Quick review of Minecraft – The Island with Jack Black

By: Max Brooks
Narrated by: Jack Black
Series: Minecraft, Book 1
Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
Release date: 07-18-17

Listen to a sample of it here


This book…. Is fairly slow.  It takes you on a journey of a character waking up in the world of Minecraft, supposedly having been transported from the real world, and then coming to grips with things, and discovering by doing this new realm.

Minecraft is a single player game and as such the characters in this book are the main character, cows, sheep, chickens and zombies. 

Now, if this happened over 3 or 4 hours, fair enough… but this story last over 6 hours, so I would suggest listening to it at 1.15x or something like this.  And I can imagine some people just giving up altogether.

I think however it’d be a great book for children, the language is clean, it teaches them about discovery, exploration, lessons to learn and why to learn them. AND, at the end of the book, there’s even 36 Minecraft lessons, that are actually like lessons which have been wrapped up throughout the story.
If it was just for that, I’d recommend the book especially for children.


The book is narrated by Jack Black, so he certainly brings the scene alive, and creates interest… where the writing doesn’t necessarily provide it.

I think if it wasn’t for him, the story would feel quite bland. Jack Black is a necessary and fantastic addition to the book, and really makes it listenable.

There’s background music as well, I can only assume from the actual game. It actually really adds to the appeal of the story. It provides urgency in some places and a relaxed feel in others.

It’s a nice touch.

Why I decided to listen to it

I’ve heard about Minecraft from a good friend of mine.  I kind of know what its about, building stuff, figuring out a world where everything is comprised of blocks.  Everything is supposedly simple, but still a very enjoyable game.

I’ve also never got into it, just because I didn’t want another thing to take up/ possibly waste my time, so…. I decided to listen to this book and see if it would peak my interest, see if it was any good, and there go from there.


I think for fans of Minecraft, this book could possibly be good, + parents that are trying to get their children into a creative, educational game, and teach them decent life lessons, this would also be fantastic.

In the end though, this book wasn’t for me. It doesn’t mean it won’t be for the right audience, but i’m not it.

Note.  The story did get better towards the end. And it was decent to listen to when you didn’t really want to listen to music or a book you need to concentrate on too much.

The 36 Minecraft lessons (life lessons at the end of the book)

‘What I’ve learnt from the world of Minecraft:’

  1. Keep going never give up
  2. Panic drowns thought
  3. Don’t assume anything
  4. Think before you act
  5. Details make the difference
  6. Just because the rules don’t make sense to you, doesn’t mean that they don’t make sense
  7. Figuring out the rules turns them from enemies into friends
  8. Be grateful for what you have
  9. It’s not wisdom that counts, but wisdom under pressure
  10. Too much confidence can be as dangerous as having none at all
  11. Take life in steps
  12. Friends keep you sane
  13. Conserve your resources
  14. Tantrums never help
  15. Nothing clears the mind like sleep
  16. When looking for solutions, beating yourself up isn’t one of them
  17. Don’t dwell on mistakes, learn from them
  18. Great risk can come with great rewards
  19. Fear can be conquered, anxiety must be endured
  20. Courage is a full time job
  21. When the world changes, you’ve got to change with it
  22. Always be aware of your surroundings
  23. There’s nothing wrong with careful curiosity
  24. Take care of your environment so it can take care of you
  25. Just because someone looks like you, doesn’t automatically make them a friend
  26. Just because someone doesn’t look like you, doesn’t automatically make them an enemy
  27. Everything comes at a price, especially if that price is your conscious
  28. Its not failure that matters, its how you recover
  29. When you’re trying to tell yourself something, listen.
  30. Questions don’t stay put, you can’t just walk away from them
  31. Never put off the boring but important chores
  32. Sometimes you have to compromise an ideal in order to save it
  33. Book make the world bigger
  34. Revenge hurts only you
  35. Knowledge, like a seed, needs the right time to bloom
  36. Growth doesn’t come from a comfort zone but from leaving it.