Book Reviews

Book Review: The World Played Chess by Robert Dugoni

About The Book

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.

My Thoughts


Having read several of Robert Dugoni’s book, I can say The World Played Chess was a hard one for me. The main character, Vincent receives a journal from a veteran he worked with and uses it to help his relationship with his son. I believe this is a powerful plot especially because it’s about family, a father and his son, but also about a veteran who felt it important to pass his story on to someone he believed it would help.

Stories with life lessons are usually emotional to read, but this one was different and took me awhile to get into it. It shares three different lives, William from the war, Vincent when he was young and Vincent’s son, Beau, all experience loss. It was confusing trying to keep up with the switching of stories between the characters even though I felt they were well-developed.

I went into the story wanting more of Vincent and Beau’s story. I didn’t connect with William’s journal entries as I would of liked to. I did appreciate the descriptions in the book, which were easy to visualize. This historical fiction story will tug at your heartstrings, but it doesn’t live up to my favorite book, The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by this author.

I do recommend this book to die hard Historical fiction readers.

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