep breath and
relax. A generation reared on video games will produce some zombies, sure, but it will also engender
poets --bards of a new digital discipline. Weiss is just such a bard... The novel isn't just about a man
whose formative experiences came while trying to get a digital frog safely across a highway. Structurally,
it's a literary representation of a game itself..."The larger truth of "Lucky Wander Boy"
is that anything we do as humans, no matter how apparently evanescent, creates a substrate for
our lives that is worth examining."
--Andrew Leonard, Salon
and particularly funny when addressing the excesses and petty tyrannies of the Internet
business world, Lucky Wander Boy is also remarkably engaging when it lets Adam reflect on
the games of his youth in absurd close readings that are too sincere -- and occasionally too
convincing -- to function only as parody... [Weiss's] ability to translate the layers of meaning
and madness beneath the bleeps and blurs... makes him something of a pioneer."
--Keith Phipps, The Onion
in fact, an authentic genius, maybe the only one I've seen come down
the literary pipeline
since Neal Stephenson. He understandsthe profound effect of interactive
the paradigms of my generation, who saw our first decade through the
haze of the arcade
neon... Lucky Wander Boy is the first novel to really
explore this territory in any meaningful way."
--Joshua Ellis, Las Vegas City Life
"I love me
some metaphysical conceits in my fiction. The author's done a fine job
capturing a certain
kind of thinking
that occurs when smart people start reading deeper meaning into their
ruminations on many of the classics (Pac-Man, Microsurgeon, Donkey Kong,
Mario Bros., et al.) ring player-true -- which is why it's so glorious
and scary when
he goes off the rails with you right beside him. If you played in the
days when primitive
graphics and freshly-minuted archetypes made gameplay somehow even more
book will cause howls of recognition. Best of all, it's well-written."
--San Francisco Chronicle
"The Great American Videogame Novel."
--Joshua Glenn, Boston Globe
"If you're of a
certain age, Weiss's novel could be your life..."It's funny stuff, and a fine debut."
--Angela Gunn, Time Out New York
delightfully cockeyed sense of humor...Lucky Wander Boy is also
a love story. Despite
its multiple love interests...the book's greatest romance exists between man and hopelessly
--Robert Ito, Los Angeles Magazine
of many of the final pages recalls the harrowing end of DAY OF THE
LOCUST and the
very final pages the cold agonies of Stanislaus Lem at his best. D. B. Weiss has written
an exciting book."
--Bob Williams, The Compulsive Reader
Wander Boy... is High Fidelity for guys who spend more time playing
Atari than they do a turntable."
"Both a heartfelt
paean to old-school video gaming and an angry, Chuck Palahniuk-style
exploration of contemporary anomie, the novel can be slyly postmodernist
and surprisingly erudite
Weiss adroitly sketches the claustrophobic
confines of Pennyman's monomaniacal mindset."
at the core of the book's goofball main character and mad rush of American and Japanese
culture isn't twenty/thirty-something angst, dot-com trauma, or even
sentiment, but something more distinctly and resoundingly human: the
search for identity. And it's
to Weiss credit that he explores this age-old, psychological journey with sharp intelligence,
wry cynicism, and surprising poignancy."
--Andrew Duncan, The Modern Word
I say, but 'I wish I written this.'"
interested in a fresh new voice that vocalizes his interests with a slightly twisted sense of
humor and crisply dextrous narrative, Lucky Wander Boy is worth your time."
--Steerpike, Four Fat Chicks
Boy] is accessible; [Weiss] succeeds beautifully in translating the video game
experience, making it suitable for arcade junkies and electronic newbies alike. His touch is masterful."
--Andrew Thomas, The Tech (M.I.T.)
Boy proves to be smart and entertaining. "
--John Waterman, Daily Mississippian
to even the non-video game enthusiast, Lucky Wander Boy is a sharp, fun read that
reminds us how our continuing dialogue with pop culture makes that culture all the
more poignant and entertaining."
--Nicole Diamant, The Hoya (Georgetown University)
"A hip, wry,
and knowing boy-meets-videogame love story. D.B. Weiss is a fierce humorist
with a vital heart of silicon."
--Adam Davies, author of The Frog King
this is an excellent book. It just draws you in and keeps you reading
on and on."
is something so confusingly amazing it has a lasting effect on you.
It actually made me tremble for a good ten minutes."
"A true gem
that everyone who has ever pumped a quarter into an arcade cabinet,
or even more so, for anyone who has ever scolded or mocked this 'geek'
and whip-smart, written with edgy panache and nary a false step, Lucky
Wander Boy is a 21st century's Fan's Notes by way of Philip
Dick's Confessions of a Crap Artist, with all their possibilities
exploded exponentially. Over and over it takes flight from its own moorings,
spinning out across a pop obsessive's private universe into its own
northern lights, to the distant voices of lost loves, restless girlfriends
and seductive Asian video queens with more exotic pastimes in mind ?
a novel not of this moment but the next."
--Steve Erickson, author of Tours of the Black Clock and The
Sea Came in at Midnight
enjoyed this book. D.B. Weiss uses classic video games as a form of
modern mythology, a template to understand life. His passion for games
is evident and I'm happy to report that he represents their essence
with surprising eloquence."
--Will Wright, creator of Sim City and The Sims
"D.B. Weiss does for video games what Michael Chabon did for comics
in The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay: explore the development of a
new medium by telling a beautiful story. Adam Pennyman is a present-day
Don Quixote; his pursuit of his digital Dulcinea is presented with dazzling
intelligence and mordant humor."
--David Benioff, author of The 25th Hour
Wander Boy is an entertaining journey into the twisted psyche of the
videogame obsessed. D.B. Weiss has captured the strange combination
of mania and nostalgia classic games inspire within the collective consciousness
of our generation."
--Van Burnham, author of Supercade: A Visual History of the Videogame