• Dungeon Crawler Carl

  • A LitRPG/Gamelit Adventure
  • By: Matt Dinniman
  • Narrated by: Jeff Hays
  • Length: 13 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (7,619 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The apocalypse will be televised!

A man. His ex-girlfriend's cat. A sadistic game show unlike anything in the universe: a dungeon crawl where survival depends on killing your prey in the most entertaining way possible. 

In a flash, every human-erected construction on Earth - from Buckingham Palace to the tiniest of sheds - collapses in a heap, sinking into the ground.

The buildings and all the people inside have all been atomized and transformed into the dungeon: an 18-level labyrinth filled with traps, monsters, and loot. A dungeon so enormous, it circles the entire globe.

Only a few dare venture inside. But once you're in, you can't get out. And what's worse, each level has a time limit. You have but days to find a staircase to the next level down, or it's game over. In this game, it's not about your strength or your dexterity. It's about your followers, your views. Your clout. It's about building an audience and killing those goblins with style. 

You can't just survive here. You gotta survive big.

You gotta fight with vigor, with excitement. You gotta make them stand up and cheer. And if you do have that "it" factor, you may just find yourself with a following. That's the only way to truly survive in this game - with the help of the loot boxes dropped upon you by the generous benefactors watching from across the galaxy.

They call it Dungeon Crawler World. But for Carl, it's anything but a game.

©2020 Matt Dinniman (P)2021 Matt Dinniman

What listeners say about Dungeon Crawler Carl

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A refreshing take on apocalyptical LITRPG

So...this book. Man, I just love it. Somehow, the author managed to avoid almost every LITRPG hero trope that exists and made that a good thing. Except the snarky system messages, but, let's be real, that's one of the genre's more fun tropes.

* SOUND BOOTH THEATER KNOCKS THIS OUT OF THE PARK! JEFF HAYES IS THE MAN! No distracting music or sound affects that aren't pertinent to the story. Proper voices for the system notifications and other messages. Just...nailed this 100%
* MC is not dumb
* MC is not a womanizer
* MC is not gifted with some super, ultra rare ability that breaks the game or makes him a snowflake
* MC does solve everything (or anything) with magic (...I love magic...I'm keeping my fingers crossed this might change)
* MC is practically McGyver (like the real McGyver not the Dr. Who sonic screw driver McGyver)
* MC has good dialogue with other characters and his companion whom happens to be a talking cat (happens in first 35 minutes...not really a spoiler)
* MC (and all of humanity) is definitely the underdog

Now, the LITRPG aspects.

* A$$hole corporate, inter-galactic politics and greed cause the apocalyptic event
* While the story progresses well with Carl's progress in levels and skills, there are bigger, deeper story arcs being threaded so this isn't just an apocalypse for no reason.
* The system seems to be absolutely massive as far as ability & class options go.

Definitely 5 stars all the way.

114 people found this helpful

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Wow. That was just great.

Okay, so this doesn't normally happen... I completely lost track of where I was in the book. It felt like I was only a few hours in and before I knew it the book was over. The pacing was just so great that I managed to listen to the whole book in a single day! One trillion likes.

26 people found this helpful

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Yes Yes Yes!

Been looking forward to a new audio book from Matt Dinniman and low and behold not only do we get Dungeon Crawler Carl, but we get Jeff Hays as narrator!!!
Seriously if you're a fan of either Jeff or Matt .. GET. THIS. BOOK!
Shoot, even if you haven't had the pleasure of knowing about either of these guys before.. GET. THIS. BOOK!
Equal parts hilarity/bonkers characters/epic fight scenes/loveable characters (yes, even you Donut). I am absolutely looking forward to book 2. Bring it on! (seriously, don't stop, we want moar!)
Awesome book Matt! Fan since grinder, keep up the great work!
Epic narration as always Jeff! (Seriously, watch him narrate sometime, his seamless transition between voices is unbelievable)

21 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

No crappy sound effects or music!

After one to many decent stories ruined by Soundbooth Studios I decided not to purchase any audio books from them unless the book was highly rated. This book met that requirement and I was pleasantly surprised that it was a clean performance by Mr. Hays!

Boy was I excited! I really enjoy Mr. Hays performances and the idea that there would be an entire series of just him without accompanying sound effects and crappy music... the the end of the book came and they threatened us with their shīt noise pollution.

If they follow through with the shift in production and the next book has all the garbage extras, I will not buy it.

Please don’t ruin this series as well. Or if you can’t help yourself, at least have the decency to release a clean version with just the voice acting.

Soundbooth Studios is the worst thing to happen to audiobooks.

As to the book. It’s pretty good. Won’t age well, but Mr. Dinniman is up to date on his memes.

20 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The funniest performance and writing ever

This is easily one of the FUNNIEST BOOKS I HAVE EVER READ. The formula of relatable MC and halarious animal sidekick once again proves to be a winning one, and despite what could be an incredibly bleak story of the end of life as we know it, we get a wonderful performance that had me laughing from the first chapter to the end.

16 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Great book, but Jeff's worst narration performance

I like this book, and I am usually a fan of Jeff hays.
Unfortunately, It sounds like he is doing a really bad immitation of Patrick Warburton. It's very off putting, a real disappointment.... I don't understand why no one told them how bad it is.

12 people found this helpful

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One of the best!

Dinniman is probably the best gamelit guy out there. This book was a ton of fun. I eagerly await the next in the series!

10 people found this helpful

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This book is awesome!

I highly recommend this if you want a funny litrpg style book. It has been a blast and I for one can’t wait for the next one. Jeff Hays knocked it out of the park on the voice.

9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Good Story Idea, Poor Execution

Another stellar performance by Jeff. Unfortunately, while the story itself started strong, and quickly grabbed my attention, the plethora of inconsistencies and retcons mere chapters apart steadily pushed me away until I no longer wished to finish the story. The author has a strong creative streak and unique ideas, but absolutely no attention to small details. I overlooked the first 3 or 4, but eventually you have to chalk it up to lazy writing/bad proofreading. Hopefully these problems go away as the author grows, but I feel Ive reached the end of my commitment to this series before it even really began.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Buy this if you want to listen to item stats for 8 straight hours

The book describes a game that might be interesting…
The book focuses too much on just describing the items and mechanics of the said game.

I did not make it trough the first hour of the book before returning it.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Adam Smith
  • 02-01-21

Holy Fudge

What are you doing down here the buy button is up there. just press it right now. got no money? wishlist it and sell your pants and shoes for money. it's worth every penny

16 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Waspbite
  • 03-14-21

Delightfully silly.

I’m not a huge fan of LitRPG but the proposition for this book works really well. Matt Dinniman keeps the pace going well and the dialogue is snappy. Jeff Hays gave a great performance. My only criticism? The next book isn’t on audible. Godammit Donut! Publish the next book already.

8 people found this helpful

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  • faye
  • 05-28-21

Hillarious!

Narration was pure genius. The perfect voice and comedy timing - just awesome.

There aren't too many paths an author has access to when writing litrpg, but this one carved out a little niche and had an interesting story.

It's so funny though! Right up my street for humour (be warned, language!).

Looking forward to the next!

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tim
  • 02-04-21

God dammit Donut!

What are you doing reading over here, just buy the damn book! Seriously it's epic, you won't regret it.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • sam
  • 02-28-21

Awesome

Perfect balance of comedy and drama. My favorite part is any scene featuring an animal, even without words every creature has a unique and funny personality.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Addhamass
  • 07-21-21

God dammit Donut....

Congratulations 👏👏
New Achievement!: You found a review, how special.

Reward:
Having someone say that this book is amazing and you shouldn't be reading this achievement!
but seriously, read it...

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sam
  • 05-26-21

awesome!!

I think this is the most entertaining audio book I have ever listened to and I've got nearly 200 in my library I highly recommend to everyone with a sense of humour

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • P. Kirkbright
  • 05-26-21

Well written, excellently performed

The story is excellently written, full of humour, well-paced and with action sequences galore.
The performance is immaculate, with distinct voices fitting the characters perfectly, and no audio issues whatsoever.
The first part of a series that's well worth getting into! Genuinely entertaining and wonderfully delivered.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-09-21

Absolutely Fantastic

Buy this book. BUY IT!! It is fantastically written and I'm waiting on the sequel. very impatiently

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-24-21

Excellent

Brilliant story and narration. Amusing, smart and slick plot. Relatable characters, thoughtful strategy and hugely addictive overall. Brings together the best of this genre.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-14-21

Awesome

ACHIEVEMENT! You have read this review.
REWAAARD! Reward yourself by buying this book.

Don’t worry, you’ll get the reference when you read it. If you’ve ever played and enjoyed an RPG, video game or tabletop, then you are gonna love this one.

Even has a Steve Irwin reference!!

13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • The Keyboard
  • 07-12-21

Perfect.

A surprisingly heartwarming story hides within this action adventure litRPG. Voice acting is varied and top-notch. There are some genuinely funny moments. Writing is excellent.

In terms of LitRPG specifics:
- stat progression is intelligent
- statistics are kept light (perfect for audiobooks)
- monsters are a mix of original and typical fantasy
- no infodumping or OP MC

Though I was initially hesitant to pick this up because of the slapstick-looking cover, this has now become an easy pick for my favourite book of the year.

If you've found this review useful, please click 'Helpful' so it can help other people too!

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicholas
  • 05-25-21

Fun dungeon dive

What a Great book!
Humour, action and pace is on point.
Looking forward to book 2

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-14-21

a nice twist to the standard litrpg story.

it has a mix between the good guys and boxy morningwood series vibe. i cant wait for the next book. loved it.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-13-21

a wild ride from start to finish

honestly I picked this up as it kept coming up in my recommendations I was hesitant as it seemed quite strange but once I started I couldn't stop listening to it at every opportunity it's one of the best novels I have listened too and I found myself laughing more than once

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Craig
  • 11-05-21

One of the best audiobooks ever

Jeff Hays is incredible as he brings the story to life, this is best experienced in audiobook format. At first I was sceptical, but this series is definitely one of the best I've ever listen to. I'm totally hooked on the story and the humour from Matt. If you have ever been interested in RPG at all, do yourself a favour and listen to this!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MrPersonMan
  • 01-01-22

Goddamnit Donut!

Hilarious from beginning to end. Perfect Narration. The nature of cats perfectly captured. Everything about this is great.

Hurry up and get this litrpg right now

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • T.N
  • 12-31-21

5 stars all the way

Dungeon Crawler Carl is written by Matt Dinniman. The book was something of a hit with audiences, and it isn’t had to see why. It’s a fantastic book and the squeals only add to the lore and the main characters.
Since I don’t have much time to read, I picked this book up on audio first using a credit and have to say, if this ever gets turned into an animated Netflix series, I want Jeff Hays to play the main character and the dungeon’s AI. The narrator does a fantastic job and he’s got a lot of range.

Plot:
The book sets itself on Earth during a extra cold winter. Most everyone with a brain is inside and is trying to stay warm. The book’s main character is, as you have guessed from the main title, is called Carl.
During one of the coldest nights, Carl’s ex-girlfriend’s cat, Princess Donut jumps out of a window. This, causes Carl, to step outside and attempt to fetch her. The dumbass did this while forgetting to put on pants.
Already I could imagine doing this myself. Going out in the freezing cold, hoping the police don’t pick me up for being underdressed, all to save a crying cat that won’t shut up.
It turns out that this was perfect timing, because a galactic mining and entertainment organisation decided at this very moment to conquer the planet.
Within the blink of an eye, nearly every living being on Earth is killed in an instant. Those who were outside at the time, then have to rush towards the entrances of the alien’s game show.
Cold, having no pants, and holding his pet cat, Carl finds himself inside the dungeon and is forced to play the alien’s sick game.

Characters:
Throughout most of the book the perspective is 1st person. We see through the eyes of Carl as he tries everything he can to survive the dungeon’s first floor.
Carl reminds me as your everyday kind of person. The first book does touch on his past, and you get glimpses of the toxic relationship he had with his ex-girlfriend. Overall, Carl has a problem with authority, is physically fit, but isn’t afraid to throw a punch when the situation calls for it.
He is the kind of person who doesn’t have many friends, but he is loyal to the ones he does have.

The character who really steals the show, however, is the MC’s cat, Princess Donut.
A show cat, Princess Donut, is something of a wild card. It’s hard to go into the character as I don’t want to spoil the book for any potential readers or listeners. She is one of the fan favourites.

The next character is an unknown variable. Mordecai is the dungeon guide. Every team who goes into the dungeon has one, and it is their job to provide just enough information to the dungeon crawlers to make sure they are entertaining to their alien masters. Once a dungeon crawler himself in a previous game, Mordecai has a solid century of experience on how the game and the organisations running the place works.
All Mordecai wants to do, is finish his indentured service to the dungeon and leave to forge his own destiny among the stars.

What I like:
The moment I finished this book I bought the entire series. That should tell you something. This book has a good balance of fighting, game mechanics, and story building. Most authors who write LitRPGs have this notion that character levels equals character development, or they want to fill in the book with stupid grinding. But everything in this book, including the enemies have a purpose.

Criticism:
This is the author’s first book so I’m sure that some people will find a few beginner mistakes, but it was enjoyable.
The real issue might be the whole alien thing and them using dungeons to wipe out alien species just to steal their resources and make entertainment, but you can imagine humans doing it in the future.

Overall:
A fantastic book. I want Netflix to pick this up. Not a live action. You need an animation series Netflix. With entire season based around a single book. You’d make bank.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-16-21

Most enjoyable LitRPG

I have just recently listen/read book in the LitRPG style and this one is the best so far. Great Performance by J. Hayes. With in a few chapters I went ahead and got the next book in the series.
Absolutely recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-09-21

amazing story

I was unsure what to use my Monthly credit on, but I am glad that I chose this one, definitely one of the best AB's I have listened to

the story is great, the voices are varied and fit the characters perfectly, and the game system is a smarmy asshole and I love him, it also isn't to intrusive and they really cut down on bloat if they have already gone over it before summrizing important stuff

if you love comedy or RPG's or both you will definitely Wana pick this one up (and it's current 3 sequel books) you will not regret it

1 person found this helpful