Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Monopoly: The World's Most Famous Game and How It Got That Way

Author: Philip E. Orbanes
Stars: 1
Review by: MandyApgar

This was bad. Sigh, so many bad books this weekend. But the idea is nice - the story of the game Monopoly. Inspired by The Landlord's Game, a tax credit game created by Elizabeth Magie Phillips in 1903, it later went several evolutions to become established in its current form by the postwar period. The writing in this was terrible first of all. The author worked as Parker Brothers' in house Monopoly expert (think of that, so many out of work and this guy had a title like that) for some time and is indeed well aware of his subject. His problem, and ours, is that he mistakes playing Monopoly for fighting the Battle of Marathon. Not to belittle the guy, but he makes the game (which is actually not the most famous worldwide) sound like the apex of all cultural achievement. Pages upon pages are given to the exact moves of players in certain world tournaments. I really do not care that Harry got a community chest card or Tom and Dick had X hotels. And the pictures as presented are blurry and black and white - I have sold antiques and board games are very lovely items. Color photos of the older games would have not only been more helpful but enlivened a very dull subject. Just avoid this one altogether. And don't even pass Go.

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