Ultimate Game

( 1 )

Overview

The stakes are high in the seemingly innocuous computer game three French schoolboys pick up while on a field trip in London. Andreas, the daredevil of the trio, is entranced with the hyper-realistic battle scenarios of "The Ultimate Experience," while Charles is almost destroyed by it, and Eric must find a way to end the game. Edgier than most virtual-reality scenarios and demonstrating a convincing grasp of gaming particulars, this novel throws its characters-and readers-into realities of historical combat, as ...
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Overview

The stakes are high in the seemingly innocuous computer game three French schoolboys pick up while on a field trip in London. Andreas, the daredevil of the trio, is entranced with the hyper-realistic battle scenarios of "The Ultimate Experience," while Charles is almost destroyed by it, and Eric must find a way to end the game. Edgier than most virtual-reality scenarios and demonstrating a convincing grasp of gaming particulars, this novel throws its characters-and readers-into realities of historical combat, as the boys find themselves, via the game, in Verdun, Guernica, and Bosnia, enacting desperate battles. Real life is a constant presence, both in the historical projections (at one point Eric becomes Esmond Romilly defending Boadilla against Franco's forces-and Andreas) and in the contemporary story (as the game shows Eric's Serbian friend Elena more than she wants to know about her father). The antiwar message is loud and clear but not simplistic; the book is less about the folly of war-gaming than the dangers of hatred.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this novel about teenage boys obsessed with computer war games, the first by French physician-author Lehmann to be translated into English, the moral overpowers the story. The tale has eerie resonance in the wake of the Littleton, Colo., massacre. Yet despite snappy dialogue and exciting (though often gruesome) war scenes, Lehmann's broadly painted characterizations and clunky, far-fetched plot bog down the narrative, which switches among the three French youths and a refugee Bosnian Serb girl. A mysterious computer game transports them to, variously, a WWI battle, the bombing at Guernica and an "ethnic cleansing" sortie in Bosnia. And just in case readers don't get the point that computer games are unhealthy, a character named Dr. Munier steps in to intone, "Video games, all this virtual stuff... it's a world that's beyond this world, beyond what's real, a place to escape from reality." The ending--in which fascist, violent Andreas winds up in Nazi-era Paris and meets the teenage self of the old man who sold him the computer game--not only defies credulity, but is a facile resolution to a complex issue. Ages 13-up. (June) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-An action-packed tale of computer games and an adolescent's preoccupation with hate and violence, both vicarious and real. On a school trip to London, three teens-Andreas, a neo-Nazi control freak; Charles, a computer boffin; and Eric, the reluctant hero-discover an enigmatic video-game store. When the shopkeeper notices the Nazi insignia on Andreas's jacket, he goes ballistic and sends them off with a dusty, seemingly innocuous game. "Play it with your friend. Especially with him. If it isn't too late," he advises Eric. Once back home in France, the true metaphysical nature of the game soon reveals itself. All three teens become ensnared in the mind-over-modem scenario of The Ultimate Experience, which adds a frightening dimension to the na ve thrills formerly gleaned from computer carnage. This expertly translated, riveting story is bound to make readers take stock of the destructive nature of violence. The book is well paced and researched. Its computer-gaming jargon is perfectly juxtaposed against tantalizing historical anecdotes. The message is clear, and the story ends with quite a satisfying twist.-Lisa Denton, J. S. Russell JHS, Lawrenceville, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781567922158
  • Publisher: Godine, David R. Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/2003
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.70 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2008

    The Horrific Game of War

    Three young adults named Charles, Eric, and Andreas are in search for a video game when the search comes to an end when they find a game store that supposedly has the best graphics and sounds that you will ever imagine. The game that they found was called ¿The Ultimate Game¿ the game was fun to play, ¿so they thought¿ but after a while they realize that the game causes many different things to happen to each of them. Will they ever find out why things are happening to them and even how to beat the game? Parts of the book that I liked were that the book is about war, because I like action and war novels. Another reason of why I liked the book is because that the book takes place in London and I have never been in London before and it wouldn¿t hurt to learn more about it. ¿The Ultimate Game¿ in not in a series, and is said to be Christian Lehmann¿s first book ever written in English. I thought that the book was OK but not the best because there wasn¿t as much action as you would think that it would have. But if you are in to learning more about different places and different wars this would be a book for you.

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