Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It (Anglais) MP3 CD – 29 avril 2014
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Descriptions du produit
Revue de presse
“An engaging book that fuses history and memoir. [Ewalt] tracks D&D's turbulent rise, fall and survival, from its heyday in the 1980s… to the 21st century.” (The Wall Street Journal)
“David Ewalt’s wit, insight and infectious love of D&D make him the perfect guide to the most significant game of the twentieth century. The book is a joy to read.” (Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist)
“It's almost impossible to explain how Dungeons & Dragons works, and harder still to explain how it feels. This book comes as close as any I've ever read.” (Chuck Klosterman, author of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs and I Wear the Black Hat)
“David Ewalt writes about the world of fantasy role-playing junkies with intelligence, dexterity, and even wisdom. (I am unable to speak to his strength, constitution, or charisma.)” (Ken Jennings, author of Maphead and Because I Said So!)
“Long before I made my mark in software, I was a pretty good Dungeon Master, and D&D has played a significant part in my life. In addition to covering much of the deep history of the game that I never knew, Of Dice and Men brought back tons of fond memories, and damned if it didn’t make me pull some dusty old rulebooks off the shelf at home.” (John Carmack, co-founder of Id Software)
"A fascinating history of D&D written by an author who authentically loves the game. Whether you know what d20 means or not you will love this book!" (Felicia Day, actress, producer, creator of The Guild and Geek & Sundry)
"The best book I've read since the Monster Manual." (David X. Cohen, executive producer of Futurama)
"A fascinating window into the storied history of fantasy pen and paper gaming. A must-read for anyone curious about the genre." (Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder of BioWare)
“David Ewalt offers a genial history of Dungeons and Dragons and its impact on his own geek life…. A highly readable account of a game that seized the imagination of a generation and maintains its grip three decades later.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Even audiences normally indifferent to D&D’s charms will find Ewalt’s overview witty and absorbing, and the game’s devotees will discover much here to revel in and quibble with.” (Booklist)
"The author’s devotion to the game does much to illuminate role-playing’s enduring power on mortal men and women." (Kirkus)
"The core of Ewalt’s story is his experience of role-playing games. He explains it about as well as anyone could, short of experiencing it yourself." (Seattle Times) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .
Présentation de l'éditeur
Even if you’ve never played Dungeons & Dragons, you probably know someone who has: the game has had a profound influence on our culture, and 2014 marks the intriguing role-playing phenomenon’s 40th anniversary. Released decades before the Internet and social media, Dungeons & Dragons inspired one of the original nerd subcultures and is still revered by more than 30 million fans. 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 describes the development of Dungeons & Dragons from the game’s origins 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 lasting impact, Ewalt weaves laser-sharp subculture analysis with his own present-day gaming experiences, “writing about the world of fantasy role-playing junkies with intelligence, dexterity, and even wisdom” (Ken Jennings). 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. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .
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I'm not certain how much value experienced gamers will get out of this, other than a "Hey, I know those guys!" But it's definitely a perfect gift for befuddled significant others.
Now, yes, this has been done before- in the comprehensive giant volume called Playing at the World (which is so complete it even covers my little contribution to gaming history.). But, even tho that book is scholarly and encyclopedic it is mostly of interest to super fans and it is not a fast read by any means.
David's book is the opposite- not comprehensive but a fast and fun page turner. It cover the high-lights (and some of the low-lights, David is not afraid to dish some dirt) of the History of D&D and also throws in some interesting tidbits about how the game feels to play and how it feels to be a player, including the authors personal journey as a D&D geek.
This book is perfect for someone who's son/husband/granddaughter etc is into D&D and who wants to know more about what they are so into and why. It's also a good read for a gamer who just wants a fun and fast overview of how D&D came to be.
If you have never played the game and have a curiosity about what goes on at a gaming table, this book will be entertaining. If you have played for any length of time however, it comes off as that guy at the gaming convention that has to share tales of his last game he played to everyone at the table even though you had to be there to really enjoy it.
This was a light read, glad I bought the cheaper kindle version but I am really disappointed in the content.
So let me review this as a writer. From that perspective I also found this book somewhat lacking. The author centers the book around his own personal journey with tabletop roleplaying games. Chapters alternate between the history and business of the game and the author's own stories. The latter are interspersed with dramatic prose-style descriptions of games the he has played in. At first this is fun, but it quickly wears out its welcome to the point where I found myself skipping the endless paragraphs of italicized purple prose. What works well for, say, the read-aloud text for a D&D campaign is tiresome in a non-fiction book.
And while I understand the David Ewalt is using his personal experiences to make the topic accessible, it has the result of making him the main character of this book. And he's one I tired of quickly.
There are also the cliched 'lessons to be learned' from every single experience, something that really annoys me in non-fiction books. In life not every event is pregnant with meaning. Attempting to find personal revelation in everything just to fit a narrative feels extremely forced, and Ewalt does this in spades.
Finally, and I just have to get this out there, as a Fourth Edition player it's clear to me that the author has never so much as even skimmed a rulebook, and is going entirely off what he's heard and read elsewhere. Some of the things he was oohing and ahhing over about D&D Next had me rolling my eyes. "Yeah, you could do that in 4e dude." I will grant the author his personal preferences, but I think if you're going to write a book about the history of D&D you could pretend to have at least a modicum of objectivity.
Nerd wars aside, I did learn some things. Ewalt does a good job introducing us to the personalities involved in creating D&D between 1970 and 1980. Gary Gygax, Dave Arneson, and many of the lesser known (but still important) players get full treatment.
For someone looking for a light, quick introduction to what Dungeons & Dragons is, how it got started, and why it's important to millions of people the world over, this book is probably worth picking up. But if you have more than a passing knowledge of the game, you can probably safely skip it.
When Of Dice and Men is at its best, David M. Ewalt paints an interesting tale that follows the birth, demise, and rebirth of both Dungeons & Dragons and tabletop role-playing. While the territory of the game's history isn't new, Ewalt nevertheless wrote a fan's history, which painted a tough by understandable picture of the original founders. I flew through those parts of the book, oftentimes finding myself up well after my wife had fallen asleep. I wanted more of that.
Unfortunately, the book has two major narrative flaws that frustrated me. The first was the author's injection of himself into the story, which didn't give me a better understanding of the game, its psychology, or its community friendships. Instead, Ewalt assumed the reader understood those ideas (in contrast to his excellent descriptions of how these games are played).
The second was that the author didn't trust the reader. Ewalt diverges repeatedly throughout the narrative to explain how much of a nerd he is (while simultaneously trying to tell us that it's not just nerds who play), as if that's imperative to appreciate and understand the phenomenon. He also peppers the narrative with overblown descriptors to artificially create drama.
It's this dichotomy that concerned me. The book is clearly written for people who don't understand D&D and role-playing games (RPGs) based upon the lengthy descriptions of the various games, and yet Ewalt never settles on exactly who the "people who play" are.
Despite the narrative imbalance, people who enjoy D&D and RPGs will find this a satisfying, quick read and those who have never held a 20-sided dice won't be intimidated by lots of geek-speak.
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