In the summer of 1976, twelve-year-old Mark Barrowcliffe had a chance to be normal. He blew it. While other teenagers were being coolly rebellious, Mark—and twenty million other boys in the 1970s and ’80s—chose to spend his adolescence pretending to be a warrior, an evil priest, or a dwarf. He had discovered Dungeons & Dragons, and his life would never be the same. No longer would he have to settle for being Mark Barrowcliffe, an ordinary awkward teenager from working-class Coventry, England; he could be Alf the Elf, Foghat the Gnome, or Effilc Worrab, an elven warrior with the head of a mule. This is an hilarious memoir of an adolescence spent entirely in the world of fantasy.
“Funny . . . [Barrowcliffe’s] gently knowing style makes the pain of identification a pleasure.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Mark Barrowcliffe’s humorous, self-deprecating memoir of his misspent youth, ‘The Elfish Gene,’ is another welcome addition to the growing ‘nerdsploitation’ genre.”—Associated Press
“Hilarious, unbelievably well-remembered . . . begs a movie adaptation. . . . Barrowcliffe writes . . . with uncommon insight.”—The Seattle Times
“In the best tradition of British humor. . . . Laugh-out-loud funny.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“Wonderfully captures the insensitivity, insecurity and selfishness of the adolescent male.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review