Orconomics: A Satire

The Dark Profit Saga, Book 1
Narrated by: Doug Tisdale Jr.
Series: The Dark Profit Saga, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 46 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,927 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Professional heroes kill and loot deadly monsters every day, but Gorm Ingerson's latest quest will be anything but business as usual.

The adventuring industry drives the economy of Arth, a world much like our own but with more magic and fewer vowels. Monsters' hoards are claimed, bought by corporate interests, and sold off to plunder funds long before the Heroes' Guild actually kills the beasts. Of course, that's a terrible arrangement for the Shadowkin; orcs, goblins, kobolds, and their ilk must apply for to become Noncombatant Paper Carriers (or NPCs) to avoid being killed and looted by heroes.

When Gorm Ingerson, a Dwarven ex-hero with a checkered past, stands up for an undocumented goblin, he inadvertently singles himself out for recruitment by a prophet of the mad goddess to undertake a suicidal quest. But there's more to Gorm's new job than an insane prophecy: powerful corporations and governments have shown an unusual interest in the quest. If his party of eccentric misfits can stop fighting each other long enough to recover the Elven Marbles, Gorm might be able to turn a bad deal into a golden opportunity.

©2014 John Zachary Pike (P)2016 John Zachary Pike
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    5 out of 5 stars

High Fantasy meets Economics- hilarity ensues

Would you listen to Orconomics: A Satire again? Why?

Yes, I absolutely would. I really enjoyed the Pratchett-like mash-up of high fantasy, personal story development, humor and meticulous world-building. Replay value will be high on this, as a) it is genuinely funny without being "comedy haha." b) The economics check out. Orconomics isn't just pithy titling- it's the underpinning and motivating force in this world (and in truth, in every world). c) Despite the fact that the characters are ostensibly D&D player characters rendered into literature, they all delightfully both display and break every trope in the book. They are also refreshingly multidimensional and unpredictable. I can't break down specifics about how and why without giving away major plot points you truly want to have unfold in proper order- so I'll just stop here and endorse with a much vaunted "5 out of 5 elephants."

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

made me laugh out loud numerous times. Had to set down the stuff I was doing while I was listening 'til I could continue.

Any additional comments?

As a card carrying fantasy nerd and classically trained economist, this book scratches multiple sweet spots for me. Bravo sirrah.

72 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Holy shit

I was hoping for a great book. I got a phenomenal one instead. The narrator is great, the writing is excellent, the characters feel real and have real problems. The economy is not ignored and plays a role in the story. It's well thought out and makes logical sense. Would definitely recommend.

49 people found this helpful

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nice change of adventuring views

(spoiler free review) this book had me chuckling and there are some pokes at modern terms mixed in that I did not see coming, only to chuckle once I was in on the joke. there are many little jokes hidden behind the more obvious jabs, all wrapped up in well written humor and a great story to boot.

The story - which I was honestly figuring to be a throw away story initially - turned out to be one of my more engrossing reads of the last few years. It had a solid plot, a decent set of twists, and a likable cast of characters.

It was funny when it needed to be, and yet surprisingly serious when the story called for it.

what threw me off the most was how sensible the story flowed. Characters did things with a reason and had reasons for everything they did, which is something that is actually pretty hard to accomplish in writing. It can be even harder when trying to work around lingo, something the author has done masterfully here.

The audio was performed by a reader who really felt invested in the story, who cared about making each character memorable without overshadowing the others in any scene. And of making even the most garbled of dialects understandable and fun.

in short, I will be picking up any of this series I can find and I eagerly await the next audiobook ! I would recommend to anyone who likes the fantasy genre, whether for a laugh or for a good story. No doubt this has both!

38 people found this helpful

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Amazing!

Best book I've listened to in a long time. Incredible performance. I loved the voice of the goblin. Can't wait for the next one.

15 people found this helpful

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Awesome! Highly recommend

If you know some economics and details of the recent financial crisis, bits of this will be even funnier, but it's hilarious anyway. Excellently created characters that you want to discover more about. At times their development seems to jump forward suddenly, but it was a minor quibble. Can't wait to buy the next book!

11 people found this helpful

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Never have I laughed at economics this way.

This book adds humor in smart ways and makes the economic tones make story sence more then just having a gimic to make it interesting it adds so much to already great story.

8 people found this helpful

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Book is genius

The author is brilliant. Enjoyed every minute of this book. Combining high fantasy with the stock exchange seems like it would be odd but it turns out to be awesome. Would recommend this book to any fantasy fan.

7 people found this helpful

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Dwarves and orcs and elves and more, OH My!

Disclaimer: I am not a gamer, but I have a great appreciation for satire and fantasy. I am sure the gamers get more of the inside jokes. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this saga, and was disappointed that because the author has a separate work life, the sequel is not available. I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction, and listen to more. This was one the the more enjoyable. I didn't necessarily laugh out loud, but I did snicker often. I appreciated the gentle life lessons along the adventure road; the flaws of the Heroes; and the amoral economics of the Questing nation. Buy and listen, you won't regret it.

22 people found this helpful

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World Building at its funniest!

Orconomics is a real treat. Can you imagine a world where the economy is driven by adventurers, and speculations on their success could dictate the market? Seriously, just think about it. Here's an example, "The Market dropped today as Sam and Frodo vanished from the Fellowship without a trace. Wizard Gandalf has reassured us that the mission will succeed, but stocks are lower than the hair on a hobbit's toes."

This is an original book, and brilliant in its concept. I really could feel a Pratchety/Adams vibe, but the book is also deadly serious at times and it works. This is a joking but not so joking look at our corporate society, our own greed is good mentality, and the way we are destroying ourselves in the quest for the almighty dollar. There were parts in which I literally burst out laughing, and other times when I didn't find the commentary so funny, and that was completely intended by Pike. He really knows how to write a fascinating story, while making subtle points. I think he is a cultural economicist or something. Can you imagine a character having to deal with corporate politics, bureaucratic red tape, and financial conspiracies just to go out and do some adventuring. Look, this is really funnier than it sounds. But you have to admit that you will never hear the term corporate raider the same way again.

Doug Tisdale Jr. really plays this one like he was holding all the aces. He is just excellent, and I have to say he has some pretty darn good comedic timing and knows how to tell funny. He could have seriously dropped the ball, and not told it with that wink in his eye like he does. He can narrate. There is no question of that here. Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and in fact, inspired me to be more honest. In fact, getting a code generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like Me will decide based on my review.


If this review helped, please press the YES below. Thank you immensely!!!

14 people found this helpful

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A fun romp

There have been a number of this humorous takes on the D&D / Warcraft type universe. Many that focus on the world as a game and others that simple borrow game mechanics but give them a logical consistency in the world of the story. This is one that keeps it own logical consistency. Characters get XP and level up but its done through membership in a guild etc. for example.

I have read quite a few of this general theme, and quite like J. Zachary Pike's take on the sub genre. The story is interesting, the humor is pleasing. There is one seen about "Aggressive sales tactics" that had me laughing loud enough to get funny looks from my wife.

Overall I quite enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun ride.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Astrid Deacon
  • 01-22-17

Absolutely loved this book!

As a roleplayed I fully appreciated the characters & their higinks. A great story and well narrated, can't wait for book 2 to be released!!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-14-20

the story draws you in

Well written, entertaining story which uses charicature and comedy to lightheartedly address serious themes. Pike's intelligent writing portrays allegories in the Arth world of significant themes of our own modern life, from economics and drug addiction to classism and racism. The story builds as the world is developed for the reader and, whilst I wasn't hooked at first, I found the characters and plot grew on me.
looking forward to dipping my toe into book two soon.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-06-20

Brilliant spin on fantasy

Fantastically written, well performed. definitely worth your time.

Can’t wait for more drone J Zachary Pike.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-11-20

Not for everyone

Although not a huge part, this book will be much more enjoyable if you know a little bit about economics. And funnier.
That beside, i think the story was well written and a fun spin on the hero troupe system.

The narrator was also great. remarkable how he managed to make a guy sound punchable from the first sentence uttered.

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  • ChuckyH
  • 05-07-20

If you like Pratchett give this a try

I don't normally write review, but loved this book and its sequel so much I felt I had to.

If you like Pratchett type of books I think you will really enjoy them both, as they are both funny and clever.

Even better on Audible, as if you try and don't like you can return. I am confident you will keep it though.

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  • Morris
  • 03-21-20

Wait a minute!

Wow. What a shocker. I need to continue this series!


This is a great book it is funny and gripping. It contains factual economic information regarding the world and combines it with heros and humor.

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  • Neon
  • 12-26-19

Fantastic light listen for RPG and fantasy fans

In litrpg there’s a spectrum between books that are all about the RPG tropes and numbers but lack real writing skill, and books that are written with a lot of writing skill but only lightly reference RPG tropes. This book is very firmly in the latter end of the spectrum and it is funny and fantastic.

The audio acting is also excellent and really makes the book.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-27-18

Wonderful FUlly recommended

A great story with a great reader.. one of my most listened to audio books.. A great twist on economics and fantasy.. Looking forward to the rest of the series

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  • Sam B.
  • 06-25-18

Good story with engaging characters

So good I bought the next one immediately. Thank you J. Zachery Pike for writing this so I could “read” it.

Narration is tip top and the writing is sharp. Better than most of the Abercrombie, Sanderson, Lynch, Tolkien and Rothfuss clones out there. Original and refreshing. The story clips along at a nice pace whilst doing a good job of world building.

Buy it.

You’ll be supporting an independent publisher and getting a great story in return.

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  • Peter
  • 05-29-18

Refreshingly different

It's like Terry Pratchett or Jim Butcher doing dungeons and dragons. Fun characters and a dry/cynical plotline. With excellent narration.

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  • Christopher La Trobe
  • 12-25-19

full of fun

loved this book and son of a litch. can't wait for dragomfired. one of my all time favourites

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-24-19

Doug and Zachary made something great here

Doug and Zachary have with narration and writing created an engaging world with characters that could take a swing right out of my head phones. Not had many good listens ir reads lately, so this perked me right up, the bastards in the story are great to hate and the washed up adventurers are superb protagonists. Perfect read for my long drives around town, looking forward to more.

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  • Rainer G.
  • 06-29-19

Great great great

Great characters, great writing, great plot, and very well read. If you're a fan of D&D this is a must-read/listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Craig McSpellcheck
  • 06-06-19

Worth the read.

Thought it was becoming predictable but man was i wrong. Give it a chance. This is NOT another trope ridden alfa male story that ticks off a list of fantasys for neards. Betrayal, emotional highs and lows, vulnerability of real friendships all wrapped up in a washed up volant grumpy axe swinging greedy bastard of a dwarf story. Buying the second book now...

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  • Battis
  • 03-17-19

Excellent

Such an excellent and different take on a fantasy setting, enjoyed every part of this book. Highly recommend for any D&D players or fantasy fans.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Troy Hall
  • 11-03-18

Loved it! Thanks to Happy Jacks for mentioning it.

Evocative of the late great Sir Terry Pratchett but with a style of its own.

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  • Mark Lauchs
  • 10-14-18

market forces meet fantasy

I won't spoil any part of this book by previewing the story. This is so original and entertaining that I had the audible equivalent of not being able to put it down. The ideas relating to taking the fantasy adventuring theme to their logical ends, removing the moral podium and determining the true nature of villainy kept me enthralled. If you are a romantic purist who likes long winded drama over true story telling, this may not be your book.

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  • Simon
  • 06-30-18

funny and unique

loved it.
made me want to know more start to finish. if you like Terry pratchett you will enjoy this humor.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Max
  • 04-05-17

An Interesting Novel

Different from the run of the mill fantasy, more realistic. Keeps you entertained for the whole book. Looking forward to the next one.

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  • Phillip
  • 02-02-17

Linear, Predictable, and Heaps of Fun

If you like it when your TTRPGs get a little silly, then you'll love this book.