We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Of Dice and Men Audiobook

Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It

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.
Regular Price:$20.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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.

(P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (338 )
5 star
 (168)
4 star
 (116)
3 star
 (46)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (3)
Overall
4.2 (315 )
5 star
 (149)
4 star
 (106)
3 star
 (48)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (4)
Story
4.3 (317 )
5 star
 (162)
4 star
 (101)
3 star
 (46)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    brenty United States 10-03-13
    brenty United States 10-03-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    208
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    512
    68
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. A Dunn The beautiful South 12-28-15
    E. A Dunn The beautiful South 12-28-15 Member Since 2016

    laineyd

    HELPFUL VOTES
    54
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    412
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nerrrrrrrrrrd!"

    If you ever played the game, or still do, this book is awesome. I mainly enjoyed the detailed story about the invention of the game and the rise and fall of TSR as a company. A fascinating look at the birth of something that shaped my childhood. Also interesting is the author's exploration of their own gaming past and future, where RPGs are headed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colvin Louisville, KY, United States 09-28-14
    Colvin Louisville, KY, United States 09-28-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story until....."

    During the mid 1970's I played D and D and enjoyed the game very much, so the first 75% or so of this book was a trip down memory lane for me. I never understood why TSR, a company that from the outside looked to be growing like crazy and very profitable, suddenly went bust. This book explains that, albeit not in a lot of detail.

    I was enjoying the book right up until the author choose to spend a very large chapter describing his LARPing (live action role playing) experience in detail, that is where it went off the rails for me. Very tedious and boring, then... as he exited the tales of his LARPing he choose to spend the last portion of the book shilling and gushing over D&D Next (version 5 of the game), it all came off as a lame sales pitch, an attempt to convince the D&D community (most of whom are still angry about the AWFUL 4th version of the game) that 5 was great.

    If you enjoy D&D or are just curious about the game and the people who play it, this is a decent introduction, it's not a bad read (or listen as is the case here). The narrative device of bouncing the reader between a history lesson of the game and his own D&D adventures becomes tedious at about the same time as the the live action role play chapter making that part bog down all the more, but all in all not bad.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Mackay Sammamish, WA United States 09-01-13
    Jason Mackay Sammamish, WA United States 09-01-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    29
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lots of fun and nostalgia for D&D players!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Of Dice and Men to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story is fascinating and the tale is told interestingly. The author weaves historic notes and details with bits of story telling, bringing the games he is discussing to life. He is a real good old D&D player himself and the journey back in time to go over the birth of the game and its historic impact was entertaining, educational, and full of nostalgia for those who were there. For those that have never played D&D this book could be the key to understanding what it is and why people enjoy it so much.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John LINCOLN, RI, United States 02-11-14
    John LINCOLN, RI, United States 02-11-14 Member Since 2008

    atari2600

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    89
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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?

    No


    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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 05-28-16
    Chris 05-28-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Type of Book I've Been Searching For"

    Ewalt does a fantastic job showing the reader how D&D found its beginning. He starts all the way back at D&D's first inspiration, war games. he is much more detailed than I could've hoped. if you are a fan of d&d, this is an emotional ride that will make you eager to return to the game table for your next session.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vikki 04-11-16
    Vikki 04-11-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This wizard is one heck of a bard"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Of Dice and Men to be better than the print version?

    Enjoyable life breathed into the telling with dual narrators.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Of Dice and Men?

    Many of the quotes and insights into the appeal and culture of the game and its 'people' did a great job of striking the balance of introducing an outsider to the idea while resonating with poignancy to the experienced player. One of my favorites: “Players are both audience and authors in D&D. They consume the DM’s fiction but re-write the story with their own actions and as author’s they are free to make their own decisions. If a troll is trying to eat you: you can hit him with a sword, shoot him with an arrow or run away. It’s up to you. For that matter you could sing him a song, try to recruit him into scientology or lie down for a nap. Your choice might be a dumb one, but it’s still yours to make.”


    What about David M. Ewalt and Mikael Naramore ’s performance did you like?

    The use of two narrators, one of them being the author was a great choice in sharing this well written, informative and charming book about a popular role playing game and its origins, culture and appeal. Game play scenarios that add a storytelling flare and style to the non-fiction work are given dramatic contrast to the humble and almost confessional tone of the body. Both narrators have good tone performance and inflection and bring the words off the page in an enjoyable conversational way.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The book was well titled and needed no additional flourish


    Any additional comments?

    The research and details of origins and parallel interests was informative and constructed a timeline and context that was enjoyably non-fiction - but the author's own involvement and perspective through it all wove a narrative that held and developed like a good story and kept the facts from drying out the book. I enjoyed it and the added dimension it gave to my own exploration into role playing games.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark L 02-14-16
    Mark L 02-14-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A bit interesting but disjointed"

    This is a very niche subject matter to start with, keep that in mind before you buy. I found it interesting but there were many times where the story was interrupted for excerpts from D&D or just for a bit of narration (I guess). While this might be effective for the written book, it was distracting for audio. I had to force myself to finish and that is never a good sign. This is nearly my 30th audio book in the last few years and it was one of the less interesting.

    If you are a die hard D&D fan you will probably like it more than me. I would call myself an interested outsider. But I love fantasy and I like audio books. Would not really recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Columbus Ohio 10-20-15
    Amazon Customer Columbus Ohio 10-20-15 Member Since 2016

    Pastor and PC Gamer...

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dnd a fun history"

    loved this journey through the history of Dungeons and Dragons the author mixes nonfiction narrative with fictional role-playing to help move the story along

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BestOfTheWest19 10-03-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Informative, but awkward pacing."

    It was a very good book and I learned a lot. He just did some things that surprised me. I expected it to be a straight up history of the hobby. But it is partially the author's personal history of dnd. Which I suppose is fine, just not my things. He also puts little side stories from games he has been in that is pretty cool.

    However the worst part is how he kind of glances over the Satanic panic and 3.5 and 4th edition comparatively. But that may just be me.

    I would still recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the hobby though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.