Vintage Geek by Marshall Julius – Review

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Vintage Geek by Marshall Julius

Book Review

by Roger Crow / @RogerCrow

There was a time when the word ’geek’ was deemed derogatory. I should know. I have one of those capacities to absorb lines and trivia from movies and TV shows, which comes in very handy for quizzes and penning features, but usually gets an eye roll from my nearest and dearest. Thankfully these days, ‘geek chic’ is far more cool than when I was a lad, surviving in those pre-internet days of three TV channels.

When it comes to geek trivia books, I like the author to be at least three steps ahead of me, challenging my exhaustive knowledge of Star Wars, Batman, 007, Spielberg, Marvel, Doctor Who and the like with a series of questions so fiendish, I’m left hungry for more. As Ben Kenobi might say, Vintage Geek is the book I’ve been looking for.

It’s not one of those lightweight tomes that is exhausted in a quick browse, but the gift that keeps on giving. Strings of questions, from the odd one out, to ’spot the connection’ and guest queries from the super famous like Mark Hamill to more fringe contributors.

Vintage Geek Marshall Julius Book Review coverWhat’s remarkable is how many boxes this ticks, from Star Trek the original series, 2000AD and Ray Harryhausen to the Atari 2600.

Marshall Julius has done a fine job of collating a wealth of factoids and head-scratchers, and memories of the seismic effect of Star Wars and Tom Baker-era Dr Who among other personal touches help make it more than just a soulless trivia exercise.

“Covers a lot of ground”

The graphics are also a thing of beauty. Genius artist and sculptor Steve Casino is a guy who crafts some of the most unique cult objects around, and his painted question marks on the cover and peppering assorted chapters are beautifully done. Just as well he also gets to ask a question on one page.

Okay, even a fan of cult media like me can’t answer every one of the 1,000 questions, though I’ve had a good go, but it’s hard not to get that little glow of pride at knowing some of the answers to the teasers, such as ‘What’s the connection between Nick Fury and Raiders of the Lost Ark?’, and ‘Who’s all out of bubblegum?’

Though 1,000 questions covers a lot of ground, there’s still plenty more to assess.

I wouldn’t be too surprised if a second volume saw the light of day at some point, preferably with a section on cult Ridley Scott movies; classic kids TV; Mad Max; Joe Dante films and… well, you get the picture.

Some quiz books have just enough essential parts to do the job, but this is the Spinal Tap of such literary efforts that easily goes to 11.

If I didn’t already have a copy, I’d be more than happy to get one of these in my festive stocking.

To paraphrase Blade Runner’s Gaff in an alternate November 2019: “Well done Marshall. You’ve done a man’s job sir.”

‘Vintage Geek: The Quiz Book’ by Marshall Julius is published by September Publishing, £12.99

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