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The World Played Chess: A Novel Kindle Edition
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“A fearless and sensitive coming-of-age story. I loved it.” —Mark Sullivan, bestselling author of Beneath a Scarlet Sky and The Last Green Valley.
Bestselling author Robert Dugoni returns with an emotionally arresting follow-up to The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell.
In 1979, Vincent Bianco has just graduated high school. His only desire: collect a little beer money and enjoy his final summer before college. So he lands a job as a laborer on a construction crew. Working alongside two Vietnam vets, one suffering from PTSD, Vincent gets the education of a lifetime. Now forty years later, with his own son leaving for college, the lessons of that summer—Vincent’s last taste of innocence and first taste of real life—dramatically unfold in a novel about breaking away, shaping a life, and seeking one’s own destiny.
“A riveting story of boys becoming men and the risks they take along the way.” —Library Journal
“The World Played Chess is a shining example of a writer at the top of his game, and a deeply thought-provoking take on a man’s coming of age.” —Authorlink
“Dugoni tackles the transition from boyhood into manhood in a heartfelt, poignant, and somber manner. It’s heartbreaking and hope filled…Raw, honest, and beautifully haunting.” —Book Review Crew
“Wondrously brilliant and poignant…While not a Vietnam novel per se, the book resembles Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried and Philip Caputo’s A Rumor of War in its sheer emotional resonance. Dugoni, though, seems to be channeling the lyrical storytelling magic of the great Pat Conroy more. The World Played Chess is this generation’s The Prince of Tides and a candidate for best novel of 2021.” —Jon Land, Providence Journal
“The World Played Chess is a masterwork of emotion from an author who seems like he hasn’t met a genre he can’t conquer. Rich with historical detail and as poignant and powerful as the best works of fiction, this novel is a gut-punch of a story that is as fearless as it is insightful.” —Bookreporter
“Robert Dugoni writes about the war as if he had been there, though he wasn’t, and that’s not an easy thing to do. In addition to doing a ton of research, a novelist can only pull that off if his or her heart’s in the right place. It’s evident that Dugoni cares about Vietnam War veterans and the unique things that can still be learned from them. This is the best novel dealing with the Vietnam War and its ongoing legacy I’ve read in a long time.” —The VVA Veteran
“With his usual narrative mastery, Dugoni takes on the often-overlooked ordeal of boys becoming men and does so fearlessly and sensitively, chronicling the coming-of-age stories of three different men linked by war, friendship, and family. I loved it.” —Mark Sullivan, bestselling author of Beneath a Scarlet Sky and The Last Green Valley
Praise for The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell
“This is the bestselling Dugoni’s masterpiece, the book by which his work, and that of others, will be measured for years to come.” —Providence Journal
“Dugoni has produced a novel that, if it doesn’t cross entirely over into John Irving territory, certainly nestles in close to the border…Written in a gentle, introspective yet dramatic style that is very different from that of Dugoni’s crime fiction, this is an inspirational story of a man who spends a lifetime getting to know himself.” —Booklist
“Inspiring and aglow with the promise of redemption.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Robert Dugoni has a rare and brilliant talent for infusing his characters with complex emotions. Frankly, this might be the best book of the year.” —Bookreporter
“Distinctly different in style from Dugoni’s typical fare…A captivating and poignant journey of strength and the power of finding your true self. Without a doubt, this is Dugoni’s best yet.” —Suspense Magazine
“Dugoni’s writing is compellingly quick, simple, and evocative…A heartwarming novel that celebrates overcoming the unfairness of life.” —Seattle Book Review
About the Author
Robert Dugoni is the critically acclaimed New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and #1 Amazon Charts bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite police series, which is set in Seattle and has sold more than seven million books worldwide. He is also the author of the Charles Jenkins espionage series and the David Sloane series of legal thrillers. He has also written several stand-alone books, including the novels The 7th Canon and Damage Control; the literary novel The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell, Suspense Magazine’s 2018 Book of the Year, for which Dugoni won an AudioFile Earphones Award for narration; and the nonfiction exposé The Cyanide Canary, a Washington Post best book of the year. Several of his novels have been optioned for movies and television series. Dugoni is the recipient of the Nancy Pearl Book Award for fiction and a three-time winner of the Friends of Mystery Spotted Owl Award for best novel set in the Pacific Northwest. He is a two-time finalist for the Thriller Awards and the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, and a finalist for the Silver Falchion Award for mystery and the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards.
Robert Dugoni’s books are sold in more than twenty-five countries and have been translated into more than thirty languages.
Visit his website at www.robertdugonibooks.com, and follow him on Twitter @robertdugoni and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorRobertDugoni.
- ASIN : B08RD8WFH9
- Publisher : Lake Union Publishing (September 14, 2021)
- Publication date : September 14, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 7979 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 400 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,327 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Young men should read this book, there is some good advise inside. It is a tear jerker for those like me. I have read a lot of books about the Viet Nam war, they hurt me, so they are the penance I serve because I didn't have to go and unlike so many men my age and younger I am still here. If you know any Viet Nam vets thank them for their sacrifices because few did when they came home.
Author Robert Dugoni did a brilliant job with this captivating and thought provoking story.
This book shows rites of passage from adolescence to adulthood. Not all are smooth and not everyone makes it through unbroken. In our society today, it appears adolescence never ends which stunts society and creates what we now see around us.
I think Robert Dugoni has a great eye into what makes us human. Great book!
I have read each of Robert Dugoni’s novels and find this one quite different. It has a slow beginning, and I wondered where it was going. However, the ending more than makes up for it. The World Played Chess is worth reading. It would be a great book club choice. Personally, I would not consider it a book for Young Adults as I think it would be too weighty and slow going for most 11 to13 year olds. Though high school juniors and seniors would be more able to handle the the subject matter. Recommended.
It had happened but hated them for being there. We were in Subic Bay, RP during that war. We were there when the USS Forestall limped into the base for repairs. This book just shows that this country should not fight other people's fights. This was all political maneuvering and we lost so many young men. I also hoped the ending would have been different although it was very good. I had hoped Vincenso would have written the book and given it to his friend. This book has so many instructions you don't realize while reading on becoming a good human man and why kindness is so important. But it for your husbands and sons. They will grow!
Top reviews from other countries
The plot is told in three timelines and involves two characters- mainly. 1967 onwards told by William who was drafted to Vietnam, 1979 told by Vincenzo (Vinnie) who is 18 and working to pay his way to university and 2016 told by Vincenzo who has possession of William’s Vietnam diary and whose son is about to start university.
William and Vinnie become friends when on the same work outfit. It becomes increasingly obvious that William is suffering mentally from what is now called PTSD., as a result of the war. He has spells of great anger, shaking and lack of control. William gives Vinnie his diary so that the background and the horrendous consequences of the war are disclosed and so that Vinnie can understand William’s state of mind/actions.
So the telling of William’s war experience is interspersed with Vinnie’’s recollections from 1979 and his present day, 2016.
Whilst I found the book to be very well written and at times heartbreaking, it seemed to be a trudge to get to the point. I would recommend the book but highlight that it’s a very American slant- naturally!
In The World Played Chess, Robert Dugoni proves once again what a fine writer he is. This is a terrific story, which mainly follows the lives of two characters, Vincent Bianco, and William Goodman. At its core, this is a story about growing up, making decisions for yourself, dealing with the death of friends and relatives, and learning how to handle the good and bad situations that inevitably come your way. Via its characters, the author also examines that feeling that we all have when we’re only 18 years old - the illusion that we’re immortal, that we’re never going to grow old, that we’re never going to die……
The story starts in 2015, where a middle-aged Vincent Bianco receives a journal written by William Goodman, it’s a diary of sorts, which he wrote whilst serving as a marine during the Vietnam War. The author then cleverly, and seamlessly, moves the reader through chapters that individually move back and forth through three time frames: 2015-2017, the late 1960’s, and the late 1970’s. The late 1960’s chapters are taken from William’s journal. The late 1970’s chapters deal with Vincent’s ‘coming of age’ period, the details of which are taken from his own journal. It’s during his teenage years (when saving up to go to college) that he secures a summer job as a labourer for a small, local construction company. While carrying out that work Vincent gets to meet and work with fellow crewman, William Goldman. William confides in Vincent, tells him about the realities of the Vietnam conflict, and passes on his knowledge and views of the World. In one of their many conversations, William turns to Vincent and tells him that the difference between living and dying is nothing more than dumb luck. And in regards to death, later in the novel, Vincent would read the following words written by William in his journal: “Dying is hardest on the living.”
The 2015-2017 chapters cover Vincent’s present-day life, where he reflects on his past, faces up to the challenges and frustrations of being a busy lawyer and good husband, and deals with the sometimes frustrating responsibilities of being a father to a teenage son and daughter…..
All I can add to the above is that this book took me through the gamut of emotions, and I’m not ashamed to reveal that I did shed a few tears. The chapters relating to William’s experiences in Vietnam were heart-breaking at times, and eloquently captured the futility of that war. During the 70’s and 80’s I lived in Australia and befriended a few Aussies who were Vietnam vets - so I saw at first-hand the effects of PTSD, very, very sad…..
If you’re looking for a book to get fully immersed in, a story written with intelligence and compassion, and one which will leave a long-lasting impression on you, then look no further than this book. Read it, digest its contents, then tell your book-loving friends about it. It just leaves me to thank you for taking time out to read my ‘no-spoiler’ review, I hope I’ve done justice to The World Played Chess, and that what I’ve written has sufficiently inspired you to get your hands on a copy of this brilliant work of fiction.
📚 + 📖 = 😊
A well written novel but a read that required concentration and commitment to journey to its conclusion