The World Played Chess

Robert Dugoni

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. more

Historical FictionFictionComing Of AgeWarHistoricalAudiobookBook ClubLiterary FictionContemporaryAdult

400 pages, Kindle Edition
First published Lake Union Publishing

4.46

Rating

26402

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2491

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Robert Dugoni

54 books 30854 followers

Robert Dugoni is the critically acclaimed New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and #1 Amazon bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite police series set in Seattle, which has sold more than 8 million books worldwide. He is also the author of The Charles Jenkins espionage series, the David Sloane legal thriller series, and several stand-alone novels including The 7th Canon, Damage Control, and the literary novels, The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell - Suspense Magazine’s 2018 Book of the Year, for which Dugoni’s narration won an AudioFile Earphones Award and the critically acclaimed, The World Played Chess; as well as 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 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 has also been a finalist for many other awards including the International Thriller Award, the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, the Silver Falchion Award for mystery, and the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award.

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.robertdugoni.com, and follow him on twitter @robertdugoni and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorRobertDugoni

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MarilynW
1325 reviews
3403 followers
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The World Played ChessRobert Dugoni (Author, Narrator), Todd Haberkorn (Narrator)Summer of 1979, Vincent Bianco's eighteenth year, the summer before college, he does construction work along side two Vietnam vets. He plans to spend his time off goofing around with his buddies, getting drunk, seeing some of them for the last time. But William Goodman, twelve years older than Vincent, changes Vincent, changes how he sees that summer and how he sees things later in life. William is unraveling, was already unraveled, and although he'd written a diary during his time in the service, he'd stopped writing it when he couldn't put the things he saw and did on paper anymore. It's been bottled up inside of him and for that summer, Vincent becomes William's verbal diary. more


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Liz
2269 reviews
3060 followers
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I’m a huge fan of Robert Dugoni, his Tracy Crosswhite series but especially The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell. This book is another standalone. It follows the lives of three 18 year old men at different time periods. William, starting in 1967 when he enlists in the Marines and is sent to Vietnam; Vincent, in 1976 when he meets William, and Beau, Vincent’s son, in 2016, when Vincent receives William’s journal from his years as a Marine. Dugoni does a fabulous job of putting us in the time and place of the war in Vietnam and I learned how a whole group of phrases involving the word sh** came about. more


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Kerrin
322 reviews
223 followers
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The title phrase in Robert Dugoni’s The World Played Chess is a take-off on the old saying “You are playing checkers while they are playing chess”. In other words, you are playing a more simple game while the world is involved in a strategic, complicated game. This title is so appropriate since this book focuses on three time periods, all involving 18-year-old boys, just at the brink of manhood. The story begins in 2015 when Vincent Bianco, a happily married lawyer with an 18-year old son and a 16-year-old daughter, receives a journal in the mail from William Goodman. William had written the journal in 1968 when he was an 18-year-old Marine serving in Vietnam. more


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Linda
1365 reviews
1475 followers
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Vietnam is real. No one transcribes the human element as well as Robert Dugoni. He takes the complexities of the inner workings of his characters and lays them all out: bare, brutal, and extremely telling. The World Played Chess is a remarkable work of parallels. Dugoni offers his readers the realities of what constitutes an eighteen year old in 1967, 1979, and 2015. more


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Tim Null
181 reviews
112 followers
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I found the religious propaganda to be offensive; otherwise, I would have given this book a rating of five. Except for that propaganda, this is a brilliant book. more


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Debra
2589 reviews
35633 followers
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"Regret is so much harder to live with than failure. "1979 - Vincent Bianco has graduated from high school and is working as a laborer for a construction crew with two Vietnam Vets. It is a summer before college, he hopes to earn beer money, what he earns instead is a friend, William, with PTSD who will have an impact on his life. 1967 - William enlists in the Marines after high school. He is 18 years old and on his way to Vietnam. more


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Carolyn
2344 reviews
662 followers
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The novel features three young men all turning 18 in the years 1967, 1979 and 2015. All looking forward to college and starting the journey to become men. But they will all have very different journeys. In 1979, Vincent Bianco, newly graduated from high school has landed himself a summer job working on a house extension with two Vietnam vets. He becomes close to one of the men, 30 y old William who is clearly suffering from PTSD, a condition not yet recognised or treated. more


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Marialyce (back in the USA!)
2054 reviews
700 followers
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4. 5 starsYes, the world did indeed play chess while we played _________________(fill in the blank)This beautifully done story pays homage to three men trapped in the world of being an eighteen year old boy, thinking they were invincible, men about to embark on life but little did Vincent Bianco realize that his life would be surely effected by two Vietnam vets he worked with. The education he thought he would attain in college was really pushed aside by the life lessons he learned by working side by side with these vets. Vincent is brought back to memories accumulated forty years ago, when his son is about to leave for college. Received in the mail at the time of Vincent's son, Beau, journey to college, Vincent thinks back to the men particularly William. more


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Nickolus
24 reviews
11 followers
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This book was heavily promoted and has had many great reviews, so I was looking forward to it. I’m also a huge fan of coming of age stories. This seemed to fit me perfectly. Unfortunately, the story is undermined by several things. The book is filled with clichés. more


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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
2265 reviews
31395 followers
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You may be familiar with Robert Dugoni’s thrillers, but one of my favorite books is The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell, a historical fiction/coming-of-age story. I could not wait to pick up The World Played Chess because Dugoni is revisiting the genre. Set in the late 1970s, The World Played Chess is Vincent’s story. He’s just graduated from high school and has plans to enjoy every bit of summer before college starts. He finds a job working construction where he meets two Vietnam vets, one who has PTSD. more


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Jean
782 reviews
20 followers
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Calling Robert Dugoni’s The World Played Chess, a “coming of age” novel seems to me to be an understatement. The novel, which Dugoni’s second stand-alone, features not just one, but three 18-year-old men in three different time periods. Vincent’s life is the common point at which the stories intersect. He’s the father of Beau. He’s also a former co-worker of William Goodman back when they toiled together on a summer construction crew when he was 18 and Goodman was 30. more


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Brian
728 reviews
386 followers
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“Growing old is a privilege, not a right. ” (3. 5 stars)Having finished THE WORLD PLAYED CHESS, the first thing that comes to mind is that anyone who has lived to middle age will cringe with recognition at the stupidity of adolescence. One of the subplots in the text deals with the narrator’s 18-year-old self, and he and his friends are dumb. And so was I. more


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Selena
493 reviews
379 followers
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I received a free e-copy of The World Played Chess by Robert Dugoni from NetGalley for my honest review. A beautifully brilliant and emotional read that will stick with me for a long time. This is the first book I have read by Dugoni. I don't normally read books on the war but I had so many people recommending this book to me. I am so glad I took their advice and read it. more


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Elyse Walters
4010 reviews
11177 followers
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Audiobook/sync Kindle unlimited Audio-narration by Robert Dugoni and Todd Haberkorn …. 10 hours and 3 minutes Robert Dugoni’s personal storytelling style (where the characters feel like friends), works well in the audiobook format. It’s easy to understand why many readers rave about Robert Dugoni. He covers many life relatable topics and themes. Yet…I don’t think I’m equally as enchanted with this book as many other readers. more


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Karen
1769 reviews
381 followers
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I always seem to gravitate to this author. His book, “The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell” was stunning. Review here: https://www. goodreads. com/review/show. more


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Kathryn in FL
716 reviews
0 followers
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5 Stunning StarsOutstanding story told in three perspectives and two storylines on the impact of the political wars levied by the U. S. on foreign grounds to protect U. S. interests. more


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Matt
3972 reviews
12903 followers
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First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Robert Dugoni, and Lake Union Publishing for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review. While I have long had an affinity for Robert Dugoni’s series work, he is extremely talented, enough to pen some stunning standalone novels as well. This is another of those, taking the reader through three time periods as the characters explore themselves, the world around them, and struggles of young men in various situations. Dugoni’s theme of struggle is further strengthened by his depiction of one soldier’s view of the Vietnam War, sure to impact many readers who take the time to connect with that particular narrative. A wonderful piece that shows how versatile Dugoni can be in his writing. more


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Jennifer
1244 reviews
84 followers
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Some books don’t fall into a neat category. They won’t fit into a single box that gives you an idea of what they are about or how they will likely play out. Dugoni has written such a book. It is both Vietnam war experience and coming of age. It is a story of friendship and loss. more


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Amy J
102 reviews
57 followers
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This is a wonderful coming of age story that follows 3 young men in different decades at the age of 18. In 1967, William enlisted in the Marines and is soon sent to Vietnam and involved in heavy combat. During his time he keeps a journal of his experiences. In 1979, young Vincent befriends William while working a summer in construction. William shares many of his stories for the first time. more


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Taury
621 reviews
185 followers
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The World Played Chess by Robert Dugoni I’ve read such great reviews. I couldn’t connect with it at all. . more


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Marianne
3642 reviews
254 followers
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The World Played Chess is the fourth stand-alone novel by best-selling award-winning American author, Robert Dugoni. In early 1967, eighteen-year-old William Goodman joins the Marines and goes to Vietnam. In mid-1979, eighteen-year-old Vincent Bianco graduates from high school and works as a builder’s labourer to save money for college. In 2015, lawyer and father of two, Vincent Bianco watches his eighteen-year-old son Beau going through the same process of graduating high school and heading for college. When he receives, in the mail, the journals that his friend William wrote detailing his experience in Vietnam, he recalls the wisdom this man passed on while they worked together. more


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Chuck Karas
161 reviews
11 followers
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FAVORITE OF 2021Robert Dugoni is rapidly moving up my favorite novelist list. This is a fantastic coming of age story that is igniting all of my emotions. This story is segmented into three time lines and three points of views. William is a great character and his journal is a good thread tying the three timelines together. We see Vincent as a father, a high school student recently graduated and as a friend. more


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Gary
2714 reviews
390 followers
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I recently enjoyed reading ‘The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell’ by Robert Dugoni and made a pledge to myself to read more of his books. This is another excellent historical fiction novel with great characters and made an entertaining read. 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 labourer on a construction crew. more


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Adrian Dooley
401 reviews
123 followers
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Robert Dugoni is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors. I have yet to read a dud by him and The World Played Chess is up there with his best. Told in three different timelines, one during the Vietnam war, one 10 years later in the 70s and one in the mid 2010s, it’s the story of three different young men turning 18 but to me it was more about the first two and their relationship. Harrowing in parts, this will have you crying, laughing, rooting for the characters and totally engrossed in the story. There are large passages that are a soldiers journal from his time in Vietnam and even if you have no interest in the war or reading about it I guarantee you will enjoy it. more


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Karen R
860 reviews
525 followers
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William Goodman, a veteran of Vietnam and Vincent Bianco, a teenager contemplating military service meet while working on a remodeling project in 1979. Vincent is curious about Williams’ war experiences but William will not talk about them. Both had dreams of becoming journalists. Fast forward to current day when Vincent is a family man and lawyer who receives a package in the mail from an aging William that includes an amazing heartfelt note along with his Vietnam diary. Vincent commits to read one diary entry per day. more


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Gwen Kelly
41 reviews
117 followers
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Excellent book. Makes you really stop and think about the poor souls who had to go off to war and the conditions they were forced to live in. I really like Robert Dugoni's style of writing so much that I have purchased more of his books to read. He is like Michael Connelly whereby his writing easily flows. more


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The Cats’ Mother
2175 reviews
148 followers
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The World Played Chess is a solemn Coming of Age story about three young men, and the knock-on effects of the Vietnam war. I think it’s a great book, but I didn’t enjoy it, if that makes sense - I found large chunks of it either depressing or boring - it is very American. I don’t like war books, but requested it because I love the author’s Tracy Crosswhite series. It’s taken me quite a while to finish it because I struggled with the subject matter, but am glad I persisted. Vincent Bianco is a middle-aged attorney whose teenage son Beau is soon finishing school. more


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Henry
717 reviews
36 followers
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A very good stand alone novel by Dugoni in the tradition of The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell. Although not as humorous as Sam Hell, this novel nevertheless evidences Dugoni's excellent writing ability. Dugoni himself obviously has very strong family ties, is a man of morals and faith, and very capably writes with emotion and clarity about the issue of when and how does a boy become a man. more


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Bam cooks the books ;-)
1990 reviews
269 followers
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'The world played chess while I played checkers' is an old adage that expresses how we often know so little of the complex 'game' of life that we are not even playing in the same game. I also saw it as a comment on war, where old men send boys off to fight in wars for which only they, the politicians and generals, can see the purpose and understand the strategy. Can we NOW be done with war. Please. Three young men, each seen at the critical moment when one goes from being a boy to being a man, but in such different ways:William Goodman--1968--off to fight in the Vietnam War;Vincent Bianco--1979--working construction that summer to earn money for college where he meets William and hears stories of the young man's war experiences;Beau Bianco--2015--finishing high school with plans for college, but perhaps just now learning what is really important in life. more


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Laurie
398 reviews
37 followers
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Sometimes I encounter a book that is so mind-blowingly good that I can't put it down, I race to find out what happens next and then I'm sad it had ended. All of that is true of this book. It is a coming of age book of three eighteen-year olds, decades apart, and a man who binds all of their stories together. At times poignant to the point of tears, this heartfelt novel takes the reader back in time and explores the bonds of friendship, loss and the willingness to make one's own luck through good and bad decisions. William is a Marine sent to Vietnam in 1967. more


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