Published by Lake Union Publishing


Publish Date: September 14, 2021



The World Played Chess

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.

"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.”


“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