Zoë, dear, three words:
Buy a gun.
I love this book. I think it’s one of the best books about the history of video games ever written. It tells how John Carmack and John Romero both got into video game development, how they met, how Id Software was formed, and how it all fell apart. The writing style isn’t quite conversational, but neither is it as dry as most histories; the book is very easy to read. It’s also thoroughly indexed and documented, just like a history should be.
The book has its critics. Some people mentioned in the book have stepped forward to say “That’s not exactly how it happened”. Which is fine; no history book is going to be perfect (and there’s no real reason to think that these people’s versions are any more accurate than what that actually did make it into the book).
But most people who criticize the book do so on the grounds that it’s not harsh enough on Romero at the end. They point to the author’s relatively even tone as he details Romero’s actions during the development of Daikatana (which, of course, is simply the same tone the author used throughout the rest of the book). They even point to the fact the author thanked Romero in the afterward for letting him crash at Romero’s place, thus proving his inability to be objective!!!1!!lots of exclamation marks! I guess the author should have dropped his objectivity, allowed his blood to boil, and thoroughly castigated Romero for trying to make a game. Jeez.
Anyway, the book is great. You should definitely read it if you have any interest at all in the history of PC gaming.