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Grand Theft Auto is one of the biggest and most controversial videogame franchises of all time. Since its first release in 1997, GTA has pioneered the use of everything from 3D graphics to the voices of top Hollywood actors and repeatedly transformed the world of gaming. Despite its incredible innovations in the $75 billion game industry, it has also been a lightning rod of debate, spawning accusations of ethnic and sexual discrimination, glamorizing violence, and inciting real-life crimes.
Jacked tells the turbulent and mostly unknown story of GTA’s wildly ambitious creators, Rockstar Games; the invention and evolution of the franchise; and the cultural and political backlash it has provoked.
Written by David Kushner, author of Masters of Doom and a top journalist on gaming, this book is drawn from over 10 years of interviews and research, including first-hand knowledge of Grand Theft Auto’s creators and detractors. It explains how British prep-school brothers Sam and Dan Houser took their dream of fame, fortune, and the glamor of American pop culture and transformed it into a worldwide videogame blockbuster. It also offers inside details on key episodes in the development of the series, including the financial turmoil of Rockstar games, the infamous "Hot Coffee" sex minigame incident, and more.
Whether you love Grand Theft Auto or hate it - or just want to understand the defining entertainment product of a generation - you’ll want to hear Jacked and get the real story behind this boundary-pushing game.
David Kushner is an award-winning journalist and author. A contributing editor of Rolling Stone, he has also written for Wired, The New York Times Magazine, New York, and GQ. He served as the digital-culture commentator for National Public Radio and is an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By L. Productions on 03-24-13
Kushner Writes Well, Verner Drops the Ball
What did you love best about Jacked?
Jacked has a great story about one of the most controversial video games of our time. Learning the recent history of the GTA series from an insider perspective was fascinating.
Who was your favorite character and why?
While I wouldn't call Jack Thompson a favorite character, his struggle was fascinating.
Would you be willing to try another one of Adam Verner’s performances?
I did not care for Verner's performance. He sounded tired, and the emotional gravity he put in to the read did not match the character of the text. All around, I found his narration to be disappointing.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
No; it was easy to grow bored with the narration.
Any additional comments?
Kushner tried to duplicate the earlier success of his masterpiece Masters of Doom. The problem is that he didn't have the same access. However, the writing is still at his high standards. The problem is Verner; you'd probably be better off just reading the book.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Chris on 02-04-17
Could Have Been Better...
I finished this story all the way through as I really wanted to have a good grasp on RockStar games and the GTA series. However, while the book provided some good history and insight, it always felt like it fell a bit short throughout the listen. The stories seemed more second hand and felt like key and interesting details were missing.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful