Sunday, August 25, 2013

Of Dice and Men by David M. Ewalt

Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and The People Who Play ItOf Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and The People Who Play It by David M. Ewalt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Pairing his reporter's sensibility with a passionate, nerdy zeal, David M. Ewalt weaves the nappy threads of D&D's history, his own soul-baring journey of geek-enlightenment, and compelling in-game narratives into what must surely be the Bayeux Tapestry of Dungeons & Dragons…

Ewalt masterfully retraces the frequent changes of fortune endured by E. Gary Gygax, David Arneson, and others involved with creating Dungeons & Dragons, it's progenitors, and it's progeny. Skillfully interwoven is the tale David's own discovery and re-discovery of the game and the changes thus wrought by his Tuesday night obsession. In a delightfully smooth change of perspective, detailed descriptions of gameplay are wont to transition to in-game narratives using the viewpoint of the character being played by Ewalt. The audiobook version enlists the talent of Mikael Naramore to perform these narratives while the rest of the book is read by the author.

Clearly a labor of love, Of Dice and Men is enlightening, enheartening, and entertaining. Written to be accessible to both novice and initiate, the book performs admirably—a must-read for anyone with even a passing curiosity about role playing games, a moral imperative for role playing gamers.

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