I finally made the time this week and read Michael Witwer’s book, Empire of Imagination, a biography of Gary Gygax. You can read about his research [here or here] on the sanitorium that was not in the original hardback, but is detailed in the paperback.
I’m a fast reader and I made it through in two evenings. It is well written and flows
The narrative style makes it a non-traditional biography, but does help take the reader into the story of Gay Gygax’s life before and after D&D. There are lots of footnotes, photographs, and a bibliography of Gygax’s works.
For a quick and entertaining overview of Gary’s involvement with D&D and TSR, this book does the job. It reads like one wrote down all the stories from Gary’s life. The care and detail in research shines through.
Some of the jumps in the presentation from one chapter to the next seemed abrupt and not well explained. However, as I think about it, that is often how our own lives are when we realize that we have entered a new chapter. Even though we were there for he whole thing, we can still wonder, “How did I get here?”
I enjoyed the style, and like good things found myself wanting more. Now I know why this book took off when it came out. If you haven’t read it, I suggest adding it to your reading list. It is also available in audio book, if you prefer that sort of thing.