Timothy McNeil's Reviews > Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Dungeons & Dragons - One Woman's Quest to Trade Self-Help for Elf-Help

Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Dungeons & Dragons  ... by Shelly Mazzanoble
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May 08, 12

bookshelves: non-fiction, memoir, self-help
Read from May 02 to 08, 2012

I am two minds about this book.

On one hand, I want Shelly Mazzanoble and everyone like her to get themselves out of 'my hobby' and most assuredly away from D&D. She presents herself as a shallow, insipid, mostly stupid [insert the proper term for the female version of a "man-child" here]. Worse, she doesn't seem to understand D&D beyond what her limited, seemingly work mandated experiences have brought to light. She does not do a good job of explaining D&D to those unfamiliar with it and she comes off as a dangerous neophyte to those who were actually playing it when TSR ruled and GenCon lived in Wisconsin.

On the other hand, she does have an engaging writing style that is a better fit for the more girly crowd she may or may not be writing for. Her presentations of conversations with her mother read like some of the dialogue an occasional writing partner of mine would come up with, though with a little less focus. It would seem that she was trying to work through her experiences in life in regards to her job at WoTC, and since she worked D&D and not Magic: The Gathering, it got a light dusting of D&D to try to explain it in terms that weren't entirely subject to her reality TV worldview.

A fair amount of this book is poorly written, but it ends up being pleasant enough (skip the last chapter) so long as one takes it as the memoir from a work-a-day person who happens to be associated with what used to be a very prestigious (if only to a small group) brand.

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Reading Progress

05/03/2012 page 14
7.0%
05/04/2012 page 48
25.0% "Hey, girl with 5 years of D&D experience (and 4E just ain't D&D, so you really have zero)...welcome to my 1987."
05/05/2012 page 66
34.0% "This book, while effective for the narrative Mazzanoble wants to build, reminds me of why I don't want anyone playing with their significant other at the RPG table."
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