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Publisher's Summary

“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.

©2021 by La Mesa Fiction, LLC. (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“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, best-selling author of Beneath a Scarlet Sky and The Last Green Valley)

What listeners say about The World Played Chess

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  • Overall
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Great on so many levels.

I was introduced to Robert Dugoni through The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell. I so thoroughly enjoyed that book that I gave out several copies. I next went to the Tracy Crosswhite series. I enjoyed those books but they didn't touch me as Sam Hell had. When I heard there was a new book coming out and had read the synopsis I thought it would be good but how could it compare to Sam Hell?
The World Played Chess did more than hold its own. I find it hard that anyone would have a hard time not being able to relate to the book on one level or another. Its a book about life, our loves, the absurdities, about finding out who we are versus who we think we should be and it's about finding peace.
As a book junky I feel that it's one of the best books I've read in a while.

13 people found this helpful

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so good

Y'all. Robert Dugoni is one of my faves- #tracycrosswhiteisthebest 🤗 I've been eagerly awaiting the release if this book, and it did NOT disappoint. As the Mother of 4 boys, the oldest of which turns 16 in November, I was so touched by the coming of age aspect. When Elizabeth mourns the growing up of her 'baby boy' I literally cried as I imagined my own first- born baby boy. He'll be spreading his wings and venturing out on his own all too soon, and this Momma ain't ready. As the wife of a veteran that suffers from PTSD, I became emotional more than once through the telling of the Vietnam stories, and the repercussions. The author, as one of the narrators, was fantastic... It's so easy to listen to and I felt so connected to the story and characters in so many ways. do yourself a favor and listen to- or read this book!

4 people found this helpful

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WOW! This story took me by surprise.

The story and my involvement in it grew and grew. In the beginning I thought a little slow. As I continued listening I felt more and more wrapped in the three stories of the two characters. I loved it. Put my head down numerous times with my eyes closed I just blocked out everything and took the words in. I cried. A felt. I loved it.

3 people found this helpful

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Unbelievable! A phenomenal story

When Robert Dugoni writes a book, I pay full attention! Like “The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell”, this
Book, “The World Played Chess” is a story that one will never forget. Sure many of the details, the names of characters and even the sequence of events might not remain clear within our memories, but the essence and parts of this book has been etched into my soul. DO NOT pass this book over. It is one that will never be forgotten. Thank you Robert for your excellent work and yours did Todd Haberkorn’s narration.

3 people found this helpful

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One small act of kindness such as listening to someone can change a life

The World Played Chess by Robert Dugoni Is an extraordinary novel, about the coming-of-age of three young men. Once more, as is always the case for Dugoni’s novels I love the three main characters, Vincent a young man just out of high school, learning about life in 1979. William a Vietnam vet, who talks about his experiences in Vietnam to Vincent when he William was 18,and finally Vincent’s son Beau, who is still in high school in modern time and soon also goes away to college. The book taught me more about the Vietnam war then I ever learned in school. I have a deeper appreciation for that time in history and the sacrifices that all men and women who serve make as well as their families daily. The story is told so beautifully that you felt like you are in Vietnam in the bush with the soldiers. While parts of the book brought me to tears everything served to tell the story. Do not let the fact that much of the story details the Vietnam war deter you from reading it because it is a magnificent story about love, the human spirit, and faith . There are some very prevalent reminders about how precious life is and how it is a privilege to grow old and we should all be better listeners and support each other in both big and small ways whenever possible, you never know how one small act of kindness can forever change someone’s life for the better.

2 people found this helpful

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Read This Book!

First of all, I ordered The World Played Chess knowing nothing about it other than that it was written by Robert Dugoni. It transported me back to a time when I watched the news and worried about my brothers and friends being drafted and sent to Vietnam. It took me to places where I have lived or spent time in, and it elicited a range of emotions along with many tears. I feel like I've gained a better understanding of what our soldiers experienced both during and after that war. Thank you Mr. Dugoni, for a beautifully written story which intertwines the very important subjects of what war does to people, boys growing up to be men...and SO much more. I work during the day and read before bed. It's now after 2:00 am and I must get some sleep as I couldn't put this down!

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I laughed, I cried…

Robert does an amazing job at drawing you into each of the characters! I was so moved by the stories. Felt myself feeling so much gratitude for the life I have, my children, more specifically my 18 year old son….
I loved that the author narrated the book. You know it’s read in the exact inflection that he wanted it heard.
William , the marine- they were so misunderstood after the Vietnam war. You felt such compassion for him, what he went through…
❤️5 stars!!

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AMAZING!!!

Fantastic book! The characters will stay with me for a long time! Great gift book!

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Should be required high school reading

I think any adult can relate to this book. Sadly, everyone has been touched by war, some more than others. This book should be required reading for high school students as they ready themselves to become adults. As parents we try to protect our children to the realities of life. But hearing about the dangerous realities from someone else can often make a lasting difference in their lives. I love that the author read the book and then explained how he wrote it. Bravo. Great job.

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A must read!!

It's been awhile since I've read an awesome book, this was it! I've read several of Dugoni's novel's, I have to say this one is a favorite. A must read book!