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"Empire of Imagination is an absolute blast! The narrative is fast paced, while the depth of research made me feel like I was reliving the life of one of the most creative forces of our time. Witwer had me reaching for my 20 sided dice!" —Ben Mezrich, bestselling author of BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE and ONCE UPON A TIME IN RUSSIA


“It turns out that while we were down in the basement exploring his world, Gary Gygax was having a tremendous adventure up here in ours. Thanks to Michael Witwer's book, I finally got to experience it.” –  David X. Cohen, Executive Producer of FUTURAMA

“We live in a time when the most important people in sports are using data--statistics, analytics--to make decisions with billion dollar consequences. We live in a time when digital gaming may be more influential in our culture than sports and movies combined. In short, we live in a world perhaps only Gary Gygax could have imagined decades ago. If you want to know where it all began, this book is as good a place as any to start.” –  Mike Greenberg, cohost of ESPN's MIKE & MIKE and bestselling author of MY FATHER'S WIVES and ALL YOU COULD ASK FOR


“Like most of my generation, I played D&D in high school, and I still play to this day. Still, I hadn’t appreciated the genius and the madness of Gary Gygax until I read Empire of Imagination. This story of Gygax, D&D, and TSR has all the elements of the best dungeon crawls: courage, treachery, triumph, inspiration, and treasure. The only thing missing is Beholders.” —Christian Rudder, Co-Founder of OkCupid and bestselling author of DATACLYSM


“Gary Gygax showed us that games could be not just fun, but a common ground for "uncool" kids to find each other. Witwer's book does a great job of conveying why Gary's life mission meant so much to people like me.” —Ken Levine, Creator of BIOSHOCK


“Empire of Imagination tells the story of the emperor himself, at times brilliant, sometimes tragic, but ultimately victorious.” –  Peter Adkison, founder and former CEO of Wizards of the Coast, owner of Gen Con


“[A] brilliant book.” —Ian Livingstone CBE, Co-Founder of Games Workshop


“I highly recommend Empire of Imagination to anyone interested in gaming and the creative process.” —Chris Perkins, D&D Principal Story Designer at Wizards of the Coast


“In vignettes which vividly illustrate Gygax's key role in the invention of modern gaming, Empire of Imagination shows us the rise of Dungeons & Dragons through the eyes of its most famous father. Gygax could not have hoped for a more attentive and sympathetic biographer.” –  Jon Peterson, author of PLAYING AT THE WORLD


“In this entertaining biography, Witwer follows the life and accomplishments of Gary Gygax, called here the “King of the Nerds” for his creation of the long-enduring Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) role-playing game . . . a fascinating examination of the birth and growing pains of the gaming industry and of Gygax’s lasting influence on pop culture.” –  Publishers Weekly


“For fans of role-playing games, and D&D specifically, the book is required reading.” –  Booklist


"...a great achievement, a foundational biography, an important story to tell...You don’t need to roll a d20 to find out whether you should buy this book. If you even know what I meant when I wrote “d20,” the answer is yes." -Bookgasm 


“Witwer's respect for Gygax is evident throughout . . . informative . . . Well-researched.” –  Kirkus


"Gary Gygax went on a long, treacherous and challenging journey in both his personal and business life and, after reading Michael Witwer's book, I feel as though I've been on a part of that journey, too . . . The book left me feeling warm and yet somewhat sad, but it was definitely a most satisfying read . . . Most highly recommended." - Jonathan Hicks for Farsight Blogger /


“[I]f you are a gamer, live with a gamer or ever had the urge to understand why gamers, geeks and nerds do what they do, you must read this book.”          –


“[S]uccessfully tackles the monumental job of following Gary from birth (July 27, 1938) to his taken-from-us-too-soon death (March 4, 2008) and beyond . . . very interesting reading!” –


“If you have any interest in the origination of our hobby, read this book. . . amazingly entertaining and informative." –


“The work of Michael Witwer is all I could have hoped it would be! . . . If you want to know what it was like back when D&D was being born then this book is a must have.” –  Ernest Gary Gygax, Jr.


“A business-proposal writer by day, Witwer's first book is a nimble, greatly dramatized biography of Gary Gygax (1938–2008) who created the legendary fantasy roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) in 1974 . . . Witwer cleverly sorts the narrative into 'levels' rather than chapters; each level opens with a D&D–style scene that both foreshadows and entertains.” – Library Journal


“Not a dry, rigorous biographical tome . . . a fun read.” –  Frank Mentzer, former TSR staff designer and Creative Advisor to Gary Gygax


"A biography worthy of the creator of D&D. . . This is an excellent and enjoyable read." - Black Gate Reviews


". . . the most complete portrayal of Gary Gygax the man done to date." - Fat Goblin Games


". . . a book no geek or role player of any sort should miss out on. Get it! It is an excellent read and you owe it to the creator of the genre to read the story of his life." - Metapunk


 “If you’re remotely interested about the history of D&D, Gary Gygax or the hobby of roleplaying, this is a great read." –  Natural 20 


"If you have a love for RPGs and would like to know their creator better, I recommend the book whole-heartedly." - Expertise Dice


“A fascinating and well-researched book.” —Scott Thorne, ICv2


“Much of what I read I have known for years but seldom have I read the account told in such an engaging way.” —Under Siege


“Well written, well researched, and hard to put down.” —Platypus Gaming


“It’s the most comprehensive look at Gygax’s early life that I know of . . . Witwer excels at telling this story. . .”—Shannon Appelcline, author of DESIGNERS & DRAGONS


“Despite the focus on Gygax, Witwer's book makes it clear that D&D was truly a group effort. Gygax was to role-playing games what Stan Lee is to comic books: an elder statesman who is part-spokesman/part-raconteur for the hobby he loves so dearly. It's a fitting tribute to a complicated legacy.”—Michael J. Tresca, author of THE EVOLUTION OF FANTASY ROLE-PLAYING GAMES


“Witwer's style is light and easy to read. I found his accounts of events compelling, and actively looked forward to picking the book up again each time.”—Greyhawk Grognard


“I enjoyed [Empire of Imagination] with utter geekiness. . . I've loved Dungeons and Dragons and role playing games for thirty years now and reading the book was a necessary treat.”—Night Horse Publishing


“…anyone interested in the birth of roleplaying games, and arguably modern gaming, should give this a read.”—The Room Fills With Water


"Empire of Imagination entices players of Dungeons & Dragons who want to know more about the creation of this game and inspires readers to believe in their dreams, seize opportunities, and overcome obstacles with diligence and fortitude as they live their lives to the fullest."—RetroZap

"[O]ne of the best biographical pieces I have read. A++"—Nerds of Wisdom


"[H]ighly recommended!"—Matthew Mercer





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