If you have read and immenselty enjoyed Levy's "Hackers", like I did, and were looking for something to take on from where it ended (mid 80s) - "Masters of Doom" is the book.

There's something very special and captivating in the writing style of Hackers, which I couldn't find in any other place since reading it, until now. Apart from a very profound research on the gaming world, I bet that David Kushner read Hackers and specifically tried to gather what is so special about its style. He succeeded - reading Masters of Doom is the same enchanting, unputdownable feeling as with Hackers. If you are a hacker (in the good sense, of course) yourself, this book "speaks" to you.

The book traces the history of id software, the small company that created Commander Keen (remember that ?) Doom (1, 2 and recently 3) and Quake (1, 2 and 3 Arena). Its first half is mostly about passion of programming and of computer games - amazing how such a small team, basing on one really talented programmer (John Carmack) can build huge and complex applications like Doom.

id Software is a proof that you don't need a 100-men team and a budget in the 7 digits to suceed. A small bunch of friends can create great and popular software hacking away at the living room of their home. It is very, very inspiring for all of us code-lovers. The company's key programmer is a portrait of everything I like about computer programming. When he has to solve a new problem, he eagerly buys several books on the subject and avidly reads them, hacking small simulations to help him understand the theory along the way.

The second part of the book was mostly about the gaming industry. Less of pure hacker-delight, but still very interesting and told in a vivid and captivating language. Being a junkie of computer games helps, especially of first person shooters (I myself am an avid Unreal redeemer-worshipper).

All in all an excellent book I really enjoyed. At last, a worthy heir of Hackers - now I just wish someone writes such about about some other programming area - Masters of Doom certainly has the game development covered.