Of Dice and Men

  • by David M. Ewalt
  • Narrated by David M. Ewalt, Mikael Naramore
  • 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Here, there be dragons.
Ancient red dragons with 527 hit points, +44 to attack, and a 20d10 breath weapon, to be specific. In the world of fantasy role-playing, those numbers describe a winged serpent with immense strength and the ability to spit fire. There are few beasts more powerful - just like there are few games more important than Dungeons & Dragons.
Even if you’ve never played Dungeons & Dragons, you probably know someone who has: the game has had a profound influence on our culture. Released in 1974 - decades before the Internet and social media - Dungeons & Dragons inspired one of the original nerd subcultures, and is still revered by millions of fans around the world. Now the authoritative history and magic of the game are revealed by an award-winning journalist and lifelong D&D player.
In Of Dice and Men, David Ewalt recounts the development of Dungeons & Dragons from the game’s roots on the battlefields of ancient Europe, through the hysteria that linked it to satanic rituals and teen suicides, to its apotheosis as father of the modern video-game industry. As he chronicles the surprising history of the game’s origins (a history largely unknown even to hardcore players) and examines D&D’s profound impact, Ewalt weaves laser-sharp subculture analysis with his own present-day gaming experiences. An enticing blend of history, journalism, narrative, and memoir, Of Dice and Men sheds light on America’s most popular (and widely misunderstood) form of collaborative entertainment.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Interesting Topic, but Terrible Execution.

Would you try another book from David M. Ewalt and/or David M. Ewalt and Mikael Naramore ?

Never. I really found the narrator annoying. He completely missed the bus on what could have been an interesting history of Dungeons & Dragons. His story is not interesting, yet he seemed to decide his personal D&D history should be the primary focus. Seriously, there are long stretches of the author explaining how he named his characters when he was a kid and a chapter describing a weekend retreat that was only vaguely related to D&D (LARP). Spent most of the book just shaking my head, trying to figure out if this was a self published blog excerpt.

What could David M. Ewalt have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Done some research beyond Wikipedia, maybe realize that the journey of a novice D&D player to a somewhat less novice D&D player wasn't that interesting. Possibly not have an arrogant sounding narrator constantly interrupt the story with a completely unnecessary old lore exposition. Maybe not end compete sections with snarky, unfunny jokes (example: it's not the size of the sword, octopuses are cool, etc.). Really the book just rubbed me the wrong way start to finish. Needed an editor to step in and add some focus to the story. Spoiler: Near the end he gets a chance to play with various co-creators of the game, and in each instance comes off as unimpressed by them, yet marvels at the old yellow tape on a ping pong table. I typically don't write reviews and read dozens of books each year, but this book was terrible.

Would you be willing to try another one of David M. Ewalt and Mikael Naramore ’s performances?


If this book were a movie would you go see it?

It won't -- don't worry.

Any additional comments?

Let me know if anyone finds an interesting book on this subject. It sounds fascinating.

Loved when he described the break up of the two founders, and just glossed over the reason explaining, "no one seems to know". Seemed like he tried real hard to get to the bottom of that.

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- John "atari2600"

Interesting...but disjointed

This is a very informative and well-researched book. However, seemingly in an attempt to make it more entertaining, it jumps around a lot, frequently shifting back and forth. I found that a bit confusing, distracting, and annoying.

The content itself is great, but the manner in which it is presented and organized leaves something to be desired.
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- brenty

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-28-2013
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio