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Publisher's Summary

Dungeon Party links a fantasy world and the people playing in it. When longstanding personality conflicts erupt, the volatile Randall Keller secedes from Alan Crandall's gaming group. In pursuit of a coveted prize at an upcoming convention, Alan replaces Randall with two female recruits who reinvigorate the campaign. Randall chooses a darker path by spreading infectious cynicism through the gaming community while plotting his revenge. When the Middle Mirth convention gets underway, Alan's group must stop Randall and his avatar before they devastate worlds both fictional and real.

©2020 John Webster Gastil (P)2020 John Webster Gastil

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What listeners say about Dungeon Party

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Great Take on Role Playing

I love the author's ability to tell the story through both the character's lives and the game personas they control. I'm an old-school gamer and I see a lot in this tale that I recognize blended in with the author's incredible imagination. I encourage anyone interested in role playing games (old or new) to give this a read. You've never read anything like it.

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Friendship, Obsession, & the Power of Storytelling

Sometimes, you just want to listen to a really good story. For our Thanksgiving travels Dungeon Party fit the bill perfectly. John Webster Gastil tells two stories from the point-of-view of their heroes and a hero turned villain.

In the main story, a weekly (Dungeons and Dragons-like) role-playing game loses its key player: Randall Keller, in the run-up to an important event. A second story is set in the mythos that Alan Crandall, the "Game Director," and the players create.

As the names Randall/Crandall might suggest, the characters are two sides of the same coin. Both are bonded by their shared trauma, but where Alan sees the game as a medium for his idealism, Randall becomes more cynical and villainous with each chapter. As the pressure increases on Alan, he begins to blur the lines between the real world and his campaign. The mythos becomes an allegory for the group’s real-world travails and the impending threat posed by Randall.

Gastil does a great job of creating heroes you care about, and a villain who evolves into someone truly despicable. Gastil writes with gentle humor, so even when the stakes are high and, in some cases horrifying, a smile is never far away. All of this is done with the utmost respect for the fantasy genre and role-playing game culture.

At its heart, this is a novel about friendship, obsession, and the power of storytelling. While those who have dabbled in role-playing games will find much familiar, most will enjoy its window into a rich culture.

Victor Bevine narrates the story in his own voice. He has a modern, natural style of reading which suits Dungeon Party well.

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  • George
  • 03-17-22

Not a bad tale but doesn't live up to it's promise

It was a novel storyline (for me, at least), I'll give it that. I found that the beginning was a bit slow and stilted, and some of the roleplaying-game language used seemed to be very cliched, but I did get invested in it reasonably quickly.

My main reason for the lower rating is that I found the ending strangely unsatisfying.

That is not to say that it was a bad ending - it was actually quite gripping - but, *spoiler alert*, having spent the majority of the book building up to one supposed climax, he suddenly took the ending off to quite a tangent. And, whilst the tangent was interesting in itself, I felt rather cheated by the loss of the end of the "proper" story. I wanted to know what would have happened if this other thing had not happened.

I was also not taken by the premise that the main characters were a prize-winning role-playing team. Their role-play came over as rather average to me. There is also, perhaps, a certain hubris in writing a story in which a story-teller tells a prize-winning story...

No particular complaints about the narration. I'd listen to more of his narration, but I won't be actively seeking it out.

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  • Kurt
  • 11-28-20

Great story and performance!

Great story with characters you loved to read about. If you have ever played D&D before you will enjoy this!

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